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MELA Sciences, Inc. Message Board

  • fi_s Mar 7, 2013 11:58 PM Flag

    Mela Questions

    Been hovering in the background for a while. Now I have some questions:

    1) Can't this MELA device be replaced by an iphone app? Now that apps are coming with their own hardware (like credit card reader), couldn't this whole idea be better served with an iphone and a little add-on hardware unit with various light sources (infrared, ultraviolet or whatever the MELA device uses). Seems like an iphone would be so much more powerful and have better access to data (comparable pix). It would also make upgrades easier as well as billing per image easier.

    2) I don't understand why the cash burn rate is $25 million per year. I would expect that of a company with 250 employees, not 47 employees. Where is all that money going?

    3) The company is currently booking about $1,000 per sale of unit. They have sold 100. They just need to sell 24,900 more to break even. That's huge. I'd think insurmountable. Again, the burn rate of $25 Million needs to come down.

    4) If the company is strapped for cash, why are a few key employees making so much take home pay? I'm surprised to see that. I don't think they should be making so much until the business takes off financially. If they believe in the company so much, shouldn't they agree to be paid in stock instead of cash?

    These are all just questions. Or my opinions. Not trying to sway anyone. I'm just trying to figure this company out.

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    • That's a lot of questions and the answers are not necessarily simple but they are worthy questions. it may take a while to get to all the points. One other point I am always skeptical of anyone, especially on this board who shows up with no history. It's a bit suspicious for such a detailed post to come from someone who is not posting regularly so it begs the question if you are a regular poster, why are you afraid of people seeing your prior posts. Chances are very high that you come here with an agenda. Having said that i'll dive in.

      1) It's an interesting thought but there are many reasons this would not work, at least in the sort to mid term, not least of which is that I don't think the FDA would approve it. They don't even want to let physicians use it, they want only board certified derms to use it. Your statement about an iphone app having "better access to data" would seem to indicate that you don't understand how this works. It is not comparing images to other images.

      Last but not least the " little add-on hardware unit with various light sources" does not exist and it's not clear that it could be manufactured for a price that would make it consumer friendly. what company would have the incentive to develop such a piece of hardware? iPhone apps are easy and cheap to develop. Hardware is not, especially if it needs FDA approval. It's also not clear whether the chips in an Iphone camera are capable of capturing all those wavelengths. If not, your little hardware device needs even more capabilities. At some point you have to ask yourself, what is the iPhone bringing to the table here?

      Well that's all for now but I have a question regarding number 3. How did you arrive at that $1,000 number? They charge a placement/trianing fee of $10,000. Where do you think the other $9,000 goes. Also they get revenue per use in various forms. Listen to the latest cc on their website to hear more about their revenue model.

      • 3 Replies to fish_discover_water_last
      • rodentologist Mar 8, 2013 2:41 PM Flag

        fish: "That's a lot of questions and the answers are not necessarily simple but they are worthy questions. it may take a while to get to all the points. One other point I am always skeptical of anyone, especially on this board who shows up with no history."

        Fishy, there is more reason to be "skeptical" of someone with YOUR history than there is to be skeptical of some with no history. You have been wrong over and over

      • Just a thought. What patents does Mela hold and if Apple infringed it could be a big payday for Mela ?

      • samhasson Mar 8, 2013 9:37 AM Flag

        I also don't know who you are, but Fish answered your app question quite well. On the 25 million dollar burn rate, that's easy to answer. Assume usage of 8 hours a day and you get a break even with 236 placements. With half that usage you need 431 placements for break even. On the salary, I'm willing to give Dr. Gulfo some slack. Overseeing a 10 year plus period on an innovation that will prove itself, plus keeping the FDA honest are not "easy jobs." I for one am glad he's there although his marketing skills are less than stellar. But he is learning and improving. Read the last meetings transcript to see what I mean.

        Sentiment: Hold

    • Hey. Don't rock the boat. They got a pretty good gig going on right now. Fish has convinced folks like cptn & Sam to buy buy buy all the way down to dirt. I suspect this thing will be at 45 cents before the longs admit defeat and begin the lawsuits.

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