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Covidien Acquires Pill-sized Camera Technology

Covidien is making an $860 million bet that people would much rather swallow a pill-sized camera than undergo a traditional colonoscopy.

Dublin, Ireland-based Covidien, announced over the weekend that it will pay $30 per share for Yoqneam, Israel-based Given Imaging, maker of the PillCam swallowed capsule endoscope.

PillCam Colon
The PillCam Colon won Japanese regulatory approval earlier this year, and could soon receive FDA approval.

The Japanese Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Agency earlier this year approved the PillCam Colon by Given Imaging. Armed with approval, the endoscopic pill camera will give patients an alternative to traditional colonoscopies. The device can be used to detect colon cancer in a less-invasive way compared to existing methods. Company officials previously said they expected FDA approval by the end of this year.

Given Imaging announced in August that the FDA had granted 510(k) clearance for the next generation PillCam SB 3 to detect and monitor small bowel abnormalities associated with Crohn's disease, obscure gastrointestinal bleeding and iron deficiency anemia.

"We believe GI is one of the most attractive specialty procedure areas. Acquiring Given will enable Covidien to significantly expand its presence in a $3 billion GI market," Bryan Hanson, Covidien's group president for Medical Devices and U.S., said in a news release.

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