MFIC Corporation: Wall Street Analyst Forum Presentation Transcript

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MFIC Corporation (MFIC.OB)

Wall Street Analyst Forum

May 22, 2007 9:50 am ET


Robert Bruno - COO


Robert Bruno

Good morning and thank you for attending. We have been around for 25 years. We are headquartered at Newton, Massachusetts. We have sales and service in Germany, in Irvine California. We are a small company have about 53 people.

What we are going to talk to you about today is the business that we are in. We are basically machine builders, but we build machines for pretty sophisticated applications ranging from biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical and some of the food industry and personal care products. So we are going to talk a lot about pharmaceutical and biotechnology today, simply because it's about 80% of our business.

Copies are available on request. Just an overview of what we will talk about in the next 30 or 40 minutes. We will talk about our mission statement, company overview, the markets that we serve, some investment highlights and value proposition. Some of the interesting applications that we deal with, you heard a couple from the previous speaker, carbon nanotubes application (inaudible). Hydrophobic drugs that are issues and when things aren't soluble in water. And I will talk about our technology which is quite simple. And the product history and evolution, sort of a picture show of what we do.

So to maintain a solid financial performance, we are continuing to lead a technology revolution in fluid processing and reaction technology. Work hard to get a mission statement that makes sense. We collaborate on that, but this is what comes out each time.


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Just a company overview. As I said we build equipments. We are an equipment engineering company, capital equipment ranges anywhere from under $20000 upwards to $0.5 million. Equipment that allows formulators to find the right formulation. And then from there we guarantee, once they can establish what they are looking for. On a laboratory scale unit, they can scale up to whatever size they need.

Enabling technology, systems have produced nanomaterials for 20 years, so we kind of preceded nanotechnology. We have always been in the particle size reduction technology, working down in the micrometer and nanometer scale. Nanometer is a billionth of the meter. We are starting to approach now, the sizes of molecules and atoms, but these are the particle sizes that you need to get to, in these days, in order to make things stable. And when you come to microemulsion now, emulsion is nanodispersions, which are very important in the things that we do, especially in producing pharmaceuticals.

We are a leader in high-shear fluid processing solutions. High-shear fluid processing is nothing but a high-shear mixer, pressurizing the fluid stream to very high pressures, and then forcing it through very small channels and to create very high-shear forces and impact. And this is what is responsible for reducing particle size and drug sizes.

We address a $100 million market that is growing. And it's the difficult one to address simply because we are in five specific markets and question is what are the available market to us and that's what we try to determine on a regular basis.

The future of small is big, kind of a corny statement, but it is. The smaller you get in particle sizes, especially today, some of the requirements are now approaching 50 nanometers, which is a tremendously small particle size whether it be for an injectable drug, Whether it be for a inkjet ink printer or whether it be a certain emulsion for coating.

So Microfluidics is a leading a technology revolution in materials processing and reaction technology, which is quite new, which I'm going to speak about because it's a new breakthrough that we're about to announce.

As I said, what is the total available market in each of these areas? We combine pharmaceutical and biotech. We serve each of them equally in terms of number of units that we sell, which constitutes about 80% of our business.

Chemicals and coatings, some of the things that are included there, are inkjet inks, which is a huge business worldwide and we serve that market very well. Coatings, very special types of polymer coatings. In the food industry, we don't make food; we make machines that enable people to do flavor emulsions, color emulsions that are very-very important in the food industry.

And as I mentioned personal care products, some of the major, as you can see, some of the major companies are interested in what we do, simply for stable emulsions that are used in personal care products, lotions and creams.

Some of the highlights, our key investment highlights addressing $100 million plus in growing premium fluid processor market. Our revenues, again we are a small company. $15.7 million range, up from $11.6 million in 2005, certainly very nice growth from 2005 to 2006. And earnings per diluted share were $0.12 at the end of 2006.

We have a sound core business, let's say we have been around for 25 years. Nanotechnology enabler, reaction technology has a large upside, which again I'll speak about that. It's a new contribution that we are making for the scientific community.

