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Strata Skin Sciences, Inc. Message Board

  • montlakemaven montlakemaven Jul 1, 2010 12:43 PM Flag

    Adam F's article gave me pause..

    I have owned this many times over the past couple of years, but adam F.'s article on made me cautious to buy it again, even at these levels, he offers a couple good points to ponder:

    "all the lesions entered into the study were flagged as being possibly cancerous by dermatologists. This stacked the deck in MELAFind's favor, making it easier for the device to accurately diagnose melanoma....Despite the enriched pool of lesions entered into the phase III study, MELAFind still missed three melanomas, accurately diagnosing 172 of 175 lesions. This means that if MELAFind were the only tool used in these cases, three patients would have been told they were cancer free when in fact the lesions or moles on their bodies were melanoma."

    ---so basically this says melafind tested the prescreened data of those patients that doctors deemed worthy of biopsies and was able to determine (after the fact) that 97% of the time, no biopsy was needed. but it was WRONG 3 out of 175 times which means those three patients would have unknowingly left the doctor's office with untreated cancer.

    given this information, speaking for myself as a fair-skinned person who has had a history of melanoma in my family and as a person who has had many biopsies in the past several years, i see melafind as an affirmation of a biopsy results, rather than a definitive opinion unto itself.

    but perhaps it's a tool ripe for acceptance in an ObamaCare, rationalized health services world if not a device preferred by nervous patients and/or malpractice-wary doctors.

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    • as a follow up, i bought a few shares today (300 @ 7.01) and plan on adding more through the next several weeks, particularly on down days. i know nobody probably gives a rip, but i thought i'd just follow up my original post fwiw.


      • 3 Replies to montlakemaven
      • Hope your right. In 2K @7.07, I have been watching the last three weeks and looked over the Phase III results. Having invested in BIO for years nothing is 100% but this has a strong a chance of getting approved as any. Great buying oppty. today, large shorts, and we will see how it plays out. For the record Adam is good (Disclainer I am a the Street subscriber) but he can miss just like all of them, I had DCTH when it was @8 and he was saying the same thing about a shelf offering they did. Guess what I sold at 15.5. Shelf offerings with these companys meaning nothing. Study results are all that count, opinions are just that. Due your DD, do not look back, and see what happens. GL all.

      • I care. Thanks for sharing.

      • as a follow up, i bought a few shares today (300 @ 7.01) and plan on adding more through the next several weeks, particularly on down days. i know nobody probably gives a rip, but i thought i'd just follow up my original post fwiw. --montlake


        Gotta give you respect for having the balls to post your purchase in real time. Nothing Fish would ever do.

    • What I truly find amusing about individuals like Fish is that they will pontificate about everything from secret internal documents, inside secret FDA proceedings, how the product will be marketed after (not IF) the product is approved etc.

      The hysterical part is that these morons know NOTHING about what is truly going on behind the closed doors of the company and the FDA. They just want you to desperately believe that they know what they are talking about (to the point of lying about family involvement in medical trials and brothers who are employees of the company who possess special insight).


      What a bunch of losers. Any you actually believe that readers take you seriously?

    • Good response.

      Here's to increasing working captial in anticipation of a major market launch. Cheers -

      I continue to hold my Long position...

    • fish_discover_water_last fish_discover_water_last Jul 7, 2010 11:28 AM Flag

      The recent burn rate did not include ramping up of expenditures in preparation for imminent commercialization. When they announced the additional FDA questions in March they specifically said they would be scaling back on their planned efforts in that area until those questions were resolved. Those questions are now resolved and we now have a Panel date so presumably that ramping up process and the related spending has resumed as well.

      I believe the article alluded to a MELA CC that took place on the Tuesday when the secondary was announced but there is no link on the MELA website and I saw no announcement of any such call. article itself is speculation so he is not in any better position than we are to know.

      Bream Murray downgraded MELA saying that the "FDA is unlikely to have a panel hearing in 2010" when the FDA had said that a response to their questions would restart the 180 day clock. The Adam F article's speculations that there are issues with the study design likewise fly in the face of the known facts. There was an SPA in which the FDA and MELA agreed ahead of time about the design of the study and the endpoints. Adam F's article is based on speculation that ignores the facts that we do have.

