Before we discuss this major technology shift, we need to add an important footnote: the company we discuss, Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME OTC: IMEXF), just announced approval of human testing for their product.
See the news release:(1)
Imagin Medical’s stock has not noticeably changed, likely because the news is so new and hasn’t been publicized except to peers in the medical industry.
Companies in the unique position of being in clinical testing with a breakthrough product who are virtually unknown don’t come along every day. We urge our readers to carefully consider that there are few public medical companies this operationally advanced – including in human testing with a fully patented medical system – but trading at pennies per share.
Imagin Medical is a Revolution in The Making
Can you remember the last time you watched a low-res, cathode ray TV? You might or you may be too young to have even experienced that ancient technology. But you certainly can remember experiencing the clarity and detail that came to life when you saw your first HD movie on a 1080i flat screen… and perhaps more recently when you saw an Ultra-High-Definition 4K TV at full resolution.
That is the kind of difference that Imagin Medical Inc. is bringing to the medical imaging and diagnostics market for the treatment of one of the most widespread and costly forms of disease: bladder cancer.
And that’s why its diagnostic system can revolutionize treatment.
Imagin Medical Inc. is an emerging medical imaging company that we think could make a fortune for investors who take advantage of its early stage development. We view this as a biotech style breakthrough without the many hurdles associated with biotech development and with a direct path to product sales as early as 2019.
Medical Imaging’s New Reality
Just as the other digital technologies have been advancing in leaps and bounds, so too has medical imaging. You’ve probably noticed this everywhere from your dentist’s chair, where x-rays now arrive on the screen, to orthoscopic surgery as an in-patient or even in a small clinic. Medical imaging and the diagnostics that it supports are being totally transformed.
There are powerful, new technologies and techniques that are being adopted almost daily. A select few companies have taken the opportunity to draw on the new capabilities and are developing patented approaches that can forever change the way that diseases are diagnosed and treated.
This is the calling of Imagin Medical Inc. and their i/Blue™ Imaging System for the imaging and treatment of tumors targeting bladder cancer.
You won’t likely know about Imagin Medical yet. Their patented i/Blue™ Imaging System just passed through the prototype stage and is about to go into human testing. For our readers, that’s a good thing. Since it’s not widely known, you can accumulate stock at pennies a share– well before the wider market takes notice and creates demand.
We’ve spelled out why we think the situation is a great opportunity that holds the potential for big profits.
One Hundred Times More Accurate at Visualizing Tumors
Imagin Medical is the developer of the i/Blue™ Imaging System to help detect bladder cancer and reduce its recurrence by dramatically improving the urologist’s ability to visualize, identify and then remove cancerous cells.
Here’s how the technology works:
With the development of compact color video cameras over 30 years, urologists have adopted endoscopes (or cystoscopes) combined with white light and video imaging to visualize the interior of the human bladder in order to detect cancer.
Using this technology, providers established that malignant lesions may not be visible and not detected during endoscopic examination alone. So in 2010, the FDA approved a combination of fluorescing drugs and specialized blue light imaging to improve the visualization of tumors.
Bladder cancer tumor, visualized through an endoscope using white light (left image) and blue light using Photocure’s chemical agent called Cysview®* (right image)
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Without question, this method produces better visualization and detection of malignant lesions. However, the available technology has several issues that are slowing the wide adoption of this technology.
The main drawbacks besides an inability to more accurately visualize the tumors, are the time needed to absorb fluorescing drugs and the inability to view multiple perspectives of the bladder at the same time.
Imagin Medical’s i/Blue™ patented computer technology, white light and near-infrared fluorescence overcomes all of these shortfalls.
The company’s approach allows the system to accurately image in less than 15 minutes vs. the one-hour period required to metabolize the drug using conventional fluorescing.
Current imaging technology offers only blue filtered images showing a highlighted fluorescence image of the cancer, but without a precise indication of where it is located in the bladder. To see that, the surgeon needs a white light only view to show the full landscape of the bladder, causing them to have to switch back and forth between the white and blue light images on separate systems.
Imagin Medical’s computer application cleans, reprocesses, blends and displays the image of the bladder and cancer onto a single monitor at the same time.
