SafeStitch Medical Merges With TransEnterix

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    SafeStitch Medical, Inc. (OTCBB:SFES), a Miami-based medical device company commercializing minimally invasive surgical devices, has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with TransEnterix, Inc., a privately-held Research Triangle Park, NC medical device company with advanced technology in the use of flexible devices and robotics for minimally invasive surgery. Under the terms of the merger agreement, current shareholders of SafeStitch Medical and TransEnterix will own approximately 35% and 65% of the combined company, respectively.  The structure of the transaction will be in the form of a reverse triangular merger with SafeStitch Medical as the surviving corporation and will now be headquartered in the Research Triangle Park. The combined company will continue to trade on the OTCBB under the symbol SFES initially. SafeStitch was originally founded in 2005 by Charles J. Filipi M.D. and Jeffrey G. Spragens, along with Creighton University, to develop surgical devices for minimally invasive obesity procedures.  The company’s devices are used for surgical procedures including bariatric surgery, reflux interventions, barrett’s esophagus, and hernia Repair. Commenting on the merger, Dr. Jane Hsiao, Chairwoman of SafeStitch Medical stated, “We are excited about the breadth of the management team of TransEnterix. There are compelling advantages to innovative flexible technologies and robotics for less invasive surgical interventions, such as our proprietary trans-oral device. This merger will provide greater resources to help bring the pipeline products of the combined company to market and offer our shareholders an excellent opportunity to realize significant value of their investment.” Todd M. Pope, the existing Chief Executive Officer of TransEnterix, will become the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the combined company. Paul LaViolette, the current Chairman of TransEnterix, will serve as Chairman of the combined company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Jane Hsiao, the current Chairwoman of SafeStitch Medical will remain a Director, and Dr. Phillip Frost, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of OPKO Health, Inc. will join as a Director. Mr. Pope echoed the comments, “We believe this merger will significantly enhance our ability to bring our innovative robotic surgery platform to market. Drs. Frost and Hsiao have a proven track record of driving healthcare innovation while creating significant value for shareholders. We expect the company will be at the forefront of advancements in minimally invasive surgery.” Read more here.