M&A status: Reportedly available. Last month, Israeli news outfit Ynetnews cited anonymous sources saying Japan's Sysmex Corporation was in talks to buy Dune Medical Devices for $200 million. The company has declined to comment on the rumor, and that's the last anyone has heard.
It's easy to see the allure. Dune's lead device, MarginProbe, is designed to minimize the need for repeat operations after breast-conservation surgeries by detecting the presence of cancer at or near the surface of excised tissue, and a recent study found that it cut the rate of re-excision by about 50%. Dune is right on the verge of FDA approval, getting an approvable letter from the agency this week, tasking it with designing a postapproval study before a final green light. Investigators and physicians have been ecstatic about the device, saying it promises to save patients money and stress by reducing the amount of procedures required in common lumpectomies. The device is already available in Europe.
Likely acquirers: Sysmex, of course, tops the list, assuming there's truth to the rumor, but Dune could also be attractive to GE Healthcare ($GE). The conglomerate has a huge presence in the cancer-imaging world, bolstered by its recent buyout of U-Systems and its FDA-approved ultrasound breast-scan system, and MarginProbe could take advantage of its established sales network. Navidea Biopharmaceuticals ($NAVB), if it has the cash, could benefit too. The company has made its name in imaging, but recent regulatory woes in getting its Lymphoseek cancer diagnostics tool on the market have dampened revenue, and MarginProbe could be just the ticket to a brighter future.
Dune Medical ticks toward FDA approval for MarginProbe
Report: Sysmex eyes Dune Medical for $200M
Study: Dune's MarginProbe cuts down on repeat cancer surgery