AVRA has been organized by a senior leadership team with decades of experience in medical research, innovation and development in the medical robotics field. The Company plans to meet the needs of the growing demand for practical medical robotic devices, focusing on the Dermatology field.
The Company believes that its team brings the necessary resources, including intellectual property, to develop and commercialize medical robotic devices, as well as in marketing, chain management, and the implementation of all other aspects of business operations.
The Company believes that progress in mechanical and software engineering has made possible lightweight and relatively inexpensive robotic devices for difficult procedures in various medical fields. AVRA and its management team have been active in the medical robotics space for many years, sponsoring, for example, www.allaboutroboticsurgery.com, an extensive reference data base for medical robotics news.
In Dermatology, technological improvements in motors, materials and in high resolution imaging allow for the use of robotic devices in treating damaged skin.
Presently, there are no such products commercially available for competition for these procedures.
AVRA is developing its prototype for robotic skin resurfacing employing an innovative helium plasma technology which the Company believes is superior to existing technologies such as Botox and CO2 lasers used for keratosis removal, the treatment of scarring and discoloration, and other skin problems that are often difficult to treat.
The concept of using a robot in surgical procedures became a practical reality in 2000 when the FDA approved the da Vinci® robot, introduced to the market by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG). For years, Intuitive was, as essentially the only game in town, alone in enjoying the explosive growth in the rapidly emerging field of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Not surprisingly, the company’s stock (ISRG) grew from its Lehman-led $9 IPO issue price to over $580.1, where post-split shares are currently changing hands.
The global medical robots market is expected to reach USD 11.4 Billion by 2020 from USD 4.2 Billion in 2015 at a CAGR of 22.2%.2
1 $583 per share as of March 21, 2016
2 MarketsAndMarkets research report, Nov 2015, Medical Robots Market by Product (Robotic systems (Surgical Robots, Rehabilitation Robots, Hospital Robots, Assistive Robots, Telemedicine Robots), Instruments & Accessories) & Application (Orthopedic, Laparoscopy, Neurology) - Global Forecasts to 2020
In 2016, the global skin care market is estimated to be at least US$121 billion3. The male segment of this market is small, but is increasing steadily, suggesting years of additional future growth lying ahead.
As of 2013, there were an estimated 9,600 Dermatologists and 7,800 Dermatology practices in the U.S according to IMS Health; approximately, 34% of these are solo practices, while approximately 48% are multi-physician (three or more physicians) practices.
Most products designed to improve the appearance of the skin do not repair the skin itself; rather, they cover and hide scarring and blemishes temporarily. Wrinkles also are challenging as the skin ages and are hard to cover over. Some current products aim to slow or forestall the development of wrinkles, but with questionable effectiveness.
Botox injections and CO2 Lasers are the common procedures currently in use today for skin resurfacing.
Botox injections have proved successful for cosmetic enhancement because it shrinks wrinkles dramatically. Botox has enjoyed rapid growth in sales and number of procedures (now about 7 million annually in the US alone).4 The downside of Botox is pain during the procedures and the need for repeated treatments given the temporary nature of the results achieved.
CO2 Laser resurfacing also can shrink wrinkles, even eliminating small wrinkles by removing the outer layer of skin, allowing new skin to form. While simple, this procedure can be painful. Laser resurfacing works by burning off skin; skin can reach 1500°F (800°C) in the process of being removed, and adjacent areas of skin can approach 400°F. (Unsurprisingly, general anesthesia is often required.) Open wounds are created and healing may take up to three weeks. Skin redness may persist for three months, during which the skin is particularly sensitive to UV light. Other risks of laser resurfacing include scarring, changes in skin pigmentation and bacterial infection.
Because wrinkles are a major cosmetic concern of both men and women alike, AVRA believes that a product that actually reduces and eliminates wrinkles with minimal side effects has great market potential.5 Although no such product currently exists, AVRA intends to focus its initial efforts on addressing this void by being the first to develop, commercialize and market a medical robotic product to aid in skin resurfacing.
believes that its resurfacing solution is superior to Botox injections and CO2 Laser treatments, while being competitive. Botox needs to be repeated every few months and the costs of acquiring CO2 Lasers are higher than AVRA’s planned product.
AVRA plans to use a helium plasma treatment delivered by a robotic device that improves the appearance of skin beyond wrinkle elimination.6 There are no injections of a toxin as in Botox. Skin is treated at temperatures much lower than CO2 lasers, 200 degrees instead of 800 degrees. In fact, the plasma stream is surrounded by a buffer envelope of cooling helium gas, protecting non-targeted tissue and minimizing collateral damage. Recovery is anticipated to be rapid, estimated at half the time of CO2 lasers (1-3 weeks as opposed to 4-8 weeks). Moreover, deep perioral wrinkles (the greatest challenge) respond very well to the plasma, with no milia or hypopigmentation.7
The Company believes that the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of its planned Helium Plasma Technology, which has already received FDA 510(k) and CEMark approvals, will afford a significant medical and competitive advantage. The use of a robotic system will ensure accuracy, speed and minimize human error while also allowing doctors to increase their productivity by performing more procedures daily.
6 White paper by Joseph B. DeLozier III, M.D., FACS & Mary Beth Oglesby of the DeLozier Cosmetic Surgery Center
7 White paper by Joseph B. DeLozier III, M.D., FACS & Mary Beth Oglesby of the DeLozier Cosmetic Surgery
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