The company has acquired Apica Cardiovascular for an upfront cash payment of $35m and potential future clinical and sales milestones of up to $40m. Under the agreement, the Apica Cardiovascular team based at its facilities in Ireland and the US will be transitioned to Thoratec.

Apica Cardiovascular has developed the VAD surgical implant system (SIS) and the Apica access stabilization and closure (ASC) device for use in transcatheter aortic valve replacement and transcatheter mitral valve replacement procedures performed with a transapical approach.

According to Apica Cardiovascular, the implant systems enable uniform access to the heart in transapical procedures with minimal interoperative and post-operative blood loss and a secure permanent closure that eliminates the need for sutures.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Thoratec will immediately assume ongoing development and commercialization of the Apica VAD SIS and ASC platforms.

In 2013, Apica Cardiovascular had received CE Mark approval for its ASC device and it is currently in limited commercial launch throughout Europe.

Thoratec said that it will continue to develop the VAD SIS device to optimize its application for VAD implants prior to initiating human clinical trials.

Thoratec president and CEO Gary Burbach said that the company believes Apica represents an exciting transaction that will further enhance the strong market position of its HeartMate product line over time through introduction of an elegant suite of products customized for VAD procedures.

"Once developed, we expect Apica’s unique technology benefits will enable both expansion of the overall VAD market as well as increased penetration for Thoratec devices," Burbach added.