Most importantly, Imagin’s i/Blue™ system increases sensitivity for detecting the cancer specific contrast agent by 5 orders of magnitude or in terms of visibility, 100,000X.
This advancement in sensitivity is vitally important because it improves the surgeon’s ability to detect even flat cancers and to visualize their margins for more complete removal. Ultimately this can dramatically reduce the risk of recurrence, slowing the progression of the disease.(2)
Simply a Better Solution: Less Invasive, Less Costly, More Effective
Advancements in medical technology are crucial, but if they are impractical or too expensive, they simply won’t find their way into the medical system. It’s a fact.
What’s really exciting about the i/Blue™ System is its ability to improve results, simplify procedures, save time, and save money. And in the healthcare system, that is always going to be a major factor.
With a shorter period to review initial diagnostics (roughly 1/3 previous requirements), the time savings is expected to increase the efficiency of the Operating Room markedly. Since it is minimally invasive, the i/Blue™ System will also enable diagnostic and surgical procedures to be performed in the less expensive physician’s office for follow-up exams.
In the end, the recurring nature of the bladder cancer due to missed or undetected tumor removal has made it the most expensive form out of treatable cancers.
Through more effective diagnostics and vastly improved imaging, the i/Blue™ system can have a profound impact on the outcomes from surgery to remove tumors and thereby seriously reduce the cost of treatment or re-treatment.
The i/Blue™ System is such a giant leap forward in the medical imaging space that it qualifies as a disruptive technology
Heavyweights in The Field Doing What They Do Best
Imagin Medical’s products are based on the technology invented by Dr. Stavros Demos at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
Dr. Demos worked in collaboration with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dr. Ralph deVere White, one of the world’s leading authorities on bladder cancer, for more than five years to determine the system’s feasibility.
Imagin Medical has now licensed the technology from LLNL and moved the final stages of development to the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE).
We don’t often detail the backgrounds of management, but in this case we think it’s important to understand the professional level of the team responsible for the current and future path of Imagin Medical and its’ i/Blue™ technology.
Imagin’s management have successfully forwarded numerous products and valuable research to the medical field over their lengthy careers including:
Dr. Stavros G. Demos is the technical advisor to the company. He is a prolific inventor and scholar, as well as a laser materials expert. Companies using his technologies include Muse Microscopy, Near Infrared Imaging, and Biosense/Webster. Dr. Demos holds 20 patents and has published more than 115 scholarly journal articles.
Dr. Stavros is the original inventor of the i/Blue™ system and is continuing to work with Imagin in developing the technology. Imagin has an agreement with UC Davis and the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics where Dr. Demos continues to support Imagin’s development team through clinical evaluations and into commercialization.
Dr. Ralph deVere White who serves as Imagin’s Medical Advisor, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on bladder cancer. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He is also the director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor of urology at the university. He will actively consult with the Imagin team about bladder cancer.
Rounding out this impressive group is Dr. Edward Messing, Chief of Urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Dr. Messing is a renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the bladder, prostate, kidney, and other genitourinary organs. He has conducted extensive research in the basic biology of bladder and prostate cancers and has been the principal investigator on numerous clinical studies for the detection, prevention and treatment of genitourinary cancers.
Drs. Demos and deVere White continue to the lead in the guidance of testing and development of the i/Blue™ System. Dr. Messing will sponsor the Clinical Research Study at the
University of Rochester using i/Blue Technology.(3)
Bladder Cancer is the 6th Largest Cancer Market
Imagin Medical participates in the enormous medical imaging, diagnostics and treatment market. The US spends $4.5 billion per year on imaging alone. The diagnostic imaging segment has seen continual growth based on the increasing number of patients, as well as an increasing demand for minimally invasive surgery, which requires precise imaging.
Increasing investments from public-private organizations; growth in the number of diagnostic imaging centers; rising prevalence of cancer; increasing geriatric population and the subsequent growth in the incidence of various diseases; technological advancements in diagnostic imaging modalities; and increasing preference for minimally invasive treatments all drive the growth of this market.
More specifically, the i/Blue™ System is targeted initially at imaging and treatment of bladder cancer.
