Dr Boreham’s Crucible: 4D Medical

Small Caps | Apr 23 2024

By Tim Boreham, Editor, The New Criterion

ASX code: ((4DX))

Shares on issue: 391,374,870; Market cap: $223.1m

Chief executive officer: Prof Andreas Fouras

Board: Lilian Bianchi (chair), Prof Fouras, Dr Robert Figlin, John Livingston (executive director), Julian Sutton, Dr Geraldine McGinty (Bruce Rathie and Evonne Collier resigned in November 2023)

Financials (December half 2023): revenue $793,000 (up 63%), research and development concession/government grants $7.1m (up 18%), loss -$14.8m (-$16.3m deficit previously), cash of $47.9m (down -31%).

Identifiable major shareholders: Andreas and Helen Fouras 16.8%, Ryder Innovation Fund 1.8%, Alex and Christine Petrou 0.72%, Damen Diamantoulos 0.75%

The world’s only provider of “four-dimensional” lung imaging software, 4D Medical has US$280bn reasons to thank the US Congress - and President Joe Biden - for signing off on a clumsily-worded piece of legislation.

The title: ‘The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honouring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.’

Passed by Congress last month, PACT addresses a range of respiratory illnesses and cancers borne by veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic nasties while on service.

Sgt Robinson was an Ohio army medic who died in 2020 from lung cancer, attributed to toxic exposure as a result of his military service in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

As the name suggests, burn pits are bulldozed holes created on deployment, in which all sorts of items and substances are combusted indiscriminately. The result is plumes of acrid, black smoke.

The tangible monetary support for healing these “invisible wounds of war” is a boon for 4D Medical, which has developed the non-invasive screening tech to identify the resulting respiratory illnesses and loss of lung function.

It’s no small matter: 5.5m US veterans deployed to Middle East conflicts have developed hard-to-diagnose diseases - such as constrictive bronchiolitis - that current screening methods cannot detect.

Of course, not every lung problem is burns-pit related but there’s a reverse onus for the medics to show the pits weren’t the cause of the ailment.

About the tech

4D’s patented XV Technology platform enables doctors to understand ‘regional’ airflow in the lungs, thus identifying illnesses with greater efficacy as patients breathe.

4D’s tools supplement - but do not replace - the images produced by conventional x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the relatively crude spirometry (breathing into a handheld device to measure the amount of air expelled).

The technology underpins XV Lung Ventilation Analysis Software (XV LVAS), which quantifies lung ventilation. A variant, CT LVAS is - you guessed it - an adjunct to computed tomography (CT).

XV LVAS interfaces with current imaging techniques by uploading the images to produce a “rich high-resolution picture of the lungs”. The fourth dimension (4D) is time.

The technology ‘sees’ what the lung is doing. 4D’s imaging can detect conditions including emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, asthma, pulmonary and cystic fibrosis and occupational diseases such as silicosis.

In August 2022, 4D announced the results of a study for the burns pit disease constrictive bronchiolitis, carried out at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Preliminary results confirmed 4D’s tech could detect the disease - which affects the lung’s smallest airways of 1.0mm or less - when CT and pulmonary tests could not.

In May 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the XV LVAS clearance for imaging any lung indication, while Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) followed suit in September last year.

In late November last year, the FDA also ticked off CT-LVAS, thus greatly expanding 4D’s potential market reach.

The full story is for FNArena subscribers only. To read the full story plus enjoy a free two-week trial to our service SIGN UP HERE

If you already had your free trial, why not join as a paying subscriber? CLICK HERE