Medtronic has entered into a merger agreement to acquire California based privately-held Ardian, a developer of catheter-based therapies to treat hypertension and related conditions.

The agreement calls for Medtronic to make an up front cash payment of $800m, plus commercial milestones equal to the annual revenue growth through the end of Medtronic’s fiscal year 2015.

Medtronic had previously invested in Ardian and currently holds 11% ownership stake in the company.

Medtronic Coronary and Peripheral Business vice president and general manager Sean Salmon said that they view renal denervation for the treatment of uncontrolled hypertension as one of the most exciting growth markets in medical devices.

"Ardian’s investigational catheter-based treatment for uncontrolled hypertension through renal nerve denervation complements Medtronic’s expertise in catheter design and ablation technologies, and augments Medtronic’s interventional therapies," Salmon said.

The data from a clinical study of Ardian’s product, the Symplicity Catheter System, reported that patients treated with the Ardian device experienced a 33mmHg greater reduction in systolic blood pressure at six months than the control group.

The Symplicity Catheter System has received CE mark and Australia TGA listing, but is not approved for sale in the US.

Ardian president and CEO Andrew Cleeland said that Ardian brings to Medtronic the Symplicity Catheter System and a growing body of evidence to support its clinical use for patients whose hypertension remains uncontrolled despite optimal medical management.

"Our integration into Medtronic creates a tremendous opportunity to leverage Medtronic’s global scale and scope to advance the treatment of uncontrolled hypertension," Cleeland said.