St Jude Medical and privately-held CardioMems have reached an agreement under which St Jude Medical will make a $60m equity investment in CardioMems, a developer of a wireless sensing and communication technology to assess cardiac performance.

The agreement provides St Jude Medical an immediate 19% ownership in CardioMems and the exclusive option to acquire the company for an additional payment of $375m during the period that extends through the completion of certain commercialization milestones.

CardioMems’ wireless monitoring technology can be placed directly in the pulmonary artery to assess cardiac performance via measurement of pulmonary artery pressure (PAP).

The implant procedure is fast, simple and can be performed by any physician who does right-heart catheterizations and the sensor transmits hemodynamic data via an external monitor to the patient’s clinic for review.

With CardioMems’ technology, doctors can obtain the critical information without the need for a cardiac catheterisation and patients can transmit the readings from their homes, and with this vital information, physicians can more effectively direct treatments to keep patients out of the hospital.

The CardioMems monitoring system is supported by strong clinical evidence, including the Champion (CardioMems Heart Sensor Allows Monitoring of Pressure to Improve Outcomes in NYHA Class III Patients) trial, the results of which were presented in May 2010 at the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Congress in Berlin.