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Optiscan to power innovative imaging research with tax cash

Optiscan Imaging is developing revolutionary medical imaging devices. Credit: File

Optiscan Imaging’s (ASX: OIL) ongoing studies aimed at producing revolutionary medical imaging devices have received a timely financial boost through a $672,320 research and development (R&D) tax rebate from the ATO for the 2022/23 financial year.

The tax incentive is an Australian Government program that allows companies to apply for cash rebates for up to 43.5 per cent of their eligible expenditure on R&D.

Management says the rebate was included in its financial position at December 31, which it revealed last month. It outlined an increase in net assets by $13.35 million to nearly $16.4 million.

The Company has continued to undertake significant research and development as it prepares its devices for clinical deployment. The funds made available through the R&D Tax Incentive will be used to support ongoing innovations to the company’s digital pathology platform as it expands its product portfolio and clinical indications.
Optiscan Imaging chief executive officer and managing director Dr Camile Farah

The company’s latest rebate boosts the company’s coffers which are already creaking at the seams from a recent $3 million Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant infusion that will allow it to continue work on its Edge-AI-enabled gastrointestinal (GI) endomicroscope. The $9.2 million project is a collaboration with Australian industry and science partners the CSIRO, Hydrix and Design & Industry.

The goal is to develop a second-generation GI, non-destructive medical endomicroscope – a miniature digital microscopy probe that will fit inside the biopsy channels of most endoscopes to provide real-time, slide-free images with a resolution capable of distinguishing sub-cellular structures.

It will utilise an AI engine set up to automatically detect and analyse cancerous and precancerous cells to accelerate the discovery and diagnosis of cellular pathologies and establish a greatly advanced standard of care.

Optiscan says recently-commissioned research by United States-based consultants Latham Biopharm Group suggests the device could generate a staggering $8 billion in additional market revenue in the US alone, with a potential flow-on healthcare benefit arising from earlier disease detection and treatment valued at about $9.5 billion.

The company says that once the new device is completed, it will be clinically tested and validated by renowned global leader in GI endomicroscopy, Professor Ralf Kiesslich, at the University Medical Centre in Mainz, Germany. Prof. Kiesslich was involved with the widespread adoption of the company’s previous first-generation GI platform.

Optiscan’s developments in the field of medical imaging and the attendant implications for timely diagnoses, treatment and precision surgery are truly revolutionary and could not have been envisaged a mere 20, or even 10 years ago.

And some people might offer the view that no amount of rebate could be enough for such vital work, for what are we without confidence in our own our health and the best technologies to take care of it?

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