Mojo, CRDC had used US distributors like SutureExpress in past for Pas port and ceased the contracts when they hired Chris Little and 4 sales reps. Don't think they would revisit this once again as they know they need reps that can clinical sell to surgeons in an OR. Distributor reps carry many products and are not clinical experts. They can drop off a brochure and provide pricing, but the clinical selling is best served by a direct trained sales rep. The exchange 30 is technical product that will need strong clinical sales reps to give the surgeons the confidence they need to take the device in areas they were used to using a competitive device or to new areas they only hand sutured.
Based on Cardica's redchip cc I believe they pushed their target date for CE mark on the Exch45 to "first half of next year"2014 and it was my interpretation that they meant calendar year not fiscal. Their presentation in Nov12 had the target date as Q3 2013 which would have been in the next 8 weeks roughly. It will be nice to see them get a device approved that would greatly expand their procedure capability.
As for the distribution I am no expert. If they did go that route it would be at the cost of margins. If they go it alone they would need to recruit some serious marketing/sales talent. I believe breaking into the market in this sector with these devices could be as challenging if not more so than actually making them. Since Cardica is not funded to load up on marketing and sales I would guess they are either planning to use distributor of get into a marketing agreement with an established partner. I think the second option would get a faster sales ramp. Again I am no expert and this only my opinion.
From AMC S1 as someone noted here, I dont believe AMC has enough funds to buy Cardica with taking on debt and a significant amount of it.....again this comes with assumptions that the CRDC insiders want a certain dollar amount in sale....which I wont speculate on here. AMC does need a stapler though so I would think they would want to partner.....
As fo rother potential suiters in buyout....off the top of my head I can think of Teleflex, Ethicon, Covidien, Medtronic, Smith Med, Baird, BD....anybody in the sector really. As for the big 2 I think it is more difficult for them to justify the investment because in some ways it would cannabalize theri own sales....so the return on investment is harder to justify whereas a suiter with no current market shrare has everything to gain. So I dont think its a good investment for the big 2. As a defensive move maybe but again its about return on investment and predicting market loss is not easy.
Good thoughts Getitidone, well put. As to your thoughts on ROI for the big two, I would tend to think NPV of the options going forward might be a more powerful way to look at this. Given the patent expiration of the current stapler technology in two years and the possibility of margin reductions to keep new entrants at bay or else fight them if they do come in, they both would consider the higher margins of the improved Cardica technology to counter the lower cost commoditization of the current stapler. When this approach is used, the purchasing of Cardica is not viewed as cannibalization but a means to maintain their current margins.