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  • Early-Bird Alert On MRI Interventions (MRIC)

    This is our early-bird alert on MRI Interventions (MRIC), a company we profiled back in June when it had just emerged in the market. By 'early-bird' we mean notice before the stock experiences what we believe will be a big run-up in price. If you weren't following us earlier this year, we called MRIC at $1.20/share and watched it soar to $5 soon after.

    (click to enlarge)

    We're calling it again NOW.

    MRIC has been beaten down by short-sellers, though we believe this will now subside. Our sources also indicate that short sellers will be covering their short position next week, and depending on the availability of stock MRIC could see a short squeeze. Short squeezes play an important role in exaggerating the run-up a stock experiences on good news, fundamentals like earnings and other developments in the underlying business. The idea is to get in before shorts scramble to cover their 'borrowed' shares.

    MRIC is also due to report their third quarter (Q3) results this upcoming week. The stock price of MRIC has NOT factored in any surprises for next week and, therefore, any positive news could create a HUGE spring for shares to leap higher. Here's what we mean by surprises:

    1. Revenue growing FASTER than expected.
    2. Increasing number of cases using MRIC's technology leading to broader adoption of their platform, and, consequently contributing to revenue growth.
    3. Expanded sales force leading to traction with NEW customers in the United States.
    4. Traction with European partner, Brain Lab, in distribution of MRIC's technology in Europe.
    5. New, strategic hires to top management possible, but not factored into MRIC stock price.
    6. Short squeeze - because MRIC trades OTC there is little transparency on how many shares are short. This could lead to a SHORT SQUEEZE
    7. New Partners - MRIC already reported partnering with LEADING research institutions across the Country.
    8. Institutional Investors have been BUYING MRIC stock and thus the float is largely concentrated in the hands of long-term investors.

    MRIC went public in May of 2012 and saw incredible traction from investors clamouring for its stock because the company has a DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY that is absolutely set to revolutionize the way minimally-invasive brain surgeries are performed. Minimally-invasive brain procedures are performed on patients with diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, OCD, Depression, and other 'brain' diseases when drugs or targeted therapies fail to work. MRIC says there are 2.2M STRANDED brain disease patients in the United States ALONE. This drives a BILLION DOLLAR OPPORTUNITY for the company.

    What MRIC does is it sells a system that integrates with any make of an MRI scanner and allows for neurosurgeons to actually SEE in REAL-TIME what they're doing during a SURGERY. Believe it or not, prior to MRIC's technology, these procedures were done BLIND. A patient has to be awake for their own surgery and respond to the surgeon as he or she asks 'what you're feeling when I stick this needle in your brain'. We're NOT JOKING.

    MRIC's technology, the ClearPoint system, creates REAL-TIME visualization of a patient's brain during this surgery which means the patient can be under anesthesia when undergoing the procedure. This also simplifies the surgery allowing for neurosurgeons of almost any experience level to perform this task. WITHOUT MRIC's ClearPoint system, there are only 400 HIGHLY SPECIALIZED neurosurgeons in all of the United States that can perform this task BLIND (without visuals). This makes the surgery VERY expensive for hospitals. Being awake during surgery also makes the surgery very inconvenient and possibly terrifying for patients. MRIC's ClearPoint solves both of these problems.

    These minimally-invasive brain surgeries with MRIC's ClearPoint cost hospitals a FRACTION of what it costs when performed blind. This is because (1) there are only a few qualified neurosurgeons who can operate blind and (2) operating blind takes far longer as neurosurgeons have to be absolutely SURE (even when they're doing this blind) that they hit their intended target (but do they really ever know for sure?). MRIC opens the surgery up to 3500 neurosurgeons, which reduces wait times for a scheduled procedure (and potentially saves LIVES) and has been shown to cut procedure time in more than HALF.

    Most hospitals are ALREADY equipped with an MRI scanner, so setting up MRIC's ClearPoint system, that can be integrated into approximately 4500 existing MRI suites in hospitals around the US of a fraction of MRI scanner cost, is like setting up satellite television - it's done in a mere matter of a few hours.

    Here's the kicker though: MRIC has been penetrating LEADING hospitals in the United States and Europe and is set to report new case studies using their technology and an update regarding a new sales force that they've been training since the late summer. The sales force is reportedly performing BETTER THAN EXPECTED and ClearPoint is seeing TRACTION.

