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MELA Sciences, Inc. (MELA) Develops New Way To Spot Melanoma

|Includes: STRATA Skin Sciences, Inc (SSKN)

One of the best investment finds is a small company that has developed and proven a relatively simple but groundbreaking product for widespread use. MELA Sciences comes about as close to that description as possible. The medical device company has developed a hand-held non-invasive tool, called MelaFind, that helps doctors detect melanoma, an especially serious form of skin cancer, while it can still be cured. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and most skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma. In the U.S. alone, roughly 9,000 die annually from melanoma, and over 75,000 new cases occur.

MelaFind uses advanced optics and lighting, together with proprietary algorithms and database, to spot threatening skin lesions, potential melanoma targets, which the doctor can then biopsy for full analysis, also helping avoid unnecessary biopsies. Preliminary studies have indicated a high level of accuracy. The device was recently highlighted on Fox News "Medical Hopes For 2013", (, where it was called "extremely exciting", and has also been included in the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2013 compiled by the Cleveland Clinic.

In addition to a special illuminator and lens system for creating multi-spectral data of the scattered light, the system utilizes a proprietary set of data analysis algorithms that perform:

• Calibration, to reduce noise and artifacts in the data
• Quality Control, to detect problems such as overexposure and underexposure
• Lesion Segmentation, to identify portions of the data associated with the lesion
• Feature Extractions, to compute the parameters characterizing the lesion
• Lesion Classification, to classify clinically atypical pigmented skin lesions based upon degree of 3D morphological disorganization, providing an output of "High Disorganization" or "Low Disorganization

According to the company, the FDA has approved MELA Sciences' MelaFind Pre-Market Approval application for use in the United States, and following completion of a successful conformity assessment procedure MELA Sciences has also been granted CE Mark approval for sale of MelaFind in the European Union.

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