Bard tuning-in to Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX)’s EP business
On Friday, Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), the medical device maker said that it will be buying C.R. Bard Inc’s electrophysiology (EP) business for $275M in cash. This will expanding its portfolio of products that helps in the treatment of patients suffering from an abnormal heartbeat.
Bard’s electrophysiology unit produces catheters for diagnostic, therapeutic and recording devices. Boston Scientific said that, globally, the EP market is estimated at $2.5B and is growing at around 10% on an annual basis. Across the globe, Bard EP has around 180 employees and it generated sales of $111M, last year. It will be joining Boston Scientifics’ Rhythm Management unit within the electrophysiology division. BSX said that the deal should be finalized later this year and will be paying $275M upfront. Also, the expectation is that the deal will not impact the adjusted EPS in 2013 but will add around 1 cent /share in 2014.
What is EP study?
An EP study is essentially an invasive procedure that is used for testing the electrical system of the heart. This system is what generates the heartbeat. In an EP study, a tiny plastic catheter is inserted via a vein in the neck or groin and then threaded to the heart. It uses fluoroscopy, a special kind of X-ray, for guiding the catheter. Once it reaches the heart, electrical signals are then sent via the catheter straight to the heart-tissue to evaluate the electrical-conduction system that lies within the heart’s muscle-tissue. There are numerous methods in which EP studies can be performed to help in diagnosing electrical-conduction system abnormalities in the heart.
For example, a doctor may deliberately stimulate an arrhythmia/ dysrhythmia (an abnormal rhythm), during the study to identify the underlying abnormal-electrical circuitry. Similarly, if the effectiveness of an antiarrhythmic medication has to be evaluated, an attempt could be made to actually stimulate the dysrhythmia.
Mapping is another kind of EP study. It can be actioned to locate the origin-point of a dysrhythmia. If a particular location is found to be the cause of the dysrhythmia, an ablation may be conducted. This should generally stop the dysrhythmia. The results of studies such as these help doctors in determining further therapeutic measures. In some cases an implantable defibrillator or pacemaker may be implanted, medications may be either changed or added or additional ablation procedures may be actioned.