And in fact, as I they speak right now, in a few hours, Southern California at the NTSI 2007 Nanotechnology Conference, there was a paper and a poster session. I have a copy of that. It will be presented there, basically for the first time, our findings will be presented. Testing, we have done ourselves. Drugs, we have developed ourselves on a trial basis and working with some of our customers. I will be limited to what I can say today about it, simply because of we have few hours. For the first time it will be presented. So we want to be sure the conference is not preempted by us. But that paper will be available to you, if you are interested in it.

We have a Fortune 500 customer base. We work with basically all of the large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We are not allowed to mention too many of them simply because we are under non-disclosure agreements with them for the work that they do.

And we have laboratories in three locations, where people are trying to make a formulation. Usually, we are the last stop. They have tried all the other conventional means to make a formulation, whether it be for pharmaceutical, whether it be for coating, biotechnology, or personal care product, they will come to us. And what we will do in our laboratories is run a test using some of our laboratory equipments. Put out a very nice report all for free, and demonstrate to the customer whether our technology works. If it works, our close rate is pretty high from the test that we do. Going forward, we quite often end up selling or lease the lab equipment. But the key to our whole success is the fact that once we develop a formulation, while the customers finds, does, what he needs to do, we guarantee scale-up So from laboratory to may be half a liter per minute, all the way to up to may be 15-20 gallons per minute of product that he sells in the market place.

We have 15 plus years may be 20 years it should be, a unique experience in high-shear fluid processing. Again it's a very specialized mixing procedure. We fall under the umbrella of mixing, which is very native with the co-homogenizing and we are a very special case of that. We continue to invest heavily in extending a lead. We have a pretty top level engineering and we have an R&D group, that's quite influential with customers. We have design engineering group that makes the system architects for meeting our requirements, especially in pharmaceutical, meeting one of the FDA requirements, using work into cGMP. And then we have a manufacturing engineering group that assists our manufacturing facility, all of which is located in Newton, Massachusetts.

Product value price, average gross margin is 50% to 60%. Again, a solid R&D development programs producing new equipment and solutions and I will talk about the new breakthrough that we had shortly.

Goals are sustained profitability, 15% plus growth rate and positive cash flow, sound balance sheet and good cash position, and $8.3 million plus net operating loss available.

Value proposition, dedicated to continued leadership in the fluid processing technology, and establish MRT. Microfluidics Reaction Technology is new, cost effective and superior manufacturing method. Again achieve 15% pretax profitability when reinvestment is realized. Focus increased resources on accelerating growth and enhancing margins and minimize equity dilution. Achieve a $50 million to $100 million sales level by internal growth and possible limited acquisition activity, and increase market penetration including new industries and obtain Exchange listing.

Talking about some of the applications in the pharmaceutical and biotech, and they fall into three groups of nanodispersions, nanoemulsions, and cell disruption. All of these are key to making successful vaccine adjuvants, which are additives to vaccines, which take a small amount of vaccines and makes it available to far more patients that vaccine themselves.

We have just become a global supplier for all of the major vaccine makers and we will show you a picture of the machines and equipment that they do buy from us.

Injectable drugs, cancer therapeutics, anesthetics are some of thing that are made on our machines. Inhalables are very dependent upon particle size. The particle size determines where the drug is delivered in your lungs. Some of the particle size are down under 1 micron that gets very low into the sacs in your lungs and to the, say 3.5 to 5 micron particle size is what gets delivered in the upper lung region.

Light-activated drugs, transdermal drug delivery, oral drug deliveries and other pills, they require certain particle size in the manufacturing. And in fact that's an interesting process where the formulation is made as a liquid and is spray-dried and then it goes through one of these wonderful tablet machines, comes out millions of tablets in original basis. So, we are part of that.

And microencapsulation, liposomes, polymers, emulsion are unique way to encapsulate whatever ingredients you would like to deliver into the body or from time release or into food, or into nutrient cuticles. These equipments that we make are very, very efficient at doing microencapsulation.

In a chemical industry, again, nanodispersion basically is a solid that is suspended in the liquid and stays suspended forever, because the particle size is smaller to that. Nanoemulsions, it takes for instance oil-in-water. If you try to mix oil and water, it doesn't mix. If you make the particle size of oil small enough in the nano size, you can get oil and water to stay mixed forever. This is the basis for many, many things that we do, in injectable drugs, in lotions and creams. And inkjet inks are good example of nanodispersions.

