Company launched by MD Anderson to be acquired by Abbott

IDEV Technologies’ next-generation stent technology attracts bid by industry leader

MD Anderson News Release 07/24/13

A private company based on technology discovered at The University of Texas MD Anderson agreed last week to be purchased by Abbott Laboratories, Inc., for $310 million.

IDEV Technologies, Inc., of Webster, Texas, has developed an innovative stent system to treat blockages in blood vessels and the narrowing of bile ducts in the liver. It also may have broad applications in additional medical markets.

“We’re excited about Abbott’s announcement that it intends to acquire IDEV Technologies, a company which was founded upon a portfolio of more than 30 technologies developed by MD Anderson,” said Chris Capelli, M.D., MD Anderson’s  vice president for Technology Based Ventures

“Abbott’s acquisition of IDEV represents a compelling endorsement of the stent system by the industry leader in medical products, and underscores MD Anderson’s commitment to developing and commercializing new and innovative technologies that can transform health care for patients, providers and payers globally," Capelli said.

Started with MD Anderson technology, funding in 2000

IDEV was MD Anderson’s first start-up company, founded in 2000 based on technology developed by Andras Konya, Ph.D., and Kenneth Wright, Ph.D., of Interventional Radiology.  Konya was a prolific inventor who worked for Wright in the department’s John S. Dunn Research Foundation Center for Radiological Sciences.  Both retired in 2011.

Jeffery Sheldon, then MD Anderson’s director of technology management,  became the company’s first CEO and president.  Sheldon today is CEO, chairman and founder of a number of Houston start-up companies.
IDEV has progressed and grown over the years, attracting major financing and proceeding with product design and development, including clinical trials.
The company markets a new class of nitinol stent to prop open clogged blood vessels for interventional radiology, vascular surgery and cardiology.  Its products may also be used to treat bile duct narrowing related to cancer.  The first stent product launched in this class is SUPERA®.

In Europe, SUPERA is used to treat blockages caused by peripheral artery disease, or PAD.  In the United States, it’s approved only for the bile duct treatment but is being reviewed under a Premarket Approval Application by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the superficial femoral artery, which is the main blood supplier to the lower legs and feet.
About 27 million people in Europe and the United States are afflicted with peripheral arterial disease, Abbott noted in a news release announcing the agreement.  Blockages caused by PAD can cause pain when walking and can lead to amputation if untreated.

Stents designed to mimic natural movement

The innovative SUPERA platform technology uses an interwoven stent design that mimics natural movement, providing greater strength and flexibility than traditional stent designs.  “These properties are particularly important when considering treatment for blockages in the blood vessels in the thigh and knee where rapid and frequent movement occurs with daily activities such as walking, sitting and standing,” Abbott’s announcement noted.
MD Anderson will continue to receive royalties under its licensing agreements.  Such payments help fund research and represent an important revenue stream for MD Anderson.

“We believe that this transaction represents the culmination of an extremely successful commercialization project for MD Anderson, and the beginning of an exciting new stage of development for our technology, “ Capelli said.
Abbott announced the agreement to purchase IDEV by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions including antitrust clearances.

Abbott had worldwide sales of $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013  The global health care company focuses on diagnostics, medical devices,  nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals.