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Boston Scientific Buys Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Device Maker in $275M Deal

The medical device giant expects the deal could one day be huge, entering it into a market valued between $500 million and $2 billion.

Boston Scientific Buys Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Device Maker in $275M Deal
Boston Scientific's Maple Grove facility
In a deal worth up to $275 million, Boston Scientific has purchased the developer of a micro-catheter device that collects cells from a women’s fallopian tubes, which could one day provide a pathway to faster diagnoses of ovarian cancer.
 
The device, created by California-based nVision Medical Corporation, is the first and only device of its kind on the market in the U.S.
 
Boston Scientific, one of Minnesota’s largest employers with over 7,000 staff in its local workforce, said the acquisition could bolster its urology and pelvic health portfolio in a big way.
 
“We estimate the near-term market opportunity to be $500 million with the potential to grow to $2 billion as this device is used by more gynecologists to help even more women,” said Dave Pierce, executive vice president and president of Boston Scientific’s Medical Surgery division, in a statement.
 
Among women, ovarian cancer ranks as the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. However, there are no recommended early screening tests for the disease. According to Mayo Clinic, more than two million women in the country are at high risk for developing the disease and women with ovarian cancer are often asymptomatic, or not displaying symptoms, until later in the course of the disease.
 
Additionally, most cases of ovarian cancer aren’t discovered until the third or fourth stage, a time when survival can be difficult — 30 percent at stage three and 17 percent at stage four.  
 
“I started nVision with a goal of creating a tool to address an unmet need in women’s health,” said Surbhi Sarna, the founder and CEO of nVision, in prepared remarks. Sarna added that she was proud of her company’s achievements and looked forward to working with Boston Scientific.
 
Despite the company’s sale, Sarna told Forbes she plans to remain with nVision while it’s under Boston Scientific’s control. The challenge facing nVision currently, she noted, is convincing women and their doctors that the company’s unique micro-catheter device is safe to use. Boston Scientific is planning to conduct a 120-patient study specifically to address those concerns.
 
To reduce their chances of developing ovarian cancer, many women today choose to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. Doing so, however, has been found to create cardiovascular issues and challenges in child bearing.
 
Ian Meredith, chief medical officer of Boston Scientific, said in a statement that he was hopeful that nVision’s technology could “one day may play an important role in early detection of the disease and the prevention of unnecessary surgeries.”
 
Moreover, Boston Scientific is hoping the sale will boost its urology and pelvic health division, which last year experienced a nearly 13 percent sales growth and posted $308 million in revenue.
 
To acquire nVision, Boston Scientific is paying $150 million upfront in cash. nVision stands to earn an additional $125 million from the deal if it hits certain clinical and commercial milestones over the next four years, Boston Scientific said.
 
Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific is anticipating the transaction will be immaterial on its bottom line in its 2018 and 2019 fiscal years before becoming accretive by 2020 and beyond.
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