St. Jude Medical
is launching a new family of heart devices in the U.S. now that the Food and Drug Administration has followed its European counterpart in giving the green light to the Victory product line.
Pacemakers built on the St. Paul, Minn., company's Victory platform will be immediately available for use in the U.S. The FDA approved the Victory on Tuesday. The platform received European clearance late last year.
Pacemakers are electrical devices that deliver a pulse to the upper chambers of the heart as therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation, a disease characterized by a very fast, uncontrolled heart rhythm. Studies conducted by St. Jude have shown that excessive ventricular pacing may contribute to heart failure in some patients, so the new devices are also designed to minimize heart pacing.
Devices based on the Victory platform are preprogrammed, have optimized settings that allow for speedy exams following implantation and promote a more natural heart function, the company said in a press release.
"We expect that physicians and patients will respond enthusiastically to the Victory pacemaker family because this next generation of devices combines the highest level of performance with important time-saving benefits," said Michael Coyle, head of St. Jude's cardiac-rhythm management group.
St. Jude has been mentioned in recent months as a possible acquisition target. Speculation heated up while health care giant
Johnson & Johnson
and heart-device maker
were battling to acquire
. After Boston won the bidding war, analysts identified St. Jude and
as companies J&J might be interested in trying to buy.