Wax emulsion is very important in many things we do. Inkjet inks happen to be one. Inkjets inks and toners are something that's done in a large scale on our equipment. Carbon nanotubes, it's a gentlemen product. Speaker prior to me spoke about carbon nanotubes and he will talk a bit about that, a very, very important new breaking technology that serves many markets.

Battery technology, catalysts, we make particles small enough, what you do is make them smaller, you make them more active. What you do is you expose them in more surface area. So, catalysts benefit by becoming very small particle sizes.

Fuel cell electrodes, conductive coatings and pigments, emulsions, polymers, wax emulsions, metal oxide nanodispersion for optical coatings and highly stable coatings. So, these are the many things that we do with the same technology for many, many different industries.

Just to show a quick picture, again, carbon nanotube is nothing more if you look at the upper left corner. It's nothing more than a glob of carbon. It's created by an arch. And then as it's processed in a high-shear fluid processor, as you follow us along to the right and down below, what happens is, you start to see the carbon nanotubes form. Carbon nanotube could be in the diameters down 5 nanometer range, which is, basically invisible, lengths of maybe a millimeter.

Carbon nanotubes have certain properties. If you make them over a certain size and length, then you incorporate them into a polymer, what you create is some extremely high strength materials at a very light weight. Some of them will come in commercial aspects that you see today are maybe tennis rackets, golf clubs, some of the things that are very strong and very light. But if you take these carbon nanotubes and you orient them in different ways, you can make them as an electrical insulator. Or you can orient them in such a way to make them a semiconductor, which could have a large impact on the semiconductor industry in the near future. And if you do them in a different way, they become a highly conductive material.

So, there's lots and lots of great applications for us. What we enjoy is a persistent, where we can process them and turn over to and help the company make what they need as a raw material, so they can go off and do their research and do their production. As they scale up, so do we and our equipment, say, it's guaranteed to scale. So, we will enjoy the large machines that we built ultimately for them.

There's a solvent based carbon black dispersion for inkjet inks and the little capsule, for your inkjet inks that you pay $30 to $40 for. It's very critical. That's a pigmented dye. And so, the particle size of those pigments have to be 200 nanometers or less in order to stay suspended for long periods of time, because if they don't, you'll end up with a inkjet ink that will clog your printer and that's something that'll make you very upset about.

So, worldwide, in Asia, in US, lots and lots of ink is made, both in the blacks and in the colors on Microfluidizer processors. There is a good way to guarantee very stable inkjet ink. In fact, I think I had mentioned the requirements of change can get down to 50 nanometers for photography, for highly-solution photography and for doing conductive coatings in semiconductors. So, that whole market will continue to grow for us and we have positioned very nicely in that to be a supplier worldwide.

These are some quick pictures of what you might see in the laboratory as somewhat science has come. So, as you visit us, bring with them a sample that we are going to make. And this happens to be an adjuvant. And in the upper left hand corner, it's basically the way water might look like. But whatever ingredients are, it's obviously not yet mixed. In right before, you will see a rising curve and that's a conventional particle size analyzer that's actually measures the average particle size. So, in this case the larger peak you will see as a 10 micron and then there's another peak at about 1 micron.

So, it tells you that probably most of the particles are between 1 and 10 microns. And after one pass, and there's pressure here of 20,000 PSI, we reduce that down to 400 nanometers, less than a half nanometer which is quite small. And you can see that it's a very narrow distribution, which means all the particles and almost all the particles fold in that range of less than 1 micron. And that's very important because that adjuvant, we have defined at that point was a very stable, can live very long periods of time. So, in injectable drug like a vaccine if this goes into, if that formulation doesn't hang together and it's comes apart, you won't be a very happy patient because the drug that you get will not be complete.

So, this is a guarantee that we can make adjuvants and whatever through the specification that the scientists are looking for. These have since scaled up to very large size and this is maybe half a meter that we make and now they can produce [substance] of two to three gallons per minute to satisfy what their requirements are.

Another quick look at the Colitis drug. Again this is a solid, gives you an (inaudible) crystals and before that they are 10 microns in size average, and after a pass, I don't know how many passes here, but they end-up being down well below a half a nanometer and again a very narrow particle-size distribution. So a very stable nanosuspension again, very important for an injectable drug.

And one last one is for cancer drug and some of these drugs, as the gentleman before mentioned, very toxic. Some of the cancer drugs you can't work with them directly. I'll show you some equipment that we make, that protects the workers from getting contaminated. But anyway this is a size that we have created, this is down through 45 nanometers, this cancer drug for injectables, that's anything a 100 nanometers or below is considered nanotechnology basically.

Principle of operation is quite simple. Anyway, in the left side, in the product. We use a pumping system, simply called Intensifier Pump which provides a constant pressure and constant volume.

So if I set the pressure that I need, it maintains that pressure. So as this pump retracts, there is suction in this product and then it pressurizes, and it can pressurize up worth a 40,000 PSI, which doesn't mean much. Except, that's what (inaudible), so put it through this interaction chamber and through this chamber, these microchannels exit. And what happens is the product accelerates at a very-very high velocity. And that's for shearing to create it, and out it goes, and what you end up basically is a product that some (inaudible), and you can do this over and over at a single time. But it's a very simple, specialized, fixed-geometry accounts for the formulation, which is although at real-time it is solved. And well, we usually solve the problem for the people.

So this is a basic concept which all of our equipment is based on. Inside that interaction chamber what you will see is --

This is a chamber, so this is the inlet, where high pressure splits in the stream. At this point, it's like putting a thumb over the [Dard Novels] and a very highly restrictive velocities, really get very high and it is through these channels that it gets worked on, and out comes the finished product. So that's a very simple process.

What this interaction chambers look like, these are the smaller ones are for laboratory. Again this might process about half a liter per minute, once you have got the pressure in the tight chamber that you are looking for, then you scale up to these. And again there is a guarantee that you will get the same product that you got in the lab. That's a US quarter, by the way to get a relative size of this. This probably weights about 18 pounds.

These are all rated for 60000 PSI and it is quite safe when you are working on the pressurized fluids, as opposed to pressurized gases.

So for history, over 3000 systems have been shipped, which is cumulative of about 140 million sales, mainly in the past 10 years. Over 250 pilot and production systems have shipped to-date. Many of them are making licensed drugs to-date, where they are installed. MFIC systems produce nanostructures in any quantity, nanosuspensions, nanoemulsions nanoencapsulations, and the new proprietary Microfluidics Reaction Technology is the recent breakthrough in technology, which I will talk about.

Let's show a few pictures of what we make. These are the lab units, pretty simple pretty straightforward. These are the things you buy. They are interoperated. Go into the lab very nicely, whether it be a Pharmaceutical, biotechnology lab, or whether it be a paint lab. But these are universal. You pick the ones, whichever you need for pressures and for the small volume that you are looking for.

Many people never go beyond this. Many people in biotech are satisfied with their laboratory equipment, because it gives them enough material to use to go through the drug discovery process.

These are [air] units, if you go to this unit. We are now going to hydraulics. Again, what we do is, use that intensifier pump that is pressurized using an electric motor and an electro hydraulic system. This unit has really become not only a lab system, but it's also become good for small pilot runs and for producing small clinical batches.

We sold more of those units in the past year probably than any other unit that we make today. It's a very popular machine. It goes all the way to 30,000 PSI, which covers a lot of issues for pigments and for very difficult cells, yeast cells that are difficult break.

This machine is made specifically for 40,000 PSI people, sometimes you need to see what happens at those high pressures, still considering the lab piece of equipment.

This is a very standard basis, for what we do. This is the pilot and production system, our model 700 series and that goes to 50 horsepower, this is a 100 horsepower. This will give you up to 15 gallons per minute. And we have got a number of those in the field making drugs today.

If you look at the product evolution, what has happened over those past several years, is we have become more involved with the pharmaceutical industry. We have been asked to standardize many of the things we do. With our equipment, we could do things such as split systems, where this product on the right is all of the hydraulics and all of the pumps and motors, and they can put that up to 20 feet away and just put the clean operating unit into the, say Class 100 clean rooms, so it's not a problem. This unit happens to be steam-sterilized of aseptic processing of injectable drugs.

