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Edwards Lifesciences looks to acquire small heart-device makers

California-based Edwards Lifesciences, the maker of artificial heart valves, may use $360m for purchases of small, heart-device making companies.

The proposal comes in the wake of its $30,000, minimally invasive Sapien heart valve’s exceptional performance in preventing 45% more deaths after one year than standard therapy in frail patients, the company said.

According to CEO Michael Mussallem, Sapien is already seeing an uptick in sales and reimbursement in large countries like Germany and France.

Sapien was approved for sale in Europe in 2007 but is still not available in the US.

Edwards hopes to gain the required approval later this year which may increase Sapien sales from $200m in 2010 to $340m in 2011.

Edwards’ ‘first use’ for the increased revenues will be acquiring technology or companies working on heart valves and related technologies, Mussallem said.