M&A status: Potentially "acquisition ready." Patrick O'Donnell, CEO of this 2012 Fierce 15 regenerative medicine company, told us he envisions Histogenics becoming "acquisition-ready in the next three years. … We exist to be bought so I would rather be candid about it." An M&A deal could theoretically be triggered by mid-to-late 2013. That's when Histogenics hopes to submit VeriCart--a cell-free collagen scaffold designed to be used with a patient's own stem cells to repair small cartilage defects in meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament repair procedures--for CE mark approval. Smaller companies are viable acquisition targets when their products become marketable, and Histogenics even has a second one in the mix: NeoCart, a cartilage tissue implant that uses the patient's own cells to regenerate cartilage for patients with cartilage lesions in the knee. NeoCart is in the midst of a Phase III trial. What's more, the company is well funded to enable it to finish its clinical and regulatory work, having completed a $49 million Series A financing round in July designed to recapitalize operations.

Likely acquirers: Analysts see orthopedics companies as ripe for consolidation, especially in the face of healthcare reform and the pressures on cost and pricing that the Affordable Care Act creates. That means Histogenics could be a target among orthopedics companies seeking to strengthen their pipeline and also form economies of scale in the months ahead.

For more:
Special Report: Histogenics – 2012 Fierce 15
Histogenics reels in $49M Series A for tissue engineering implants