An Irish company will purchase Given Imaging Ltd., an Israeli firm that developed a swallowable camera to diagnose problems in the digestive tract.
Covidien Plc agreed to acquire Given Imaging from shareholders of IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. for about $860 million, it was reported Sunday. Given Imaging is the inventor of the PillCam, a swallowed optical endoscopy technology.
Covidien acquired three other Israeli medical device companies, all in 2012, according to the Israeli business daily Globes.
IDB subsidiaries Discount Investment Corp., Elron Electronic Industries and Rafael Development Corp. hold stakes in Given Imaging. The three companies were set to approve the deal on Sunday. The deal also must be approved by shareholders of Given Imaging.
Given Imaging is expecting to be approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration next year to sell PillCam Colon in the United States, according to Haaretz.
The birth of PillCam
Given Imaging was founded in 1998 by Dr. Gabi Iddan and Dr. Gavriel Meron. Iddan first conceived of PillCam while working in the missile division of Raphael (Raphael Advanced Defense Systems). Iddan envisaged the possibility of using missile technology in a miniaturized form in order to create a medical product. The PillCam capsule is 11mm x 26mm and contains a mini video camera that is equipped with a light source, batteries, radio and antenna.
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In August of this year, Given Imaging’s PillCam SB3 received FDA approval.
How does it work?
After fasting for 10 hours, patients swallow the PillCam and allow it to pass naturally through the digestive system. In the subsequent eight-hour period, PillCam transmits approximately 50,000 images via a sensor belt worn around the patient’s waist to the PillCam recorder. These images can then be downloaded and reviewed by the physician. PillCam’s technology allows physicians to visualize the small bowel, esophagus and colon, which is vital for detecting various abnormalities and diseases, such as obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB), iron deficiency anemia (IDA), Chron’s disease, esophageal varices, Barret’s esophagus and esophageal cancers.
Parts of this article were originally published on JTA
Photo: Given Imaging