Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (ADMD.OB), a nano company with a market cap of $21.6 million, may be one of those companies that is a gem waiting to be discovered. The company recently signed a licensing agreement with Batelle to develop a high-dose radiation therapy technology known as radiogel. Battelle is the world's largest independent research and development organization. It licensed the technology to Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (hereafter AMIC) which included eight patents comprising the injectable radiogel technology, a water-based biodegradable polymer that delivers yttrium-90 microspheres directly into cancer tumors. Yttrium-90 is a well established medical isotope with numerous applications in the treatment of cancer.
Radiogel is a new technology that injects the radioactive isotope product into the body and delivers a high dose of radiation, killing the cancer cells. What makes radiogel stand out from other treatments is that the polymer, when first injected into the targeted cancer site, is in liquid form - but the liquid warms quickly to the body temperature and polymerizes at the injection site. The polymer lattice formed traps the yttrium-90 microspheres in place as the high energy beta particles irradiate cancer cells in the target mass. This targeted radiation approach maximizes the radiation dose of the cancer cells while minimizing exposure to nearby normal tissues. Effectiveness of the treatment is thus maximized as is the safety profile.
Because it can be administered through the skin or during surgery, the procedure has the ability to be delivered to solid tumors that cannot be removed safely. Radiogel appears to have numerous applications including cancers of the liver, brain, head and neck, kidney, and pancreas, plus it is showing promise for eye tumors. "We expect the radiogel to become a therapeutic agent that provides physicians with the ability to effectively treat tumors that cannot be removed surgically or that cannot be treated by any other means," said Robert Schenter, chief scientific officer for AMIC.
Since early June, AMIC's common stock has risen from $0.09 to just under $0.30 a share, roughly a 200% increase. The rise clearly coincided with the announcement of the licensing agreement with Battelle, but that might not be the only reason for the boost in the stock price. The demand for medical isotopes is on the rise. In the US alone, 18 million medical procedures use medical isotopes, with a growth rate estimated to increase at 10% annually. Consider this: 90% of all the non PET radioisotopes used in the United States are imported, and the remaining 10% that are produced in the United States are manufactured in a fragmented, piecemeal manner with companies producing a single isotope instead of a wide variety. Hence, there is plenty of room for an American isotope company that can produce a wide array of products to make a major dent in the market. AMIC might just be that company with a wide range of medical isotope products available and being developed.
AMIC is projecting that if they can get their radiogel to market in 2013, annual sales could reach $5-$15 million, with a growth of future sales reaching upwards of $75-$100 million in the US alone. Given that the global isotope market continues to grow and is expected to reach $4.7 billion by 2015, if AMIC can produce the numbers they are projecting, this little company may just be the next big mover for speculative investors. However, use caution as there are landmines in this field. The stock is moved at this time not by its slim earnings, but by future possible revenue as seen by the stock's price increase after announcing their licensing deal with Battelle.
I find their multiple avenues of revenue fascinating. The radiogel deal is quite interesting. I am glad to see how the company has tackled the obstacle of targeted therapy while avoiding exposure to healthy tisssues.