Galway med-tech start-up Apica sells for US$75m

3 Jul 2014

James L Greene, CEO of Apica Cardiovascular Ltd, shows Dr Daniel O'Mahony, a partner with Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Ltd, how the Apica product functions within the human heart

Galway-based medical-device company Apica Cardiovascular has been acquired by NASDAQ-listed Thoratec Corporation for US$75m.

The company has developed an innovative transapical access and closure system that can simplify and standardise the technique used to open and close the apex of a beating heart, in order to deliver large therapeutic devices into the inner chambers of the beating-heart in a minimally invasive manner.

Founded in 2009 Apica’s technology began life at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, to target a market currently worth US$1bn and is growing fast.

In 2010, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences led a Series A financing of the company, which was also supported by Enterprise Ireland, and Apica moved to the Innovation Centre at Galway NUI where it developed its product range.

Thoratec Corporation has acquired c Limited for an upfront cash payment of US35m and payments on potential future clinical and sales milestones of up to US$40m.

“We are delighted with the successful outcome of the investment in Apica.” Said Seroba Kernel partner Dr Daniel O’Mahony. 

“It validates our model of taking leading-edge technologies from the US, where there is a shortage of finance, and implanting them in Ireland whilst retaining links to the US innovators and clinicians.  It also reinforces Galway’s position as a world-class hub for medtech development.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years