We talked, the fellow before me again talked about toxicity. This happens to be a unit in production where we have added a containment unit, black box technology, HEPA filter. Just so that the operator can work on a [Taxol]-based drug rate very safely. So, that's offered for biohazards and all sorts of problematic drugs/units or products that people are trying to make.

This is an extension. This goes into constant pressure when you go to very high pressures. You can't have any pressure fluctuations, otherwise your reliability will decrease, and also it allows you to get, whatever you want to, in least number of passes. That's a Constant Pressure machine.

This is a machine that's made specifically as a global supplier to major adjuvant and vaccine maker. This is a machine that they buy. It is not steam-sterilized, but it has all of the features on that you need in terms of flow meters and clean-in-place, all of the things that a pharmaceutical company needs, plus data-recording for batch records.

This is a top-level machine that we have made to-date. This is a constant pressure. This is sterilizable. This is for aseptic processing of drugs. We have them out there making licensed drugs at this time, and this is what we have evolved to. This piece of equipment is up with $400,000 or $500,000; I think just an idea of what these go for. Batch records, all other things that are need to be done are done on that, there is a PLC touch-screen. So we've become known for standardized units that we've been building.

Installations, just to give you an idea. These are some of the 100 horsepower machines. This happens to be in France. This is making cluster-orient drug this is complete suite that we participated in. These are two machines, so to say. And that's successful, and it has been running for several years now. And they started just for the lab unit and they got their formulation right and we are able to scale up very nicely and satisfy their requirements.

This happens to be in Asia, this happens to be an ink plant, where they make different color inks. They are just starting to setup and you can recognize this. The constant pressure machine, I mentioned to you. We have number of those over there, operating successfully, making the three primary color inks.

R&D investment, $1.7 million of cash flow invested in fiscal year 2005 and 2006 and we expect larger expenditures in 2007 and beyond. As we focus more on R&D and new products, equipment enhancements and our new technology center, we have had for many years that we call a sample test lab, in which people are able to come to our facility, run their sample tests, that has now evolved into a brand new facility, within our facility.

They will be opening up on June 21st as a dedication to the newly retired CEO Irv Gruverman. So, we are going to be very pleased with that, we have a board of advisors with that. So, that's grown to something I think is quite respectable.

U-Mass Lowell University of Massachusetts in Lowell, they selected Microfluidics' processors as the core technology for their nanomanufacturing center of excellence. And they have a lot of money to do that. Jointly funded programs, which we participated in; in nanomaterials development, formulation for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals and R&D investment, one of the major ones that we are in now is the Microfluidizer Reaction Technology, MRT.

Here is a brand new product that will be released next month. This is a lab unit, we get through hopefully, all the air units and makes it much easier for people to operate this plugs into a standard 110 volt line. We call it our plug-and-play system. It will probably expand our base in getting out laboratory units. This we expect to be very profitable if we may foresee and if we may be able to operate in any part of the world. So, we are quite excited about the tests results we are getting right now in our beta machines. So, end of June is when we will announce this and then we expect to be delivering new products in September.

Little bit about the MRT technology. I can speak a little bit about it and again, I don't want to conflict what's going on today out in Santa Clara. But just what it means is if you cannot reduce the particle size, most solids have a primary crystal size and you cannot really get below that without technology and with lots of technologies. It takes lots of energy and might not worthwhile to try to break that crystal. But the crystal is a part of an EPI, a drug solid and is a pharmaceutical ingredient, the active ingredient that you would not be able to inject the drug.

So, there are many drugs that have been formulated, that cannot be brought to market simply because by injecting that into the human body you could cause damage or death. So, the particle size has to be below what's required.

So, in order to do this and to reduce that crystal size, what we do. And what this whole thing is about this reaction technology is nothing more than taking the solid as a powder, dissolving it in whatever dissolves into, and make a liquid reactant. And if you then mix those together, if you mix that with water, you can grow these crystals back, but they will grow at a rate that you won't like. They will be bigger than what you started with.

But this technology that we were talking about, is an impediment technology, where you have very high velocities and very high pressures you bring the two reactant things together, one being the water and one being dissolved drug.

