With an eye toward capitalizing on the potentially lucrative heart-failure market, St. Jude Medical Inc. said Tuesday it has invested $60 million in a Georgia company that has developed a wireless cardiac monitoring device.
If all goes well, Little Canada-based St. Jude could buy CardioMEMS Inc. outright for an additional $375 million if certain milestones are met. With Tuesday's news, St. Jude now owns a 19 percent stake in the Atlanta start-up.
CardioMEMS has developed a device that is inserted in the pulmonary artery during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. A sensor then transmits data about the heart's performance through an external monitor to the patient's clinic for review. If a problem is detected, including fluid buildup in the lungs, doctors can adjust medication or make other treatment decisions, often keeping the patient out of the hospital.