Picard Medical, Inc. announced that it will go public via a SPAC acquisition that values the company at pre-money enterprise value of $480 million. Picard Medical is the parent company of SynCardia Systems, LLC, which specializes in mechanical heart replacement technology. The deal is expected to close in Q3-Q4 of this year and the combined company will be traded on the NASDAQ.
According to the joint press release, “SynCardia manufactures, sells, and markets the world’s first and only FDA approved and commercially available Total Artificial Heart (TAH) to replace the full functions of a failing or failed human heart caused by end-stage, biventricular heart failure.” Cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death worldwide. Within the United States alone there are 6.2 million cases of heart failure each year, leading to 380,000 deaths and $30.7 billion in medical costs.
SynCardia’s technology targets end-stage heart failure, “and it is estimated that 300,000 patients currently require this treatment option. Due to a limited supply of donor hearts, little more than 3,000 (or approximately 1%) of these patients will receive a heart transplant.” The company seeks to close this wide gap between supply and demand.
Robotics and other technological replacements for human organs may become increasing common in the near future as medical professions increasingly turn to artificial means to overcome lack of donation shortfalls. 17 people die each day while waiting for a transplant, with the largest demand for kidneys, followed by livers, and then hearts.
Donation rates vary widely by country. Spain, for example, has an opt-out transplant system where the default is for an individual’s organs to be donated when they die unless they actively state otherwise. The United States, on the other hand, has an opt-in system where individuals are assumed to not be donors unless they actively state otherwise.
While many countries have switched to opt-out systems, research suggests that such measures – in isolation – are ineffective in increasing donations. In fact, the United States tied Spain in 2020, for the highest rate of deceased donation rates in 2020. The International Registry in Organ Donation and Transplantation ranks the United States highest in the world in the rate of deceased donation and rates and concludes, “The U.S. transplant system saves more lives than any other country in the world.”
According to Matterhorn’s comprehensive M&A database, which harnesses AI to track current and historical deals, Picard Medical, Inc. is advised by Winston & Strawn LLP, while the SPAC, Altitude Acquisition Corp., is advised by White & Case LLP.