    The best analogy that we can give to what's going on is to compare MRIC to a computer. When computers first came out, people accustomed to typewriters were sceptical computers would ever replace their hardware. But if you're reading this, you're probably using a computer device (PC, handset, etc.). Computers absolutely took the typewriters by storm. The only place you can find typewriters now are in a museum. MRIC's ClearPoint is the computer of the brain surgery industry. As a side note ClearPoint was featured on the COVER of Operative Neurosurgery - this is the MOST prestigious medical journal in their INDUSTRY.

    So what does all of this mean?

    Well, lets crunch some numbers… MRIC makes about $7200 per procedure with a gross margin of 70-80% on disposable products such as "Razor blade" business model adopted by the company (see Kimble Jenkins, CEO of MRI Interventions, interview here).

    Minimally-invasive brain surgery with MRIC's ClearPoint takes up to 3 hours thus allows to be scheduled twice or even three times per day in one hospital. Do the math and you realize that MRIC's gross revenue should be close to $4M/annual based on 700 procedures per hospital per year. Even for only 20% of the 124,000 minimally-invasive brain surgery procedures that happen EVERY YEAR in the US with MRIC's ClearPoint that will be an extra $160M gross income to the MRIC's balance sheet. Compare this number with the MRIC's minuscule market capitalization of just above $70M and you will realize that this is a HUGE ROI OPPORTUNITY. Moreover, we don't even look outside the US market, where the MRI Interventions is partner with a HUGE distribution partner, Brain Lab AG.

    When MRIC begins to report their numbers and guides for the next 12 months, investors will value MRIC stock multi-timesof what it's trading today. Their platform spells BIG BUSINESS for a small company. We're expecting MRIC to trade well this week with the share price going above our conservative $3/share target . Buckle up.

    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:MRIC.

    Tags: MRIC
    Nov 12 9:40 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Anthera Pharmaceuticals (ANTH): Market Overreaction

    Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANTH) shares plunged around 70% after company's report of the mixed results for its Phase 2b PEARL-SC clinical study in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

    Paul F. Truex, Anthera's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

    The extensive data in the target severe population from our Phase 2 clinical program supports the initiation of a much smaller yet differentiated Phase 3 registration plan with the selected dose of blisibimod in patients with severe systemic lupus erythematosus. We have prospectively demonstrated for the first time the possibility for a subcutaneously administered BAFF inhibitor to be used in the treatment of a severe lupus population. The subgroup of severe patients from our Phase 2 study clearly identifies those patients most in need of therapy and most likely to benefit from our potent BAFF inhibitor blisibimod. Feedback from the EMA Scientific Advice process combined with an End of Phase 2 meeting in the third quarter will form the basis of our final phase 3 study designs.

    Market was definitely overreacted on this news; Anthera has confirmation from the European Medicines Agency (NYSEMKT:EMA) for the acceptability of the Company's proposed Phase 3 design for the treatment of severe systemic lupus erythematosus patients as a basis for a marketing authorization application (NYSE:MAA). The EMA feedback confirms that Anthera's development program, including the heightened SRI-5 endpoint, is acceptable and that positive results from Phase 3 clinical studies in a severe lupus population would support approval of the product.

    As of 11:45 a.m. EST ANTH stock traded one third of its floating shares and gave a nice opportunity to join it for the price below its cash/value.

    NASDAQ penny markets ANTH logoAnthera Pharmaceuticals‚ Inc.
    25801 Industrial Blvd, Suite B
    Hayward‚ CA 94545
    Tel: (510) 856-5600
    Fax: (510) 856-5597

    Anthera Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat serious diseases associated with inflammation, including cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.

    Disclosure: I am long ANTH.

    Tags: ANTH, biotech
    Jun 28 1:05 PM | Link | Comment!
  • MRI Interventions, Inc. (MRIC): Act Now

    Presenting an amazing investment opportunity with a real gem on the OTC Bulletin Board: MRI Interventions, Inc. (MRIC):

    MRI Interventions, Inc. is a medical device company that develops and commercializes innovative platforms for performing minimally invasive surgical procedures in the brain and heart under direct, intra-procedural magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, guidance.

    From 1998 to 2002, MRI Interventions deployed significant resources to fund its efforts to develop the foundational capabilities for enabling MRI-guided interventions and to build an intellectual property position. Since 2003, company's focus shifted to identifying and building out commercial applications for the technologies that has been developed in prior years.

