Verisante Selects Distributor for Benelux and Continues Roll-out of Aura Beta Units
Verisante Technology (VRS – $0.58) entered into an exclusive agreement with BO-Pharma BV to distribute, service and support technical training of the Aura in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg, the so-called Benelux countries.
In the Benelux region, BO-Pharma is the largest independent distributor of medical devices for skin care treatments and other devices for use in dermatological practices.
After Clarion Medical Technologies, which will assist the Company with sales, distribution and servicing of the Aura in Canada, this is the second top distributor that is appointed by Verisante. This says a lot about the quality of the Aura as well, as those kinds of companies don’t want to waste their salespeople’s time by trying to sell inferior products.
The Netherlands has historically been very quick to adopt new, disruptive medical technologies and the Benelux is known to outsell the UK and Germany in some dermatological and skin care devices. Additionally, the Benelux countries combined, have a total population of over 30 million people and approximately 1,000 dermatologists serving the region. The significance of this target market can’t be underestimated knowing that Canada only has about 500 dermatologists!
Verisante is actively seeking distribution partners in Australia, the U.K., Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Last year, the Aura received the Conformite Europeenne (CE) Mark approval, which is recognized by all the 27 EU member states.
More Beta Units in the Field
Verisante has placed two more Aura Beta units, used for skin cancer detection, in Calgary and Edmonton for field testing on consenting patients.
During these field tests, a doctor first scans a patient’s skin lesions with the Aura. When the doctor finds a suspicious lesion, it will be biopsied and analyzed. Subsequently, the Aura’s diagnoses is compared with the clinical diagnosis and the pathologist’s report. Based on that information, the commercial units may be tweaked somewhat until they get the same excellent results as the test devices did in the clinical trials.
Preliminary clinical results, published in 2008, on the first 274 lesions scanned with the Aura showed that the device caught each of the 34 cases of melanoma, which were confirmed by biopsy. In a much larger follow-up study, measurements on over 1,000 lesions were acquired from 848 patients. The results of the analysis showed that the Verisante Aura is 99 percent accurate in differentiating all major skin cancers from benign lesions.
Both studies demonstrate that the Verisante Aura has significant diagnostic accuracy in distinguishing malignant from benign skin lesions and offers the potential for reducing unnecessary biopsies by 50 to 100 percent.
In total, six beta units will be placed at prominent dermatological and skin care centers all over Canada. The first two Aura Beta units were placed at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre and the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital back in June. Calgary and Edmonton have now been added now and Ontario will follow soon.
Rodman & Renshaw Conference
In the meantime, Mr. Braun travels all over the world to talk with medical professionals and leading dermatologists to check their willingness to buy an Aura as soon as it’s available. One of those people is Dr. Andrei Metelitsa, co-director at the Institute for Skin Advancement and clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s Division of Dermatology. He said: “Clinical study results show the ability of the Aura to efficiently assist in diagnosing skin cancer. Any tool that can be used to evaluate suspicious skin lesions quickly and accurately is a welcome addition to a dermatological practice. As a practising dermatologist, I see the growing need for a device such as Aura.”
Mr. Braun also attended the Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference in New York. He gave a well attended presentation and received quite a few questions afterwards, which is always a positive signal.
Verisante is taking all the necessary steps to commence production, and initial sales, of the Aura by the end of 2012 or early 2013. Top distributors are being selected now so that their salespeople are ready when the Aura is launched.
We look forward to the first Aura’s arriving in Europe. As soon as they have, we’ll try to go see them at the distributor’s office.
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