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Revenue leap for Optiscan as cancer fight continues

A selection of Optiscan Imaging’s suite of cancer-detecting devices. Credit: File

A money trail is forming behind Optiscan Imaging’s technology-based mission to tackle the scourge of cancer, with revenue starting to stream into the company’s coffers from the lucrative Chinese health sector.

Management, which is using new technology in a bid to enhance digital pathology and precision surgery, has revealed that it has already amassed 60 per cent of its past financial year’s total revenue in the first five months of the new period.

And deals struck in relation to its China-based operations appear to underpin the surge. Optiscan says it has pocketed $270,000 in revenue from its Chinese distributor BioTimes for sales of its “ViewnVivo” research device, while the partnership it secured last year with another distributor, Sinsi Technology, for the same pre-clinical device is also starting to bear financial fruit.

BioTimes’ exclusive distribution responsibility is mainly in China’s global financial hub of Shanghai, while Sinsi covers a broader Asian patch that includes Hong Kong and Macau.

The company also collected an increased $720,000 worth of orders from its German original equipment manufacturing partner Zeiss, with an expectation that more are still to come. Optiscan’s confocal imaging technology has been custom-fitted into Zeiss’ “Convivo” endomicroscopy system used in neurosurgery, providing it with a crucial income stream.

It comes on top of a recent $16.7 million capital raise and with a $670,000 research-and-development tax rebate expected to land in January. Management says it also expects increased demand for ViewnVivo from both China and the United States in the second half of the financial year.

In financial results reported from the 2022-23 financial year, the company showed it had generated ordinary revenue of nearly $1.7 million from sales, system rentals and the provision of services, compared to about $1 million in the previous corresponding period. The 66 per cent increase in sales revenue was mainly driven by strong demand from Carl Zeiss Meditech and the sale of a ViewnVivo research device to an unnamed American pharmaceutical company.

Optiscan is now moving into a growth phase with additional revenue coming in from various jurisdictions and devices. It provides confidence in our current strategy and where our partnerships are heading into the future. Optiscan Imaging managing director and chief executive officer Dr Camile Farah

A key new partnership has also been secured with Australian-based product design and development consultant Design + Industry, which has been charged with leading the industrial designs for Optiscan’s suite of new devices – which include treating oral, cervical and gastrointestinal cancers, in addition to other surgical, pathology and veterinarian work – and bringing them to market.

Dr Farah told Bulls N’ Bears the surgical and pathology devices have been designed by D+I and are currently being manufactured. The surgical device allows in vivo imaging during patient operations to allow immediate surgical decision-making in the theatre, while the pathology device enables ex vivo bedside imaging that has demonstrated applicability in neurosurgery, oral and breast cancer, with multiple dyes able to be used to differentiate distinct nuclear and cellular features.

He also said the company’s partnership with Canadian software developer Prolucid Technologies to develop AI and telepathology capability across all of Optiscan’s devices was “progressing ahead of schedule”.

The agreement with Prolucid is aimed at developing digital pathology platforms to enable real-time collaboration between surgeons and pathologists. AI algorithms using Optican’s slide-free, biopsy-free, high-resolution single-cell imaging technology would enable immediate clinical decision-making.

With a money story clearly gaining momentum and plans to soon explore more opportunities in Australia and beyond, the company is heading into the end of the year with good reason for optimism.

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