AirXpanders Limited (ASX:AXP) joins the ASX


by Clive Tompkins

Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with AirXpanders Inc. (ASX:AXP) President and CEO, Scott Dodson
Clive Tompkins: Hello Clive Tompkins reporting for the Finance News Network. Joining me from AirXpanders Inc. (ASX:AXP) is its President and CEO, Scott Dodson. Scott, congratulations on the listing. For investors not familiar with AirXpanders, could you briefly introduce the company?
Scott Dodson: AirXpanders is a company focused in the area of breast cancer reconstruction. Our device, which is called AeroForm, delivers a needle free, pain free solution to women that are going through breast cancer reconstruction, as opposed to the current needle based technology, that’s used today. That requires a woman to come back to the surgeon’s office and have a needle stuck into her chest, and into the device that’s filled over months and months.
We have our TGA approval here in Australia, we have our CE mark approval in Europe and we’re expecting our FDA approval, by the end of this year. In addition to that, we’re already fully reimbursed by all the private health insurers here in Australia. And will fall under existing reimbursement codes in the United States.
Clive Tompkins: For investors that participated in the IPO, what price did you start trading at?
Scott Dodson: We started trading at 50 cents per CDI, which was the listing price.
Clive Tompkins: The listing raised $36.5 million. What value does that put on the company and how much is being invested by seed investors, and funds to get the company to this point?
Scott Dodson: So todate $US33.5 million has been invested into the company. The valuation of the company after the IPO, is $AUD105 million.
Clive Tompkins: Can you tell me how your technology works, and its advantages over traditional saline based implants?
Scott Dodson: As I mentioned earlier, the way the tissue expansion is done today, hasn’t really changed in the last 50 years. What happens today, when a woman tries to accommodate and prepare her body for a permanent implant is that,what amounts to a water balloon, has to be put in under her chest muscle. And then she must have to come back to the surgeon’s office, every seven to 10 days and have a needle stuck into her chest and into the device, and an amount of saline pushed in.
This can obviously be very uncomfortable for the patient and of course, nobody likes to get stuck with a needle. Our device, while it goes in very similarly to what’s being used today, operates very, very differently. Our device operates on the premise, where there’s a small internal lipstick sized canister of CO2,in the implant itself. To make it activate and push out a very small amount of CO2, the patient holds a remote control over her breast; it couples and communicates directly with the implant. She then just pushes a button one time and in three seconds, a little 10cc dose of CO2is delivered.
She can do this from the comfort of her home. She can do this from the comfort of her office, without the use of needles and without the inconvenient schedule disruptions, of having to come back to the surgeon’s office, time and time again. Now what our data has shown thus far, is she can also improve the rate of her expansion and get there much quicker, than she can today. She can complete the process and get to full expansion, on average in about 17 days versus several months, which is what it takes using traditional saline devices.
Clive Tompkins: Can you tell us about the commercial launch of the AeroForm product, here in Australia?
Scott Dodson: We’re delighted to have hired, four highly talented individuals that have fantastic experience in the plastic surgery space, to serve as our direct representatives here in Australia. We will be conducting a full market release of the product, from this point through the end of 2015. These individuals have just completed their training in the United States, are now back in Australia and will be following up with interested surgeons, to speak with them about the use of this technology, for their patients that have undergone a masectomy.
Clive Tompkins: Breast cancer is something we hear more and more about, and has recently been publicised by Angelina Jolie, with her preventative double mastectomy. How many people are having the operation?
Scott Dodson: You’re absolutely right; breast cancer is an enormous issue. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lives. And I would suffice it to say that most of us either know, or will know someone, who’s had to go through this horrific ordeal.In the United States alone, there are over 250,000 mastectomies that occur on an annualised basis. From that, there are over 120,000 women that go through reconstructive surgery.
Now phenomena that’s going on, both in the United States and here in Australia, is the advent of the use of a double mastectomy. So many women that are diagnosed on one side, opt to have the other side removed prophylactically to reduce the recurrence of cancer, on that side. So these factors and the news media surrounding people like Angelina Jolie and others, both here in Australia and in the United States, have certainly helped fuel the increase in procedures that are being done.
Clive Tompkins: Are similar devices available to patients?
Scott Dodson: Well today, the gold standard for patients that are going through breast reconstruction surgery is the use of a saline filled tissue expander. This technology hasn’t changed in over 50 years. Ours is the only device that can offer needle free expansion, that the patient can do in the comfort of her own home, or at the office, without the need to have to come back to the surgeon’s office so many times, for these painful injections.
Clive Tompkins:Last question Scott. Where would you like to see AirXpanders this time next year?
Scott Dodson: The ultimate goal for the company is to establish AirXpanders and the AeroForm technology, as the number one device that’s utilized for women that are going through breast cancer reconstruction surgery. To do that, we really have to accomplish a couple of key things. We have to make sure that we establish a very strong marketing footprint. We have to lay down a sales organisation both in Australia, which we have just recently completed and also in the United States, after we get approval through the FDA later this year.
Additionally, we have to attract and retain the type of talent in the organisation, necessary to fuel that growth in the future months and the years to come. Finally, we have to make sure that we can take the organisation from a manufacturing standpoint, and produce the type of quantities of this product that we can expect from a demand in the marketplace.
Clive Tompkins: Scott Dodson, thank you for introducing AirXpanders and congratulations again on your listing.
Scott Dodson: My pleasure Clive, thank you.