Galway medical technology firm Novate to be sold for up to $150m


Photo: Stock Image
Photo: Stock Image

Galway medtech firm Novate is to be sold in a deal that could reach $150m (€130m).

The buyer is London healthcare firm BTG.

Novate makes a “blood filter” known as Sentry. It’s designed to tackle blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. The product has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The deal will see Novate’s owners paid $20m up front with the potential for another $130m if milestones are met.

“This bolt-on acquisition further enhances BTG’s strength in the vascular space,” said Louise Makin, BTG’s CEO. “Novate’s unique IVC filter offers our existing customers a highly complementary product.” BTG said it expected the deal to boost its adjusted earnings per share from the second full year of ownership.

The company was founded by entrepreneurs Chas Taylor and Paul Gilson and has received backing from Seroba Life Sciences, Enterprise Ireland and ACT Venture Capital.

The Sentry product is designed to stop blood clots migrating to the lungs. BTG is planning to launch it on the US market in the coming months.

Dr Daniel O’Mahony from Seroba said: “Since Seroba first met with the Novate team, we were confident that the Sentry device would become a truly disruptive product in the protection of patients from PE (pulmonary embolism) and we were excited to help fund the necessary development and clinical trials.”

“We are delighted with the BTG acquisition as we believe they have the vision, sales force and infrastructure to bring the Sentry device successfully to market in the USA.”

A number of safety issues have arisen with other blood filter devices designed to achieve the same result as Sentry.

As part of the process to get FDA approval its clinical trials showed no evidence that these issues occurred with it – something cited yesterday by Seroba and BTG as a key selling point.

At the end of 2016, the company had racked up accumulated losses of almost €37m, according to its most recently filed accounts.

It had not generated any revenue at the time as it had not received FDA approval for product sales.

The deal is another win for Irish medtech after the sale of Adapt Pharma, led by entrepreneur Seamus Mulligan, to US business Emergent Biosolutions.

That deal will see as much as $735m paid for Adapt, with $635m up front and the rest dependent on whether it achieves milestones.

Adapt makes an antidote for drug overdoses administered via a nasal spray, making it a much less invasive alternative to other, similar products.

Seroba managing partner Peter Sandys said: “Novate is based in Galway, one of the largest medtech hubs in the world. With more than 200,000 patients dying annually from PE in US hospitals alone, we’re delighted that the Sentry device, developed in Ireland, is now an option that doctors can use to treat patients at high-risk for this condition.

“BTG is a highly synergistic acquirer and a great fit for Sentry. The sale to BTG represents another endorsement of the strength and quality of the Irish innovation ecosystem in general and of the medtech cluster in particular.”

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