By Manas Mishra
(Reuters) – Edwards Lifesciences Corp has paid rival Boston Scientific Corp $180 million as part of a settlement to end long-standing patent disputes between the two medical device makers.
Boston Scientific and Edwards Lifesciences have been embroiled in a number of legal cases for several years involving heart valve replacement systems, including transcatheter aortic valves, in the United States and Europe.
All pending cases or appeals in courts and patent offices will be dismissed, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
The valves are used in a relatively new procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, in which the original heart valve is not surgically removed. The market for the devices is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2022, according to Jefferies.
The settlement was a “win-win” for all, analysts said, with one noting that it could also be a positive for the industry as a whole.
“This is the single largest end market in medical devices … If growth were to decelerate because of the ongoing IP litigation, I think that would have weighed down or shifted sentiment on the entire group,” said Vijay Kumar of Evercore ISI.
As part of the settlement, the companies said they would not litigate patent disputes for transcatheter aortic valves, certain mitral valve repair devices, and left atrial appendage closure devices.
Any injunctions currently in place will be lifted, the companies said.
For Boston Scientific, the one-time cash payment is timely given its pending $4.2 billion acquisition of Britain’s BTG Plc, according to Kumar, and also vindicates the company’s stance in pursuing an aggressive intellectual property strategy.
Boston expects to re-launch its Lotus valve heart devices in the U.S. in mid-2019 after they were withdrawn in 2017 due to problems with the locking mechanism.
Edwards’ shares rose 2.3 percent to $153 in early trading, while Boston Scientific was down 1.2 percent at $34.90 in light volume.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel, Bernard Orr)
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