After serving as its exclusive distributor for years, Olympus is picking up a minimally invasive therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—as well as its manufacturer—to expand its urologic portfolio to treat the widespread condition.
Olympus first invested in Israel-based devicemaker Medi-Tate in 2018 to support its flagship iTind system—an in-office treatment for BPH that boasts a CE mark plus a de novo clearance from the FDA. Those investments included an option to buy the company, which began its U.S. commercial launch late last year.
Working like a large stent, the nitinol iTind device is temporarily implanted in the urinary tract by a catheter. There, it expands to help relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, such as a loss of bladder control. It’s removed after five to seven days, leaving behind a reshaped channel for urine to flow.
Unlike some of Olympus’ other BPH treatments, including resectoscopes and electrodes, the iTind device does not rely on tissue ablation or removal, allowing patients’ prostates to maintain sexual function.
According to Olympus’ chief operating officer and U.S. division CEO, Nacho Abia, the buyout advances the company’s plans to bolster its core offerings in urology, gastrointestinal conditions and respiratory endotherapy—the last of which got a boost from a $340 million Veran Medical Technologies buyout late last year, and the subsequent rollout of its first single-use, disposable bronchoscopes.
The financial terms of the Medi-Tate deal weren’t disclosed. In the marketplace, the iTind device matches up with at least two other outpatient device treatments for BPH, including Butterfly Medical’s permanent dilation implant and Teleflex’s suturing UroLift procedure. All three are designed to be performed as a one-day treatment in a physician’s office or an ambulatory surgical center.
Noncancerous BPH is one of the most common conditions in aging men—with swelling of the prostate affecting nearly 80% in their lifetimes, according to the American Urological Association. Before the advent of minimally invasive devices, BPH was typically treated with medication and surgery.