(Globes (Tel Aviv) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 17--Itamar Medical Ltd. (TASE:ITMR) has signed an exclusive marketing agreement with Medtronic Corporation (NYSE: MDT), to market the company's sleep apnea diagnostic product to a select segment of the US market -- patients with implanted pacemakers. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The collaboration will begin as a pilot, and if it is successful, Medtronic will be awarded exclusivity for this market, and will agree to order a predetermined minimum of Itamar's products and to invest a predetermined sum in marketing.
Under the agreement, Henry Shein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), one of the leading medical devices distributors in the US, will handle the product's logistics distribution (without the marketing). Henry Shein already has a marketing agreement with Itamar Medical for dental products.
Itamar Medical has cardiology diagnostic and sleep apnea diagnostic devices; the agreement with Medtronic covers the latter. Sleep apnea worsens the condition of patients with heart problems, including patients fitted with pacemakers. Medtronic has established a strategy to offer doctors who use it products the option of providing more comprehensive care to cardiology patients, and therefore wants to offer the sleep apnea diagnostic product for these patients.
The cardiology and sleep markets overlap: sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, in which Itamar Medical specializes, can be an indication of heart disease, both as a cause and as a consequence.
The collaboration also fits in with Itamar Medical's strategy of marketing its sleep apnea products to cardiologists, at least in the US market.
Although Medtronic has held a stake in Itamar Medical since it was founded, and currently owns 21.6% of the company, this is the first time that the companies have signed a commercial agreement.
This is Itamar Medical's second agreement for its sleep apnea product in as many months, after signing an agreement with Philips Healthcare covering Japan the world's second largest sleep apnea market.
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