Boston Scientific has just announced that they have signed an investment deal that includes a later acquisition option with medical-device startup Farapulse Inc. The California-based startup is currently pending FDA-approval for a number of medical devices, including a cardiac ablation system for treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (irregular or excessive heartbeat).
Cardiac ablation is a well-developed technology, although as evidenced by Boston Scientific's recent patent application (U.S. Patent App. No. 20200297415), still subject to advancement in the field. Most modern cardiac ablation systems use a thermal energy source such as radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation to create small amount of scar tissue on the heart muscle in an effort to block the electrical signals causing the irregular beating. So why did Boston Scientific invest in Farapulse if they are doing their own research on cardiac ablation, and why would Farapulse agree to an acquisition when they have already built a patent portfolio consisting of nearly 20 patents? The likely answer is that the two companies both hold IP that would complement each other. Rather than using thermal energy to ablate, Farapulse has developed a method that utilizes a non-intrusive electrical field, thereby allowing surgeons much more control over which tissue receives the therapy. This method is less invasive and more accurate than Boston Scientific's method, but Farapulse likely lacks the AI necessary to determine the best application of the technology. Boston Scientific is a leader in the AI field, but uses the more invasive thermal energy method of ablation. This investment deal and acquisition option will allow for the combination of Farapulse's electrical ablation technology, and Boston Scientific's AI-based treatments into a singular, more efficient system.
Boston Scientific likely realized the benefit of Farapulse's technology, and decided to work out an investment deal that would allow for the future acquisition of the company once the technology receives FDA approval and is ready for sale. It will be interesting to see if Boston Scientific exercises its option to purchase Farapulse, and how the acquisition will impact Boston Scientific's patent activity in the Cardio portion of the Magic Number® AI Biotech/Diagnostic Patent Forecast®. Make sure to subscribe for the latest insights and to stay up to date with the most recent patent activity!