Angiodynamics Inc. has filed a lawsuit against C.R. Bard Inc., claiming the Murray Hill, N.J.-based company has violated antitrust laws with its catheter tip locators. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern New York.
Tip location systems are devices that can be used to aid health care professionals in the bed-side placement of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC).
Albany, N.Y.-based Angiodynamic's lawsuit claims that Bard has a dominant position in the tip location system market and will only sell the stylet necessary to operate its tip location systems preloaded in its PICCs, not separately which would allow any type of PICC to be used with the tip location systems.
Angiodynamics Bioflo PICCs were launched in 2012.
"Our allegation is that [Bard] is illegally tying sales of its tip location system to sales of their PICCs," Stephen Trowbridge, senior vice president and general counsel, for Angiodynamics, told Medical Device Daily. "The only way that customers can purchase Bard's Tip location system is to have it pre-packaged with their PICCs."
He added, "what we're talking about here is a practice that limits the clinician's choice for products that are best for their patient."
Bard fired back saying Angiodynamics' claims in the lawsuit had no merit.
"We strongly deny the allegations raised by Angiodynamics in their complaint," Scott Lowry, a spokesman for Bard, told Medical Device Daily. "Clinicians select Bard products based on the clinical and economic benefits they provide to patients and health care providers. We intend to vigorously defend those claims."
In a recent earnings call, Angiodynamics' CFO Michael Greiner, said the company would probably continuously see some "headwinds" in its Bioflo PICC" line, but did not elaborate on the cause.
Angiodynamic's lawsuit seeks to recover treble damages for its losses due to what it claims are Bard's violations, as well as attorneys' fees and other costs. Angiodynamics is represented by Philip Iovieno and Anne Nardacci of the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
This isn't the two companies' first legal rodeo with one another. Last year, a Delaware district court judge declined to dismiss a patent lawsuit filed against Angiodynamics Inc. by Bard. The litigation involved patents that have to do with power-injectable port products, a device installed below the skin to more easily deliver drugs. Bard argued that Angiodynamics infringed on its patents, which were issued between July 2013 and August 2014.
Bioflo was originally developed by Navilyst Medical Inc., which Angiodynamics acquired about five years ago, for $372 million. (See Medical Device Daily, Feb. 1, 2012.)
Avista Capital Partners first acquired Navilyst from Marlborough, Mass.-based Boston Scientific Corp. in 2008, and it generated sales of $149 million in calendar 2011. Back in 2008, Boston Scientific spun off Navilyst Medical, its assets consisting of Boston Scientific's old fluid management and vascular access business. (See Medical Device Daily, Aug. 5, 2008.)
Huge deal for Bard
This is a transformative time for Bard. A little more than a month ago, the company made med-tech headlines after Franklin Lakes, N.J. -based Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD) revealed it would acquire Bard for $24 billion. (See Medical Device Daily, April 25, 2017.) The deal is expected to add about $4 billion to BD's Medical revenues, giving it a stronger position in vascular access solutions, combining Bard's portfolio of catheters – including peripherally inserted central catheters, diabetes, and oncology access – with the existing portfolio of needles, syringes, IVs, and infusion pump solutions in medication delivery.
The acquisition could give Bard greater footing in Angiodynamics' antitrust lawsuit and is slated to close in the fall.