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Siemens Healthineers, Imricor form strategic partnership

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Siemens Healthineers and Imricor Medical Systems will work together to develop an integrated solution for treating arrhythmia.

The just-announced strategic partnership will bring together real-time MR scans and 3-D-guided cardiac ablation, both companies said in a joint statement.

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The partnership "is changing the way we look at ablation and its resulting physiological effects for higher precision and better treatment outcomes," Dr. Philipp Fischer, head of Cardiology at Siemens Healthineers, stated.

The aim is to develop MR-compatible devices able to interpret the data on cardiac conduction, morphological substrates and individual patient anatomy, leading to improved outcomes, the companies stressed.

“We look forward to providing patients and physicians with MR-compatible devices from Imricor that are fully integrated with Siemens' iCMR-EP labs around the world,” said Steve Wedan, CEO of Imricor Medical Systems, adding that the companies share a common goal to “unlock the potential of interventional MR for electrophysiology by providing better, faster, and less expensive treatment options."

If plans are successful the approach could potentially allow electrophysiologists to use MR-generated soft-tissue information to treat heart arrhythmia, thereby reducing radiation exposure to the patient.

Electrophysiology permits the treatment of complex arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia by inserting a special catheter into the heart to treat a cardiac conduction defect, a technique that demands the best imaging possible.

“This technology will enable more detailed insights into the target anatomy and tissue properties, and holds the potential to improve clinical outcomes in arrhythmia therapy," suggested Dr. Christoph Zindel, senior vice president and general manager of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Siemens Healthineers. "Together with our partner Imricor, we are committed to further developing EP solutions for the benefit of the rising population of arrhythmia patients."

Imricor Medical Systems is a privately held company that focuses on MR-compatible systems and devices.

The Healthineers have also been in the news lately concerning their ultimate separation from Siemens AG.

Last week, Ralf Thomas, chief financial officer, told Bloomberg TV that while Siemens is “well advanced” with its plans to split off its Healthineers, the method of achieving independence for the $15 billion health care business is not yet certain.

“We have been preparing all the decisive steps and we are following three very interesting alternatives.”

The most apparent options include a regular initial public offering, a spinoff, or a reverse initial public offering involving a merger with an already-listed company. But the exact nature of the structure of the deal has never been discussed by the industrial giant – although it had suggested that it would keep control.

Bloomberg Intelligence has put the value of a classic initial public offering at roughly $33 billion to over $40 billion.

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