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Johnson & Johnson buys Irish stroke care firm in multimillion euro deal

Sale of Neuravi is largest deal for a venture-backed medtech in Europe since 2009

Galway-based medical device company Neuravi: its EmboTrap device captures and removes clots from blood vessels and restores blood flow. Photograph: Andrew Downes.

Galway medtech company Neuravi has been taken over by US life sciences giant Johnson & Johnson Codman Neuro business in a landmark deal that gives J&J access to the fast-growing strokecare market.

While details of the price paid for the business have not been disclosed, it is understood that the Neuravi deal is the largest exit for a venture-backed medtech in Europe since 2009. That was the $700 million purchase of a company called Corvalve by Medtronic, suggesting that the Neuravi deal is valued comfortably in the hundreds of millions of euro.

That would deliver a significant payday for the company’s founders and early stage investors.

Removing clots

Neuravi’s EmboTrap device captures and removes clots from blood vessels and restores blood flow. Mechanical retrieval of blood clots has become the industry standard over the past two to three years.

Ischemic stroke, caused by clots in vessels supplying blood to the brain, accounts for 87 per cent of all strokes , reportedly affecting one million patients in Europe every year and a further 700,000 in the United States.

Neuravi’s third-generation device has managed to secure around 30 per cent market share against established rivals Medtronic, Stryker and a newer California company Penumbra, since securing regulatory approval in Europe.

It has recently fully enrolled a pivotal US trial which it expects to deliver results later this year.

It is understood that, under the terms of the deal, Neuravi will continue to operate and expand from its Galway base following the acquisition by Corden’s DePuy Ireland subsidiary.

Management team

Neuravi had raised just over €25 million in funding since its foundation by three former executives at another Galway-based medical device business, MedNova, that was acquired in 2005 by Abbott Laboratories.

The company is led by founders Eamon Brady, who is chief executive, chairman John O’Shaughnessy and chief technical officer David Vale. They will stay with the business under its new ownership.

Abbott was an early investor in the business, which also attracted Fountain Healthcare and Delta Partners in a 2012 series A funding round and top European healthcare investor Life Science Partners in the 2015 series B fundraising.

Fountain Healthcare is the largest single investor in the business, which also features the Western Development Commission and Enterprise Ireland among its investors alongside its founders.

“This is a company that has knocked the ball out of the park,” said Justin Lynch, a partner at Fountain Healthcare Partners which was an early investor in the company. “They have beaten every milestone, earlier and with less money that budgeted, which is almost unheard of in this business.”