Galway medical devices startup sold in deal worth up to $150m

Novate had previously raised $22m from backers including Act and Seroba

Novate is developing next generation inferior vena cava filters designed to prevent blood clots reaching the lungs after surgery.

Novate is developing next generation inferior vena cava filters designed to prevent blood clots reaching the lungs after surgery.

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Galway-based medical devices startup Novate Medical has been acquired by listed British specialty healthcare group BTG in a deal worth up to $150 million (€128.9 million).

Novate has developed a special filter designed to prevent blood clots reaching the lungs in high-risk clinical situations.

Called an “inferior vena cava” filter device (IVC filter), the advantage of its Sentry device is that it is bioconvertible, which means that, unlike rival products, it degrades in the body, avoiding the need for a second surgical procedure to remove it.

Clots, or pulmonary embolisms, are a major risk for many people who undergo surgery each year. They are understood to affect more than 1.2 million people every year in the United States and Europe, and may account for up to half a million deaths annually.

Founded by two former C R Bard executives, Chas Taylor and Paul Gilson, in 2006, Novate has recently secured 510(k) regulatory clearance in the US. A recent year-long clinical trial revealed it did not have any of the complications that have been associated with other IVC filters.

BTG said it would make an initial payment of $20 million in cash for Novate, with a possible further $130 million payable, based on certain commercial targets being achieved.

US launch

The British company intends to launch Sentry in the US, where the company has an existing salesforce, over the next six months.

Novate had raised more than $22 million to date in funding over the past decade, according to data from PitchBook. The company raised an initial $5.5 million in 2007 and followed this up with a $12.47 million fundraise four years later and a $3.99 million one in March 2015.

Backers include Act Venture Capital, Seroba Life Sciences, Omnes Capital, Crédit Agricole and Enterprise Ireland.

BTG, which has its headquarters in London, was founded in 1991. It is an international specialist healthcare company that is developing and commercialising products targeting critical care, cancer and other disorders.

“This bolt-on acquisition further enhances BTG’s strength in the vascular space,” said Louise Makin, BTG’s chief executive. “Novate’s unique IVC filter offers our existing customers a highly complementary product in the management of pulmonary embolism.”

Novate had gross assets of €3.6 million at the end of 2017 and incurred operating losses of €2 million.

BTG, which had revenues of £570 million (€637 million) last year, trades in London. Its share price was down 1.2 per cent in early trading on Friday.

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