This year, an estimated 79,030 adults (60,490 men and 18,540 women) will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States. It is estimated that 16,870 deaths from this disease will occur this year.
The treatment of bladder cancer is the most expensive form of cancer to treat, accounting for cumulative costs of $4 billion or about 3.2% of all cancer care each year. It is the sixth largest market for cancer treatment and yet treatment approaches have not changed significantly over the past 25 years.
Healthcare providers and the medical system are desperately seeking ways to reduce the cost of treatment for bladder cancer and provide better, more effective diagnostics and monitoring, since it often requires multiple treatments and continuous follow up over its course. (4)
Potential for Additional Applications Adds Major Value
While Imagin is initially focusing on the bladder cancer imaging market, the company expects that its dual-light, single-screen imaging system will set new standards of care for doctors and surgeons in detecting many other kinds of cancers and conditions.
These may include laparoscopic (general and gynecology), colorectal and thoracic procedures related to cancer and non-cancerous conditions.
According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Medical Imaging market is accounted for $29.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $45.1 billion by 2022. (5)
The US represents the largest market where each day 10,000 people turn 65 years old. The impact of The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is also providing access to additional services like imaging for more of the population.
The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing area. This region is driven by the massive population base and the many environmental health issues created by rapid industrialization.
China is evolving into a massive market for healthcare products in dire need of effective diagnostics and treatments. This one market alone is a potential gold mine for IME to expand the application of its patented technology.
FEATURE STOCK: FOR COMPARISON
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The Winners: Too Late For Mass Gains, But Good To Study
These stocks represent some of the biggest winners in the healthcare sector over the last several years. These are large cap stocks, but they are evidence of just how well the industry has performed as a whole and offer insight into the kind of mammoth companies who could look to acquire a well positioned company like Allied Health Care Products.
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Our Recommendation: We Give IME Our Strongest BUY Rating
It’s hard not to be impressed by what you see when drill down into Imagin Medical Inc. This is a pure execution play.
By that we mean, the research and development is all but complete and the technology is proven very effective for diagnostics in treating bladder cancer. This removes massive risk for investors.
Imagin Medical’s i/Blue™ technology is also patented. So the company has the ability to build, license or sell its technology and retain all of the value in what is almost certain to be a disruptive technology.
And speaking of acquisitions, it’s pretty common for medical device companies to grow by acquisition, not organically. We see that as a real possibility as IME goes through its human testing recently announced. A lot of attention will come to the product and company as results are published through the National Institute of Health.
The other major risk factor with emerging medical device or technology companies is having the management needed to “get it done”. By their credentials, the team is truly outstanding. They are leaders in their respective fields who have demonstrated their ability to successfully bring medical devices and new technologies to market before.
The market for the effective treatment of bladder cancer is large and growing worldwide. Imagin Medical can potentially offer one of the only major improvements and cost-effective solutions that the market is seeking right now.
Companies that can deliver breakthroughs for healthcare products and services are expected to continue to be very attractive. That goes for the so called “killer B’s” in our summary (Baxter, B&D and Boston Scientific), and for the small companies with disruptive technologies and a strategic pathway to revenue, including Imagin Medical Inc.
It’s still unknown whether the Trump version of the Affordable Healthcare Act will deliver on the proposed tax cuts that could give the medical device industry a big boost. We will have to wait and see. Based on the industry’s current strong performance, that really doesn’t appear to be a deal breaker.
Let’s face it, if you are dealing with bladder cancer or might face it in the future, you really want Imagin Medical Inc. to succeed. We all might get a big benefit for backing them in the developing stages.
USA News Group
(1) Imagin Medical news release – https://finance.yahoo.com/news/imagin-medical-receives-approval-1st-212242836.html
(2) Technology efficacy – https://imaginmedical.com/technology/
(3) Clinical Research Study – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03058705?term=imagin+medical&rank=1
(4) The excessive cost of early Stage Bladder Cancer – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/cncr.25227/asset/25227_ftp.pdf;jsessionid=CD2167D8CD074FB3B7C56B4B0F887379.f03t04?v=1&t=j8kvn488&s=7e17361d0151c457c6b8db3bd0137c891c49ecec
(5) Market for Imaging – https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/diagnostic-imaging-market.asp
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