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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Boston Scientific buys U-M startup Securus for $40M to add to heart imaging lineup


Medical device giant Boston Scientific has acquired Securus Medical Group, a startup with FDA-cleared technology that measures and images temperature in the body during heart rhythm procedures.

Marlborough, MA-based Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) said Tuesday that it paid $40 million up front for the stake in Securus that it did not already own. Securus, which is based in Cleveland, OH, and maintains a research site in Beverly, MA, could gain up to $10 million more, pegged to unspecified regulatory and commercialization milestones.

Securus developed its InfraRed Thermographic System, which was first cleared by the FDA in 2016 for use in cardiac ablation, a procedure that destroys the heart tissue involved in triggering an abnormal heart rhythm. The procedure either heats or cools the targeted heart tissue. Surgeons monitor the heart’s temperature throughout the procedure to avoid injuring the patient. That is done by monitoring the temperature of the esophagus, which is located behind the part of the heart undergoing ablation.

In its submission to the FDA, Securus compared its device to an esophageal temperature monitoring system already cleared by the FDA and marketed by Italian company FIAB. Like the FIAB device, the Securus system monitors the temperature of the esophagus. But the Securus device has two sensors, one for temperature and another that creates a visual image of the temperature, according to FDA documents. Visualization of temperature and display of peak temperatures are additional features of Securus’s device, the documents state. Data from both sensors are displayed on a monitor for the surgeon to see.

Securus says that esophageal temperature monitoring systems that are currently available provide measurements at a few fixed locations and respond more slowly to temperature changes. The company claims its system provides clinicians with continuous temperature monitoring and a 360-degree visualization that refreshes every second.

Boston Scientific made its first investment in the startup in 2016, leading a $10 million Series C round of funding. Boston Scientific now plans to add the device to its electrophysiology business, which develops and markets technologies for diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders. Electrophysiology is the smallest of Boston Scientific’s seven core business segments, accounting for $278 million of the company’s more than $9 billion in 2017 revenue.

In a prepared statement, Joe Fitzgerald, Boston Scientific’s president of rhythm management, said the medical device giant will integrate the Securus technology with its cardiac mapping system called Rhythmia HDx, which was developed to provide clinicians a visualization of the heart during ablation procedures. Boston Scientific says the Securus technology is expected to become commercially available in the first half of 2019.