From the SEC 8-K:
On March 25, 2015, management of Cardica, Inc. committed Cardica to a corporate restructuring and layoff in which Cardica will be reducing its headcount by 15 people from 63 to 48 across all departments except research and development. Most actions were taken March 25, 2015, and management anticipates that all layoffs will occur by March 31, 2015. Cardica expects that the charges to be incurred in connection with the corporate restructuring and layoff will be approximately $200,000, all of which will be cash expenditures and all of which will be severance and termination costs.
Cardica is engaging in the restructuring to conserve cash, in order to use its capital in the most efficient way and to more appropriately match its use of cash with its stage of development. Cardica’s decision to engage in the corporate restructuring and layoff resulted from necessary improvements required for the MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 blue cartridge, which are expected to take approximately four to six months to complete, as well as the pursuit of a 510(k) clearance to gain a vascular application use in the United States.
If Cardica R&D can increase the tissue range capability Cardica will survive in spite of the activist nonsense. If not, microcutter sales will be very modest and not enough to keep the company afloat. All in my humble opinion.
Since we have to wait till the earnings release for management to tells us if they figured out how to increase the tissue thickness capability, some holders got scared by the uncertainty and sold their shares.
A problem with activist investors is they think they have to take action, in this case, to see some heads roll, much like a Maya sacrifice to make it rain, when in reality the best course of action would have been to let R&D solve the engineering problems, without meddling from incompetent board members.
Not a slam dunk yet. From Cardica's September 29 press release regarding enhanced capability in thick tissue, Bern University said that it "improves the likelihood that we would select the XCHANGE 30 over another surgical stapler, particularly in confined spaces." I wish Bern University had instead said the they would ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY select the XChange 30 over other staplers in confined spaces.
Here's a list of Cardica inventors I found on the US Patent Office website with Cardica as the patent assignee. I'd love to see Cardica succeed and disrupt the stapling market.
Clauson; Luke W.; (Redwood City, CA)
Knodel; Bryan D.; (Flagstaff, AZ)
Hausen; Bernard A.; (Redwood City, CA)
Motooka; Cara C. H.; (Sunnyvale, CA) ;
Donohoe; Brendan M.; (Fairfax, CA)
Fernandez; Anthony J.; (San Carlos, CA)
Schaller; David T.; (Redwood City, CA)
Manoux; Philipe R.; (Oakland, CA)
Park; Jinhoon; (Mountain View, CA)
Matthias; Benjamin J.; (Emerald Hills, CA)
Thompson; Bennie; (Cincinnati, OH)
Cardica has been left for dead. Retail investors, who post the most on this message board have given up and have gone elsewhere to lick their wounds. Volume is drying up. We'll probably get the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" phenomena, where investors won't believe Hausen when he tells them that the microcutter is ready for a broad marketing launch. But that is contingent on increasing the tissue thickness capability. Can they do that?
Covidien uses a stepped cartridge face to increase their tissue thickness range.
There is a really cool video on Youtube.
Go to Youtube and search for "Covidien Redefines Surgical Stapling with Introduction of New Tri-Staple"
And I thought FDA clearance was the last hurdle to marketing. Was I naïve. Surgeons see the Blue cartridge on the 5 mm wide Microcutter and EXPECT it to handle thick tissue like a Blue cartridge on a 12 mm wide Ethicon stapler. Cardica is attempting to meet those EXPECTations. We are uncertain about whether or not Cardica can get closer to surgeon's expectations and the stock price reflects that. In addition to problems with thicker tissue, we are uncertain about whether or not Cardica can solve the bleeding problem with thin vascular tissue when using the white cartridge. As they say, investors don't like uncertainty.
According to the earnings conference call, there is an "unacceptable bleeding rate" in thin vascular tissue when using the white cartridge. My solution would be to modify the staple. Make the small spike in the middle of the staple blunt instead of sharp so that it pinches instead of stabbing the tissue. If that isn't enough to reduce the bleeding rate, then add a second blunted spike to the staple. Changing the staple form would probably require FDA clearance, but if it stops bleeding, then it will be worth it.