Volpara Lodges Prospectus for Capital Raising to Take Cancer Detection Software Global
Wellington, New Zealand, 29 MARCH 2016 – Digital health company, Volpara Health Technologies Limited, has lodged a prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to raise capital to assist global expansion of its breast cancer detection software and related products.
Volpara is seeking $10 million from issue of 20 million shares at 50 cents each, with the issue underwritten by Morgans Corporate and giving Volpara a market capitalisation of $61 million at the offer price.
Volpara’s business provides digital health solutions to improve clinical decision-making for the early detection of breast cancer.
It currently markets its suite of software applications in 34 countries, with over 9 million women having been analysed for research and clinical outcomes.
Volpara’s technology digitally analyses a woman’s mammogram (an x-ray of the compressed breast) to assist in the early detection of breast cancer by measuring breast composition, commonly known as “breast density.”
Breast density has been shown to be a risk factor in two ways: it indicates a likely higher incidence of breast cancer and it can hide cancer in a mammogram, such that mammograms detect only 65 per cent of cancers in women with dense breasts.
Up to 50 per cent of women in North America and 70 to 80 per cent of women in parts of Asia have dense breasts and typically, breast density is estimated subjectively, which has been shown to be unreliable.
According to Dr Ralph Highnam, Chief Executive Officer of Volpara and one of the inventors of the technology, the capital raising would not only help Volpara expand but it would contribute to saving lives and cost in the health system from the contribution its technology makes to cancer detection.
“Our technology is being used in Australia and as well as cancer detection it helps control dosing in scans and workflow in imaging, with its compatibility to a variety of equipment the basis for its demand with hospitals and radiographers,” Dr Highnam said.
“As increasing numbers of states in the US are legislating for breast density to be disclosed to patients by physicians, we see growing interest in Volpara’s products being able to add to the objectivity of this process,” Dr Highnam said.
Breast cancer is a major global disease for which there is no certain cure, with 1 in 8 women in developed countries likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
In developing countries the rate is rising rapidly and economically, the annual global loss due to breast cancer is an estimated US$88 billion.
Each year some 75 million women have mammograms globally. Of these, 39 million are in the US, where a movement by women with dense breasts who were diagnosed with breast cancer after getting the all clear from mammograms has led to legislation in 25 states requiring that women be notified of their breast density.
The most recent addition to this list, Indiana, passed legislation in March 2016, with it to become effective in July 2016.
As part of its business plan, Volpara has recently signed global distribution deals with GE Healthcare and Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc, both of which are manufacturers of large scale scanning equipment.
Volpara intends to use proceeds from the capital raising in four key ways:
- To strengthen and expand its small sales team to grow direct and channel-based sales of the Volpara product range
- To expand marketing to health insurers and to women themselves, in the form of consumer education and personalised information
- To help transition Volpara into a subscription-based revenue model delivering its software through the Cloud
- To enable further innovation through development of more Cloud-based products that open up the “big data” predictive healthcare and industry-wide analytics that contribute to saving lives.
Directors of Volpara are Mr Roger Allen AM (Chairman, built Computer Power into global operation, co-founder of venture capital investor, Allen & Buckeridge), Dr Ralph Highnam (CEO, University of Oxford research scientist and entrepreneur in technology commercialisation), Professor Sir John Michael Brady (a founder of the technology along with Dr Highnam and others), Mr John Pavlidis (US based with more than 25 years of medical device experience as an executive and company director), Mr John Diddams (director of ASX listed Skydive the Beach) and Ms Lyn Swinburne AM (founder of Breast Cancer Network Australia).
Volpara has also recently appointed Mr Julian Marshall as Chief Marketing Officer. Mr Marshall has 30 years’ experience in the medical imaging industry and previously held several senior executive positions with Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX), a US based medical imaging business.
Volpara’s capital raising opens on April 4, is scheduled to close on April 15 and ASX listing, subject to ASX confirmation, is scheduled for April 27.
The most recent installation of Volpara’s technology has been at the Cancer Institute/Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CICAMS) in Beijing, Volpara’s first in China.
Last week, Volpara won the 2016 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership, awarded for Volpara Solutions' suite of software.
Volpara provides regulatory approved digital health solutions. Its primary product, VolparaDensity, which has been CE-marked and cleared by the FDA, Health Canada and the TGA, provides an objective volumetric measure of breast density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis data. VolparaDensity is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on an algorithm which allows for personalised measurements of density, patient-specific x-ray dose, breast compression, breast positioning and other factors designed to provide critical insight for breast imaging workflow.