Irish health care products company Covidien will be acquiring Israeli medical tech company Given Imaging in a multi-million dollar deal that will expand Covidien’s reach in the gastrointestinal diagnostic market.
The deal, which is expected to total around $860 million, was announced last week but most likely won’t be completed until March 31, reports The New York Times.
“We believe GI is one of the most attractive specialty procedure areas. Acquiring Given will enable Covidien to significantly expand its presence in a $3 billion GI market,” said Bryan Hanson, Group President, Medical Devices & U.S., Covidien in a press release on the Covidien website.
“Adding Given’s portfolio of diagnostics to our portfolio accelerates Covidien’s strategy of providing physicians with products that support the patient along the care continuum from diagnosis to treatment. It also confirms our leadership in developing less-invasive screening, diagnosis and treatment solutions that can improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.”
Founded in 1998, Given Imaging is perhaps best known for its innovative PillCam, a miniature camera capsule that can be swallowed, potentially allowing doctors a less-invasive option to view the intestinal tract, reports Haaretz. The technology for the camera was based on tech used for guided missiles.
The PillCam was heralded as the future of colon cancer testing when it was first introduced, with Given Imaging boasting that the capsule would one day displace the invasive colonoscopy screening process, per Haaretz.
Taking about half an hour, the colonoscopy – in which a thin tube with a camera attached is inserted into a patient’s anus – is recommended for adults over the age of 50, reports Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Johns Hopkins notes that research suggests men and women of African-American or Eastern European/Jewish descent are more likely to develop colon cancer than other ethnic groups.
Although it now appears unlikely that the PillCam will be able to completely take the place of the ubiquitous colonoscopy, the deal with Covidien suggests the Dublin-based company has faith in the camera’s prospects.
Covidien will offer to buy all of Given’s shares for $30 apiece, including shares traded both on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, notes Haaretz.