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Abbott Laboratories (ABT) (JOBS) To Buy Heart-Valve Repair Company Evalve, Inc. For Up To $410 Million


9/11/2009 6:53:31 AM

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ABBOTT PARK, Ill. and MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT - News) announced today a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding equity of Evalve, Inc., the global leader in the development of devices for minimally invasive repair of cardiac mitral valves. The acquisition provides Abbott with a presence in the growing area of non-surgical treatment for structural heart disease, in which physicians use catheter-based devices to repair or replace basic structural components of the heart such as mitral and aortic valves. The agreement includes an upfront payment of $320 million in cash, plus an additional payment upon completion of certain regulatory milestones, for a total of up to $410 million.

"The acquisition of Evalve will provide Abbott with leading technology in the emerging field of minimally invasive heart valve repair and further broadens Abbott's medical devices portfolio," said John M. Capek, Ph.D., executive vice president, Medical Devices, Abbott. "Evalve is on the cutting edge with its non-surgical approach to treating structural heart disease. With this breakthrough mitral valve repair technology, physicians will be able to offer their patients a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery -- not unlike the opportunity that stents provided more than two decades ago for the treatment of coronary artery disease."

Mitral regurgitation, a condition that prevents the mitral valve from closing completely, is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency in Europe and the United States, and affects millions of people worldwide. Traditionally, mitral regurgitation is treated through open heart surgery. However, only about 20 percent of the 600,000 patients diagnosed in the U.S. and Europe each year undergo surgery. Evalve's minimally invasive catheter-based MitraClip® system, used to clip the leaflets of the mitral valve together to reduce regurgitation, is the first commercially available treatment option approved in Europe for non-surgical mitral valve repair for patients suffering from the effects of mitral regurgitation. The MitraClip system is an investigational device in the United States and is currently in clinical trials.

"Combining Evalve's first in class mitral valve repair technology with Abbott's global presence, commercial infrastructure and manufacturing expertise will help advance minimally invasive treatment options for the millions of patients with mitral regurgitation," said Robert Hance, senior vice president, vascular, Abbott. "We look forward to welcoming Evalve as a key part of Abbott's vascular business."

"Patients in Europe have benefited from having access to the MitraClip technology since it received CE Mark last year," said Ferolyn Powell, president and chief executive officer of Evalve, who will continue to lead the Evalve team and will report to Hance after the acquisition closes. "We look forward to becoming a part of Abbott and working together to accelerate our business and expand our global reach to patients around the world with our minimally invasive technologies."

Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will acquire the remaining 90 percent of outstanding equity of Evalve, Inc. that it does not already own for an upfront payment of $320 million, plus a $90 million payment if certain regulatory milestones are met. The transaction does not impact Abbott's previously issued earnings-per-share guidance for 2009.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearances. Abbott expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

About Evalve, Inc.

Founded in 1999 by The Foundry and Dr. Fred St. Goar, Evalve, Inc., headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., has developed a proprietary system which enables percutaneous repair of cardiac valves. The company's initial products are intended to reduce the risks, trauma and costs associated with current open, arrested heart surgical options. For more information about Evalve, Inc., visit www.evalveinc.com. Previous major investors in Evalve include: New Enterprise Associates; Delphi Ventures; Split Rock Partners; Apothecary Capital; Cutlass Capital; ABS Ventures / Kearny Venture Partners; Saints Capital; Three Arch Partners; Emergent Medical Ventures; and Integral Capital Partners.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.

Abbott Forward Looking Statement

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments.

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