    MRIC was cleared for trading just a few weeks back and is still largely under the radar. Here's a chance for you to own a piece of a best-in-class technology company led by a strong management team:

    1. Technologies:

    MRI Interventions has two product platforms:

    ClearPoint® Neuro Intervention System, first-to-market platform, allows neurosurgeons to see inside the patient's brain during a procedure. This system is cleared by FDA and is in commercial use in the United States.

    • Targeting 2.2 million late-stage neuro disease patients.
    • Installed in 15 prominent U.S. neurosurgery centers, and growing.
    • Generated $1.5M since commercial roll-out, and growing.

    ClearPoint® technology allows a direct, high resolution visualization, performed in an MRI suite and not in an operating room. ClearPoint® allows keep patient under general anesthesia during the procedure compared to the conventional method when patient often must be awake for their own brain surgery; takes less than 3 hours for the procedure compared with the long 8 hours conventional surgery; doesn't require to use by specialized neurosurgeon (only 300 specialists in US) thus available to the 3500 general neurosurgeons in US alone. See the company's presentation at this link.

    MRIC is developing a second platform, ClearTrace™ System, for MRI-guided minimally invasive surgical procedures in the heart.

    Significant selling point is that both systems utilize intra-procedural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide the procedures and are designed to work in a hospital's existing MRI suite.

    Take a closer look at the opportunities for the MRIC's technologies: market size for the medical devices with MRI safety or image compatibility limitations is about $15.8 billion; market dollar volume for cardiac support systems is about $20 billion. Even by capturing just one percent of this market prospect, MRIC would have sales 6X their tiny market capitalization of $48.5M. Here's the best part:

    2. Partners:

    • Co-development and distribution agreement with Brainlab. Under the agreement, Brainlab will serve as a co-distribution partner for the ClearPoint® system in the United States and Europe. With about 5,000 systems installed in about 80 countries, Brainlab is a market leader in image-guided technology, it is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and today employs 1,070 people in 17 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.
    • Exclusive co-development agreement with Siemens (NYSE: SI), the global market leader in MRI scanners, for the development and commercialization of the hardware and MRI software necessary for the ClearTrace™ system. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2011 the Siemens Healthcare Sector posted revenue of 12.5 billion euros and profit of around 1.3 billion euros.
    • Exclusive licensing and development agreements with Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) to enable BSC to incorporate ClearPoint® and ClearTrace™ technologies into its cardiac pacemaker and neuromodulation products. Under the terms of these agreements, BSC paid MRI Interventions $13 million in upfront licensing fees and agreed to make further milestone and royalty payments to MRI Interventions if and when BSC incorporates our technologies into BSC products.

    3. Executive team:

    Kimble L. Jenkins President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Board of Directors
    Mr. Jenkins previously was a Managing Director with the investment bank Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. , where he founded Private Equity Group in 1998. Mr. Jenkins has over 20 years of experience building and working with growth stage companies.

    Peter G. Piferi Chief Operating Officer
    Peter G. Piferi joined company in December 2006 as the Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Piferi has 30 years of industry experience in the areas of product development, manufacturing, quality and regulatory. Prior to joining MRI Interventions, Mr. Piferi served as the Vice President, Endovascular Technologies at Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW) , Vice President of Operations at Kriton Medical Inc. (currently Heartware International (Nasdaq: HTWR), Vice President of Operations at Orbus Medical Technologies, Inc. (currently Orbus Neich) and as Director of Advanced Engineering at Cordis Corporation, a Johnson and Johnson company (NYSE: JNJ).

    David W. Carlson Chief Financial Officer
    David W. Carlson joined company in February 2010 as Vice President and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in April 2010. Mr. Carlson has 18 years of experience in financial leadership roles in the medical device industry. He was serving as the Corporate Controller of Sofamor Danek, Inc. that was acquired by Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) . From 1999 to 2009, he served in various financial management positions as a Vice President of Finance and Senior Finance Director at Medtronic, Inc.

    Summary: MRI Interventions, Inc. (MRIC) is a growing story unfolding in the investment community as it makes available access to next-generation technology in brain and heart surgery. Here's your chance to get in on this story before mainstream media blows this stock up.

    See full disclosure at this link

    Jun 03 10:28 PM | Link | 4 Comments
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