MRI Interventions (MRIC.OB) has become a hot stock to watch lately as investors have clued in on the company's potential to become a major player in the trend toward more non-invasive surgical procedures. The company already has a foothold in the sector with an FDA-cleared medical device, ClearPoint, which is already "used to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures in the brain guided by intraoperative MR imaging," according to the company's website and other publicly available information.
The advance of MRI's technology allows the medical profession to more accurately and less invasively deliver therapies to treat a range of neurological diseases and disorders. What is key about the less invasive nature of the technology is the reductions in monetary resources and man-hours that may now be attributed to associated procedures, which is not a point to ignore as the enormous costs of health care have again dominated the political spotlight over recent weeks.
It's also noteworthy that MRIC's technology utilizes a hospital's already existing MRI suite, a huge convenience when bringing in an augmenting technology. MRI Interventions is also developing ClearTrace, a technology similar to ClearPoint, which would allow the company to infiltrate the market of less invasive heart care, as well.
Holding to the technology to potentially revolutionize heart and brain surgery at a time when the wheels are trending toward less invasive surgical corridors, MRIC is positioned to quickly become a "next generation" company that is gaining traction now.
As noted over the weekend, volume has been pouring in over the past few trading sessions in relative terms to the weeks and months prior, and the most recent volume influx has fueled a double in share price in just under two weeks time. Another 9% jump on Monday was also accompanied by record volume for this stock, which only became public months ago. Another key point that investors should not miss is MRIC's potential to land big partners, which also serves as additional validation of the technology.
Last week the company revealed that Tocagen came on as a partner and would adopt the ClearPoint technology in association with its ongoing clinical trial for Toca 511 against the most aggressive form of brain cancer, recurrent high grade gliomas including glioblastoma multiforme. As noted in the press release announcing this new collaboraion, ClearPath will assist medical professionals at selected sites in delivering Toca 511 "into brain tumors under real-time magnetic resonance imaging guidance."
With numerous companies also conducting similar trials and procedures, and with the minimally invasive neurosurgery market already noted to be in the billions, the framework is well in place for MRIC's ClearPoint technology to join the fray and quickly recognize rapid growth, both clinically and commercially.
Already, aside from the Tocagen deal, MRIC has landed some high-profile partnerships. The company is already partnered with Brainlab, a leader in the image-guided surgery field in the U.S. and Europe, for the advancement of the ClearPath technology and MRIC landed Siemens AG (SI) as a partner for the development of its ClearTrace system. Additionally, in a deal that came with an upfront payment of $13 million, Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) signed a deal to incorporate MRIC's technologies into its cardiac pacemakers and neuromodulation products. Should BSX utilize the technology in any of its products, MRIC would be due royalty on any associated revenue.
The collaboration between such a relatively small company -- with a potentially huge technology -- and much larger companies such as Siemens and Boston Scientific highlights MRIC as a buyout candidate, and not just a licensing and technology partner. The company has built itself a solid patent portfolio that may still be worth more in itself than the MRIC market cap, but may still be considered a deal to a larger medical device company with a market cap in the billions.
News coverage, developments and rising investor interest may have created the perfect storm for MRI Interventions. As the surgical trend is to look for less invasive -- and therefore less expensive -- means to conduct critical surgeries, MRIC is primed to become a leader in the field and could quickly attract the interest and trading volume to spark a share price run, as we've already seen demonstrated over the past couple of weeks.
This one may not be under the radar for too much longer.
Disclosure: No positions in stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position within the next 72 hours.
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