Quebec City, Quebec, April 15, 2014 – Opsens Inc. (“Opsens” or “the Company”) (TSX-V: OPS) is pleased to announce it has entered into an Amended and Restated Co-Development Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Abiomed, Inc. (“Abiomed”) in connection with its miniature optical pressure sensor technology for applications in circulatory assist devices, such Agreement replacing the Co-Development Agreement initially entered into in January 2010.
Pursuant to this Agreement, Opsens will supply the sub-assembly of its miniature optical pressure sensor to be integrated in Abiomed’s circulatory assist devices, including the Impella® line of heart pumps until September 2018. Opsens has granted Abiomed an exclusive worldwide license to integrate its miniature pressure sensor in connection with Abiomed’s circulatory assist devices. Under the agreement, Abiomed will pay Opsens an aggregate amount of US$6 million. US$1.5 million is payable upon closing, while the balance will be disbursed based on the achievement of certain milestones, such as the meeting of certain performance requirements, the filing of a regulatory application, the obtaining of a regulatory approval and the transfer of manufacturing to Abiomed.
Opsens remains focused on its applications to measure FFR
The granting of license to Abiomed upon such terms is part of the Company’s strategy to grant to its partners the exploitation of its sensors in certain specific fields while directing its focus on the launch of its products for the FFR market. “The granting of this license enables Opsens to capitalize on its work with Abiomed over the years, while concentrating maximum efforts toward the FFR market, where the Company identifies an opportunity for exceptional growth,” said Louis Laflamme, President and Chief Executive Officer of Opsens.
Laflamme emphasized that Opsens is proud to partner with Abiomed in this project, stating: “We believe this partnership will highlight the benefits of Opsens optical technology for applications in cardiology.”
“Abiomed is committed to providing continuous enhancements to our Impella platform to help our customers strive to achieve optimal patient outcomes,” said Michael R. Minogue, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Abiomed. “This exclusive licensing agreement between the Opsens and Impella technologies offers the ability to understand the role of myocardial unloading and wall tension, as well as the impact of recovery under a future ‘smart’ pumping algorithm.”
Opsens’ getting closer to its goal of launching its FFR products in early 2015
The market for FFR measurement for patients with coronary heart disease was estimated at more than US$250 million in 2013 and continues to grow at a rate of 15-17% annually. The industry players estimate the market will reach US$1 billion in the foreseeable future.
Opsens aims to carve a place for itself in the growing market of FFR measurement with its OptoWire, a nitinol-based guidewire integrating its innovative optical sensor for measuring pressure in the circulatory system.
The OptoWire is designed to provide cardiologists with a pressure guidewire to navigate in the coronary arteries to reach blockages with ease, while measuring intra-coronary arterial pressure. Opsens’ OptoWire also stands out because of its insensitivity to the adverse effects associated with contact to blood and its ability to provide an accurate and reliable measure of pressure.
Opsens has filed for regulatory approval in Japan. In the coming weeks, the Company expects to file its FFR applications with regulatory authorities in the United States, Canada and Europe. In addition to seeking regulatory approval, Opsens is preparing to perform its first in-human study using its FFR products. Opsens believes that this study will educate users about its products and could promote acceptance in the future.
About Opsens Inc. (www.opsens.com)
Focusing on two main growth markets, oil and gas and FFR in medical instrumentation, Opsens develops, manufactures and installs systems to measure pressure, temperature and others parameters using fiber optic sensing technologies. These systems are designed around patented technologies that are effective and durable in extreme conditions.
Forward-looking statements contained in this press release involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance and achievements of Opsens to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the said forward-looking statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information, please contact:
Thierry Dumas, CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer, 418.682.9996
Louis Laflamme, CPA, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer, 418.682.9996