Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) are burying the hatchet. The two healthcare companies announced in separate press releases that they have reached a settlement on a set of patent disputes centered on heart valve devices.
It puts to rest a dispute that grew increasingly hostile,after Abbott sued Edwards for patent infringement in January 2019 over the former company's MitraClip, which it describes as "the world's first transcatheter mitral valve repair therapy." The mitral valve is a gate of sorts between the left atrium and venticle of a heart; difficulties with its functioning can lead to mitral regurgitation, which is potentially fatal.
The companies -- both major players in the medical device segment -- had lawsuits pending in several jurisdictions both in this country and abroad. According to the their agreement, all such cases and appeals will be dismissed, as will any injunctions. Also, Abbott and Edwards will not sue each other over transcatheter mitral and tricuspid repair products -- the goods at the center of the dispute -- over the next 10 years.
Abbott is to receive a one-time payment, plus royalties from sales of Edwards' popular PASCAL transcatheter valve repair system through May 2014. Saying that their agreement is confidential, neither side provided the financial particulars.
Outside of its tersely worded press release, Abbott did not proffer an opinion on the settlement. Edwards wrote that it "considers this agreement a positive development, as it allows the company to fully dedicate time and resources to helping patients."
The settlement doesn't seem to have affected investor sentiment on the two companies much. Abbott shares lagged slightly behind the gains of the wider stock market on Monday, while Edwards' fell by 0.9%.