U.S. Federal Trade Commission to Challenge Thoratec's Proposed Acquisition of HeartWare International


July 30, 2009
HeartWare's HVAD device

July 30, 2009 – The Federal Trade Commission today authorized a lawsuit to block Thoratec Corp’s proposed $282 million acquisition of rival HeartWare International Inc., charging that the transaction would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. market for left ventricular devices (LVADs).

Thoratec is a leader in device-based mechanical circulatory support therapies to save, support and restore failing hearts, and HeartWare develops and manufactures miniaturized implantable heart pumps. Both companies said they are disappointed with the FTC's decision to challenge the acquisition. The companies intend to review the FTC's decision and mutually assess the appropriate next steps and promptly communicate their intentions once a decision has been made.

The Federal Trade Commission contends Thoratec currently has a monopoly on the commercial sale of LVADs in the United States, and its administrative complaint alleges Thoratec seeks to maintain its monopoly by acquiring HeartWare to eliminate the only significant threat to Thoratec’s continued dominance of the LVAD market.

HeartWare's HVAD pump is the only full-output pump designed to be implanted in the chest. HeartWare has completed an international clinical trial for the device involving five investigational centers in Europe and Australia. The device is currently the subject of a 150-patient clinical trial in the United States for a bridge-to-transplantation indication.

For more information: www.thoratec.com, www.itcmed.com, www.heartware.com, www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/thoratec.shtm