Israeli imaging company Nanox, which has developed a mobile CT device that is substantially smaller and cheaper than the existing devices, is planning on holding its IPO on Nasdaq in the first quarter of 2020, sources inform "Globes." It is believed that the company intends to hold its offering at a company valuation of more than $500 million. Nanox, founded in 2012, has several dozen employees. Its CEO is serial entrepreneur Ran Poliakine.
Nanox is an Israeli-Japanese enterprise founded in the previous decade by Japanese venture capital tycoon Hitoshi Masuya as a joint investment with Sony. Masuya continued the project without Sony, joined forces with Poliakine, and they decided to found the company simultaneously in Japan and Israel, with Poliakine in charge and Masuya managing activity in Japan. The chairman is former GE imaging division executive Dr. Morry Blumenfeld, who also invested in medical devices company Medtech Advisors.
In its announcement to the overseas press, Nanox said that over $1 billion had been invested in its technology, but it appears that this refers to an investment in the company's previous incarnation during its partnership with Sony. In its new incarnation under Japanese-Israeli ownership, the investment was a few dozen million dollars or less. Among the company's investors are Poliakine, the Southern Israel Bridging Fund (SIBF), and private investors.
An investment from a South Korean mobile communications company
In June 2018, Nanox obtained an investment of unknown size from South Korean company SK Telecom. Explaining its investment, SK said, "We believe that Nanox is likely to be one of the companies that influences our era. Their new radiation source can save millions of lives and save a trillion dollars just in cancer treatment costs. This is a strategic investment for us, and we look forward to working with Nanox's amazing team."
Nanox has developed a miniature version of an X-ray device that makes it possible to generate a 3D image. The device is designed to provide a cheap, small, and mobile alternative to CT devices, and to facilitate diagnoses of cancer and other serious diseases under field conditions. A CT scanner currently costs several million dollars, while Nanox's device will be sold for only $10,000.
Nanox claims that its images can be created with reduced radiation. The company declares that in addition to developing a new approach to processing information from an X-ray, it is revolutionizing X-ray technology itself. According to Nanox, the radiation for its device comes from microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), instead of heating a metal element. In the existing systems, heating the radiation source to very high temperatures also requires cooling in order to avoid damage to the device's surroundings, and the cost of cooling is the reason for the high cost of these devices. Nanox aims to eliminate this cost.
The company website declares its ambitious target: deploying 15,000 systems worldwide by 2022, using a model of payment per scan, at a price that the company says is affordable and suitable even for developing countries and poor people in the West.
Nanox states that its target is "One screening for every symptomatic patient with symptoms, every year." The company says that one scan a year can dramatically improve the likelihood of early detection of serious diseases, and additional scans each year can help manage the disease. In the West, one CT scan a year for each patient with symptoms is taken for granted, but this is far from the case in other places.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 11, 2019
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