Today, The Wall Street Transcript (TWST) announced the publication of its Medical Research, Diagnostic Substances & Life Science Tools Report, which offers a comprehensive review of the sector to investors and industry executives. The special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers.
Companies include: AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN); Lab Corp. (NYSE: LH); Medtronic (NYSE: MDT); Abbott (NYSE: ABT); Agilent (NYSE: A); Alexion (NASDAQ: ALXN); Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX); Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY); Amerisource (NYSE: ABC); Amylin (NASDAQ: AMLN); Array (NASDAQ: ARRY); Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC); Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB); Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ: BRKR); CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS); Cardinal (NYSE: CAH); Catalyst Health Solutions (NASDAQ: CHSI); and many more.
TWST provided a brief excerpt of the in depth interview conducted with Michael W. Brennan, Chairman and president of Micro Imaging Technology, Inc. During the interview, Mr. Brennan discussed the outlook for his company for investors.
The excerpt is provided below:
TWST: Briefly, what does the technology do?
Mr. Brennan: It has a capability of identifying any microbe, which includes all bacteria – fungi, spores, mold and anything that’s in the microbe range. The bacteria family is the largest family of living organisms in the world. Some are good and some are very bad. We have proven through two world-renowned independent testing laboratories that we have that capability, and we’ve been certified by the only certifying body in the world, AOAC, that these tests are almost instantaneous and at an unbelievably low cost per test. When I say almost instantly, we’ve proven that we can do a bacteria test within five minutes of getting a sample, and it’s somewhere in the order of only $0.10 a cost per test.
So those are the quantitative components that we’re bring to the market. And we absolutely believe that our technology can save thousands of lives and multimillion dollars in health care costs by identifying pathogenic bacteria within our target market, food safety and health protection. Every time you pick up the paper, you see about the beef, lettuce, pepper, peanut and all other food product recalls. All of those things are contaminated by basically three bacteria: E. coli, salmonella and listeria. That’s 90%-plus of all the pathogens, and food safety is our immediate focus. As I mentioned, we are certified for listeria and in the process of getting E. coli and salmonella done probably by early next year.
We had a very good Webinar presentation recently. The whole point was to show how simple it is to use the system. You take a sample of your unknown, the bacteria suspected, all identification processes start similarly – although, most take days and costs hundreds of dollars. With ours, you take a sample of what your suspected pathogen is, put it in a little testing vial with clean water, put it in our system, hit a button on the PC console, it says “identified.” Within much less than five minutes, it will tell you the identification of the bacteria you’re looking for, or if it’s none of those, it will tell you “none”. It’s really that simple. We took everybody from start to finish yesterday in this Webinar in probably 15 minutes, and it takes us less than half a day to train a lab technician to be able to fully use and understand our system.
So where do we stand right now? It was a long process, because we have the hardware, which is elegant and is being manufactured for us by a world-class manufacturing organization. We have software that we developed in conjunction with California Institute of Technology, Caltech. Then we have laboratory procedures, and then we have the certification of the outside labs. For a small company, those are really ambitious projects or programs. Where we’re at right now is at the final stages of getting the product built by a world-class manufacturer company, a company called OSI Systems (OSIS). From a hardware point of view, the systems are really simple. But the whole concept, we think, is revolutionary.
It is a huge marketplace and rapidly growing. The number of food products that had been recalled just in the past year is amazing. There is another submarket that the people aren’t even aware of, and that’s food products for animals. The important part is our government. Although it’s talked a lot about doing some regulation, when it comes to food products, there is no real, true regulation. There was a big article last week about Texas closing down a food processing plant in San Antonio that was responsible for putting out contaminated chopped vegetables that have killed six people over the last few months, and had been traced to that company. But there is no real government regulation that says, “This is what you should do with your product before you put it out to the public.”
If you add all that together, we are really seriously talking about a worldwide marketplace that is $8 billion to $10 billion just for testing annually. At the moment we have very few systems installed, a system with U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, at the Japanese Ministry of Food Safety, several systems in Malaysia for their food safety people and in some independent laboratories, where food processors send their product for testing.
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