Transenterix Inc (TRXC) Unleashes Deal to Commercialize SurgiBot System


TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE:TRXC) has revealed that it has shaken hands with Great Belief International Limited (GBIL) to transfer SurgiBot System ownership to the Chinese firm. The intent? To take a leap towards globally commercializing the company’s single-port, robotically enhanced laparoscopic surgical platform. In reaction, shares have seen a 3% jump.

This agreement transfers ownership of the SurgiBot System assets, while the Company retains the option to distribute or co-distribute the SurgiBot System outside of China. Upon completion of the transfer of all SurgiBot System assets, GBIL will have the System manufactured in China and obtain Chinese regulatory clearance from the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”), while entering into a nationwide distribution agreement with China National Scientific and Instruments and Materials Company (CSIMC) for the Chinese market. Being the largest medical device distribution company in China, CSIMC will help GBIL maximize the commercial potential of the SurgiBot System in the Chinese market, and optimize post-sale services to Chinese hospitals. The Company retains the right to commercialize the SurgiBot System outside of China after manufacturing has been established and the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained.

The agreement provides the Company with proceeds of at least $29 million, of which $7.5 million is expected to be received by the end of December 2017 and $7.5 million is expected to be received by March 31, 2018, which includes a $3.0 million equity investment in TransEnterix common stock at $2.33 per share, a 10% premium to the closing price on the date which the agreement was executed. The remaining $14 million, representing minimum royalties, will be paid beginning on the earlier of receipt of Chinese regulatory approval or five years.

“The relationship announced today with GBIL will allow us to advance the SurgiBot System toward global commercialization while significantly reducing our required investment and simultaneously leveraging ‘in-country’ manufacturing in the world’s most populous country,” said Todd M. Pope, President and CEO at TransEnterix.

“This is a strong validation of the value of the SurgiBot platform, the world’s only abdominal surgical robot that allows surgeons to remain in the sterile field. We believe this relationship provides us with a significant opportunity to expand our product offerings of robotic solutions for hospitals and patients around the world.”

“We see a tremendous commercial opportunity for the SurgiBot System in China and are extremely enthusiastic to work with TransEnterix to bring this product to China along with the rest of the world,” said Gary Wang, President of GBIL. “The SurgiBot is unique in so many ways; we believe it can be transformational for our healthcare system.”

On the ratings front, TRXC stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 13, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rick Wise reiterated a Buy rating on TRXC, with a price target of $4, which implies an upside of 68% from current levels. Separately, on October 24, RBC’s Glenn Novarro reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Rick Wise and Glenn Novarro have a yearly average return of 11.7% and 12.7% respectively. Wise has a success rate of 67% and is ranked #445 out of 4719 analysts, while Novarro has a success rate of 75% and is ranked #190.

Overall, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 3 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $4.50 which is 89.1% above where the stock opened today.

TransEnterix, Inc. operates as a development stage medical device company. It focuses on research, development and sale of medical device robotics to improve minimally invasive surgery. It offers the Senhance Surgical Robotic System, which offers robotic surgery for laparoscopic abdominal and pelvic surgery, as well as limited thoracic operations excluding cardiac and vascular surgery, and the SurgiBot System which refers to the a single-port, robotically enhanced laparoscopic surgical platform.

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