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AHI partners with Jana Care in US$8 million investment
6 minute read
Advanced Human Imaging Ltd (ASX:AHI) has signed a binding terms sheet with US-based on-device blood pathology company Jana Care Inc. (Jana) in what represents an US$8 million cash and share investment by AHI.
Jana has developed and patented a bluetooth on-device blood screening tool called Aina.
The patented Aina device is capable of providing rapid, accurate readouts of key blood chemistry elements in several chronic disease categories, including cardiovascular, renal and metabolic (CVRM).
The Jana Aina device and platform will be combined into the AHI, CompleteScan platform, and AHI will work with Jana to advance the integration solution and messaging for the use of the combined applications for partners and consumers globally.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will combine the Jana “Habits” App into the CompleteScan platform with the first product able to be demonstrated being made available in the September quarter of 2021.
This comes on the back of promising news last week regarding a collaboration with Melbourne-based e-Mersion Media that has seen the company’s shares surge some 50% from a three month low of $1.05 to yesterday’s close of $1.57 - this included a spike of about 15% yesterday, defying a capitulation in the broader market.
Rapid, accurate readouts valuable for healthcare partners and patients
The Aina tests include diabetes - HbA1c, and glucose; heart disease - total cholesterol, triglycerides, total HDL cholesterol, NT-pro-BNP and Potassium; and serum Creatinine for and hemoglobin for kidney disease.
Importantly, HbA1c has received US FDA 510k clearance.
The Aina device delivers rapid, accurate readouts that are extremely valuable for its healthcare partners and patients that have deployed personal health management apps like CompleteScan via their carers, life/health insurers, wellness managers, fitness organizations, and telehealth doctors/facilities.
The Aina device avoids the necessity for the patient/user to go to a medical facility or phlebologist to provide blood and then wait for the results over days.
The diagnostic solution will be provided by AHI via CompleteScan to its partners for their onward use by selected persons whose blood chemistry information is needed on a timely and accurate basis.
AHI to include as add-on device for smart phone users
AHI would include Jana’s Aina device as an add-on to its suite of healthcare information technologies that run on a user's smartphone.
The Aina device is the size of a matchbox and it uses a very small strip of paper treated with analytes that react to a drop of blood from the user.
The strip is inserted into the Aina device whose proprietary reading technology provides results very quickly and transfers that data to the user's smartphone into which it has been plugged through a port or connected via Bluetooth.
Aina brings lab-quality blood pathology to individuals, doctors, healthcare workers and their patients with low cost easy to use capabilities.
The technology behind the Aina device is transferring a wet chemistry lab into dry chemistry test strips, with accessibility and affordability in mind.
From a wet lab to a dry strip, Jana engineers layers of porous materials, like paper, coated with dry chemistry to make diagnostic tests.
The Aina universal reader utilises signals on the test strip that are read by the Aina device, an optical reader capable of reading multiple modalities (colorimetric and fluorescent).
The proprietary design of the optics is compact, affordable, and allows multiple assays to be analysed on the same reader.
The flexibility of Aina allows it to be used for tests with further expansion underway, all connected via a mobile platform.
Importantly, there are many advantages of having a mobile-connected platform.
Jana is able to reprogram Aina devices in the field for new tests seamlessly with over-the-air software upgrades and also identify devices that need to be serviced and troubleshoot them remotely to ensure quality and reliability at scale.
Demand for devices stems from home and community care
Jana’s technology is designed for screening, primary care, and home monitoring settings with the latter being an important feature given trends towards homecare rather than hospitals/nursing home care.
However, with an acceleration in the ageing population, there is also an unmet need for an affordable diagnostic system for chronic disease management in primary and community care settings.
Diagnostic tests using array technologies and microfluidics require expensive equipment and capital-intensive manufacturing.
Though these types of diagnostics might be suitable for established hospitals that require testing hundreds of samples at a time, they are not designed to fit the needs of community and home care.
Partnering with hospitals and key health equipment distributors
Jana has been successful in partnering with major healthcare distributors, hospitals, and medical research organisations such as Siemens Healthineer, National University Hospital of Singapore (NUH) and Astra Zeneca.
Aina is being employed by more than 1500 clinics, with over 10,000 healthcare workers using the device across more than 200,000 patients.
This is a fraction of the available market when considering 50% of Type 2 Diabetes globally remains undiagnosed and barely 10% of patients meet therapy goals.
The Aina novel point-of-care screening platform enables early detection and management of personal care with conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes being just one of Jana’s care diagnostics.
With regard to the commercial terms, it is subject to AHI completing due diligence within 90 days, and if this is not satisfied AHI may terminate the agreement.
Revenue after manufacturing costs shared equally
With regards to income generation, AHI and Jana will share the revenue from the sale and distribution of the Aina device, less the amount equal to the costs that Jana incurs for the standard cost of manufacture of Jana processing devices on a 50/50 basis.
Discussing the product attributes and commercial benefits of this development and how Aina fits with AHI’s existing product offerings, chief executive Vlado Bosanac said, “The commercial distribution arrangement we have undertaken with Jana is an extremely important addition to the remote care and health assessment platform we are delivering to our partners and the vast communities they service around the world.
"The work Jana has and is doing in the care and identification of chronic disease is of paramount importance and a perfect addition to our offering.
"The user case is powerful given that when a user performs a FaceScan or a BodyScan we are able to detect a number of potential risk parameters that relate to chronic diseases.
"These markers are not dissimilar to the checks a doctor would perform when a patient is attending the doctor’s practice.
"If the performed scans identify any of the markers, this will assist the care provider in the need to facilitate a blood test, at which time via the Aina device we will facilitate the draw, analysis and diagnostic reports for the patient, doctor and care provider.
"I am excited with this latest partnership and how it brings AHI a full circle approach to individualised care and identification.
"My intention is to support all on-device capabilities by the close of 2021, with FaceScan, BodyScan, DermaScan, MSKScan and VeniScan.”