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St. Jude Medical acquires wireless pacemaker company

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On Monday, St. Jude Medical announced the acquisition of Nano­stim Inc. The Star Tribune reports deal has been in the works for a while. St. Jude paid $123.5 million to Nanostim shareholders, with another $65 million in cash to come.

The newspaper said that the acquisition brings St. Jude a pacemaker that is remarkable for its compactness--it's described as being about the size of a AAA battery. The device is also revolutionary because it doesn't have wires, often called leads.

The Wall Street Journal's StreetWatch said California-based Nanostim is a closely held company. It reported that Nanostim's device is less than 10 percent the size of a conventional pacemaker. It can be delivered via a steerable catheter through the femoral vein. That eliminates the need to surgically create a pocket for the pacemaker and insulated wires that have been the most vulnerable component of pacing systems.

The Associated Press adds that St. Jude Medical has received European approval to market the Nanostim pacemaker.St. Jude is expected to start clinical trials of the device in the U.S. next year. Such testing is required before Food and Drug Administration can be sought.

Nanostim and its 45 employees will become a part of St. Jude’s implantable electronic systems division. The Little Canada-based company has about 16,000 employees worldwide, with 2,500 of them in Minnesota.

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