A $465-million deal gives Boston Scientific access to Vertiflex’ minimally invasive vertebrae spacer treatment for lumbar stenosis.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that results in compression of the nerves traveling through the lower back into the legs. It is most often a degenerative condition that affects people aged 60 and older. Canal narrowing can lead to pain, weakness or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks, cramping in the calves with walking and pain radiating into one or both thighs and legs, similar to the pain known as “sciatica.” As many as 6 million people in the U.S. may be suffering from the condition, according to California-based Vertiflex.
Vertiflex has developed a minimally invasive vertebrae spacer for treatment of lumbar stenosis known as the Superion Indirect Decompression System. In 2019, the company expects to reach at least $60 million in sales for this product, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015. The treatment is attractive because it is performed in an outpatient setting and requires only a minor incision that can be closed with just one suture.
Boston Scientific has agreed to pay $465 million upfront for Vertiflex and its Superion system. Additional milestone payments will also be made over the next three years depending the commercial success of the business.
Boston Scientific sees the Superion treatment as completing other approaches, including spinal cord stimulation and radiofrequency ablation. It also expands the company’s pain management offerings.