    • fish_discover_water_last fish_discover_water_last Jul 7, 2010 10:41 AM Flag

      When there were additional questions and no panel date then perhaps concerns were "well deserved" and the market reflected that additional concern but even then the market was betting on eventual approval, otherwise the shares would have been trading a lot closer to cash as you have been so fond of pointing out. Now that th delay is behind us, the concerns are just garden variety concerns like those experienced by even the best positioned products going through the FDA approval process.

      As far as delays, there has been one since the PMA was filed and that has been dealt with. It's telling that insinuating additional delays that haven't really occurred is the best you have to offer.

      An AP article put it this way
      "Boenning & Scattergood analyst Greg Chodaczek said... the review date alleviates concerns over the FDA's request in March for more information on the product".

    • Oh Johnny what makes you sooo angry? We're you weened too early and Fcnypanties is like your surrogate momma? Get help honey.

    • Something is seriously wrong when all you receive is one delay after another. One excuse after another. And idiot posters like Fish who try to placate your well deserved concern just a little while longer.

      Not too shabby an observation Fncydansir.

    • <Fncydansir,

      Thank you so much for raising the level of this board. Your articulate insights are always much appreciated.>

      I join in this sentiment.

    • With cheap health care for everyone come
      not perfect finding of MELANOMAS
      all is good in a world where everyone
      gets health care. Quality decreases as
      number of people increase Obama
      health care is for the masses but it means poorer
      quality which makes for a great trading stock like MELA

      • 1 Reply to jlozinsk
      • In the context of MelaFind this makes no sense. We don't have anything close to perfect finding of melanomas now, even for those with very good insurance. Most dermatologists, including those who serve wealthy private insurance patients are trying to maximize patient throughput. I have very good insurance and went to a VERY highly regarded dermatologist that was personally recommended to me by a several friends in the medical field. His office visit was nearly comical. I felt like he was trying to set the world record for the world's fastest office visit.

        While it may be true that if you try to serve twice as many patients with 20% more doctors, or even if you try to double the number of doctors over a relatively short period of time, the typical patient will be seen by a doctor with less experience ON AVERAGE. This has nothing to do with MelaFind which should, if it works as advertised, help less experienced dermatologists detect melanomas as well as the top 10% or dermatological specialists.

        Mela CEO Gulfo cited data showing that it is 22 times more expensive to treat a late stage melanoma than an early stage melanoma. Even if you set aside the mortality, which is of course not inconsequential to the patient, MelaFind should have little trouble getting approved for reimbursement based solely on cost effectiveness, although that will take at least 2 years.

    • It gave me, and several others, cause for concern also. They sold today at a loss and I bought more and have already made money on it. The company is growing in the market by having more shares available now. That makes it more attractive in the long run when the company value increases.

      • 1 Reply to solivagant001
      • I am a physician who specializes in diagnostics (diagnostic radiologist). I can tell you that none of the imaging modalities we utilize has perfect sensitivity or specificity, yet the FDA had no qualms about approving ultrasound, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, and conventional xray technology. There is also limited sensitivity and specificity to the hundreds of various lab tests that the FDA has approved.

        The point is that the FDA will approve any diagnostic tool that is significantly better than the status quo, which I believe is the case with Melafind. Yes, Melafind will still miss a few here and there, but it will do better than dermatologists, and MUCH better than nondermatologist physicians, who evaluate many more moles than dermatologists. Dermatologists often have waiting lists that are months long.

        Also, most drugs and devices that the FDA evaluates have potential side effects that factor into the equation. MELA does not. Thus the issue with MELA revolves strictly around efficacy and cost. The FDA approved the study design, so how could it be flawed? Using that design, MELA was found to be statistically significantly better than dermatologists. And I believe the dermatologists that they used were good. The average dermatologist is probably not as good as the ones used in the study.

        Ultimately then, the issue is that of cost. There continues to be a huge push in medicine toward preventive medicine, not only to help patients, but to save health care money. Melafind falls into the category of preventive medicine. If the machine catches only a few melanomas in a given doctor's office per year that the physician would have deemed as benign (and visually atypical-appearing melanomas are not rare), the machine has paid for itself. Had those patients gone to develop invasive and possibly malignant melanoma, the health care costs would have been astronomical over the 6 months to few years of the remainder of those patients' lives.

        Unless I am misinformed about the validity of the data, I feel confident the FDA will approve Melafind.

        Disclosure: I own shares of MELA.

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