And happen is it re-precipitate. It starts to grow from zero to whatever size you are looking for. So, you can bring that size up to 20 nanometers, 50 nanometers, whatever is required. And in the end, you will end up with a really narrow particle size distribution. And again this is extremely of interest to pharmaceutical companies for crystallization, something they have been trying to do for many years.

This is a continuous, it's low cost, its low priced, basically, we expect really to see as this year progresses, we expect to see a big growth in this industry. And what I like about and what we all like about it, it's using the basic equipment that we have designed today.

In other words, what we sell today in the 700 series Microfluidizer, this will be the vehicle on which this will exist. And we have demonstrated in the lab over and over again. And again, this is the paper presented today, production of stable drug nanosuspensions using Microfluidics Reaction Technology and again that's the first time we have gone to the scientific community with real data.

So, this MRT enables formulation of highly hydrophobic drugs, drug that will not dissolve in water, increase bioavailability, which says, it's less dosage, higher available of the drug itself, minimized dosage certainly because of side effects. In this real quick graphically, what it does, we call it top-down, what we have been talking about quite a long, is nothing more than taking on the left side the large drug particles and putting them through the Microfluidizer processing going to get to the smallest possible drug particles that you can get to. And again it is inefficient to some extent because sometimes you can't get below the primary particle size. So, the MRT basically solves that problem.

Stock information, approximately 10 million shares issued and outstanding. The top shareholders; 20% the Founder and management, 5% Joseph Daly, a private investor, current cash about $2 million and debt is about $0.25 million.

And this is the financial summary. Dennis Riordan has just joined us here. Dennis, he is our Controller. So, if you compare year-to-year, you can see as we said from 2005, the top line grew about $15.5 million. And in the first month of this year, we did in our investor call, it has hammered a little bit. The $2.8 million compared to $3.15 million that we did, we missed couple of deliveries, as soon as the registering throughout the first quarter, probably for the small company like us when you dealing with machines that are $400,000 or $500,000 a piece. And you miss it by few days you can get hit in that quarter. So, there's about $800,000 that didn't go in that first quarter, which would have brought the first quarter be up to a respectable number.

So, current assets you can see current liabilities, its all here, publicly traded. So, we have all of this information for you.

And these are the guys, myself, Jack Swig is here. Tom Hoarty is our Vice President of Marketing and Sales. He is on at that conference where they are talking about MRT. Dennis Riordan, who has just joined us. Dr. Thomai Panagiotou, we call him, Mimi, it's a lot easier. She is the head of R&D department. And she is solely responsible, as I can see, from taking the basic idea of this MRT that came from the Founder of the company and she is now taken to the level where she is now reporting the results at that conference. David Harney is our Manager of Design Engineering.

So, that's our contact information. We do have many our annual reports. We have some hot copies. Jack, I think has brought along some the new CDs, if interested. Is there any questions? We'll be happy to --

Question-and-Answer Session

Unidentified Audience Member

You have 55 employees. How many are involved in R&D and how many are involved in sales or do you outsource sales?

Robert Bruno

First of all, we have a sales force. We have Vice President of Sales. We have inside sales, two sales skilled people. We have four Regional Managers, one in Germany. And then we have two full-time sales people. We have 35 rep in distributor organizations worldwide. So Asia, now, South America, North America and Europe, of course, we have an office.

R&D, including, there's four people on R&D, in our Design Engineering Group including the designers using solid work, three engineers. There's eight people including a Project Manager and that's the Design Engineering Group. Then in manufacturing engineering, we have two people that assist in manufacturing and in procedures and built materials and that stuff.

So, it's a real manufacturing outfit. I mean, we do all at Newton and we outsource a lot. We capitalized on that. We don't make a lot of equipment machines and investments in that. So, we've done a good job as far as in designing and outsourcing.


Just a note of interest, we will have an announcement out before the market opens tomorrow about the NSTI-Nanotech Show and the MRT Technology. And there will be a link-up with the actual poster presentation on the Microfluidics' site through the URL on the press release. That will be out tomorrow and there will be more information available in PowerPoint's later on.

Thank you very much.


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