Saint Paul, Minn.-based St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) has a new subsidiary. On Monday, St. Jude announced that it has acquired Switzerland's Endosense SA, a pioneer in measuring contact force in catheter ablation, for a purchase price of $170 million up-front plus the potential for up to $161 million in subsequent milestone payments.

Exclusive of these costs, St. Jude does not expect the acquisition to affect its current-year earnings either positively or negatively.

In its press release, St. Jude quoted Mount Sinai Hospital professor Dr. Vivek Reddy as saying that Endosense's force-sensing technology "is a tremendous advancement in cardiac ablation that will potentially improve safety and efficacy, likely becoming a standard for all cardiac ablations." St. Jude further quoted Reddy as saying that in buying Endosense and its TactiCath irrigated ablation catheter, St. Jude Medical now has "a best-in-class ablation catheter."

The medical device maker said Endosense developed the TactiCath irrigated ablation catheter to give physicians an objective measure of the force they apply to the heart wall during a catheter ablation procedure. The irregular heartbeat could recur if too little force is applied, and too much force carries a risk of tissue injury, which can lead to serious complications.

St. Jude itself further noted that "the acquisition of Endosense is highly complementary to the St. Jude Medical business" and "further strengthens our industry-leading portfolio of products to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and provides an opportunity to accelerate our market share capture in the $900 million global cardiac ablation catheter market."

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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