LifeTech Scientific Corporation (LifeTech, 01302.HK) announced that it has extended its agreements with Medtronic to further the strategic collaboration on the “HeartTone™ domestic pacemaker project” and to start the collaboration on domestically-made MRI-conditional pacemakers. Together with MRI-conditional leads, these products will address growing MRI-related therapeutic needs in China.
The agreements also include the extension of the partnership on the “HeartTone™ domestic pacemaker project” to 2028. Similar to its collaboration on the first generation of HeartTone™ pacemakers, Medtronic will provide a series of specialized technical consulting services for the MRI-conditional products project.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is recognized as the “gold standard” in diagnosis of tumors, neurological diseases, and chondropathy. However, strong magnetic field environment during an MRI scan can have adverse effects on non-MRI conditional pacemakers, which may cause serious conditions such as myocardial damage and arrhythmias in patients. Therefore, patients with non-MRI conditional pacemaker have long been prohibited from MRI scan.
According to statistics, there is over a million of patients needing a pacemaker in China. The demand for MRI scan from patients with bradycardia is increasing as society ages. MRI-conditional pacemakers can meet the demand for MRI scans of patients with implanted pacemaker. Meanwhile, implanting MRI-conditional cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIED) has been upgraded to Class I recommendation according to the 2021 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines on cardiac pacing and cardiac resynchronization therapy. However, only imported MRI-conditional pacemakers are currently available in China. The collaboration between LifeTech and Medtronic will change this landscape once the MRI-conditional products are approved by NMPA.
“This collaboration between LifeTech and Medtronic represents a remarkable step forward in localizing pacing products for China market”, said Mr. Xie Yuehui, Chairman and CEO of LifeTech. “With Medtronic’s world-leading technology and LifeTech’s expertise in China market, plus a long-term collaboration with Medtronic in pacing products for China market, we are pretty confident and are expecting LifeTech MRI-conditional products to soon become a choice of selection by China patients with internationally advanced technology and superior quality, thereby making advanced domestic cardiac pacing therapies more accessible.”
“Medtronic and LifeTech have been partnering for nearly a decade, and in that time, we have successfully expanded access to pacemakers in China, via the HeartTone pacemaker,” said Mike Marinaro, president of Medtronic Cardiac Rhythm Management. “We are pleased to extend our collaboration by adding the development of domestically made MRI-conditional pacemakers for the Chinese market.”
LifeTech began its strategic relationship with Medtronic, Inc. in pacemaker product development since 2014. In December 2017, LifeTech’s HeartTone™ brand implantable cardiac pacemakers were successfully launched in the Chinese market with accompanying leads and programmers, providing a complete resolution for China patients. This latest collaboration will further meet the fast-growing demand for MRI-conditional cardiac pacing therapies in China, benefiting patients who suffer from bradycardia.