TWST: We would like to begin with a brief historical sketch of Misonix and a picture of the things you are doing at the present time.
Mr. McManus: We are excited about the fact that back around 1999, we decided that we wanted to place a lot of emphasis on being a medical device company. The reason we wanted to do that was because we realized that we had a unique talent inside the company already here that can apply ultrasound in a unique way to medical devices for therapy. At that point in time, we started developing products in the area of laparoscopic surgery, cosmetic surgery, neurosurgery and lithotripsy. So we have a base of products that are out in the marketplace that are unique and provide a benefit, and that's our present platform.
The second thing that we've done is we have recognized that we have to grow that platform, so we have a number of products that are about to come to market. About five years ago, we invested in a company that has a technology called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU.), and that is one of the most exciting new technologies that you hear people talking about in the therapeutic medical community, especially with regard to cancers.
TWST: Would you tell us about that product?
Mr. McManus: When I was a kid, I used to take a magnifying glass and focus it on a leaf and I'd get a very small sharp hotspot on the leaf, but I'd put my hand between the magnifying glass and the hotspot and I wouldn't burn my hand. In a prostate, we are using a transrectal probe with no cutting to take this beam and focus it on cancerous tissue in the prostate and move the beam up and down to totally ablate cancerous tissue. It's a procedure that's fast, is getting good results, and is minimally invasive. The patient leaves the hospital the same or next day. We believe this technology can be applied in a variety of other ways. We are using it for kidney, liver and breast cancer. We have 510(k) approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States for HIFU treatment of soft tissue that would include kidney cancer, so we'll be starting to use this fairly soon throughout the world.
One of the things that brought all the excitement together with regard to this technology is a company called China Medical (CMED), a Chinese company that has HIFU technology that I don't think will be approved in the United States for a long time. They went out and raised money in conjunction with a United States stock market listing and got a valuation for themselves of $375 million on $28 million worth of sales you can imagine that got some people's attention.