UAMS BioVentures Company Set To Go Public

A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ BioVentures company that says it has a treatment that will detect and kill cancer cells is preparing to have its initial public offering.

Cyto Wave Technologies Inc. of San Francisco — it also has an office in Little Rock — said it wants to raise between $2 million and $3 million before its shares are listed on the over-the-counter stock market, according to company filings. Cyto Wave expects it will become publicly traded in the third quarter of the year and its shares will eventually be moved to the Nasdaq exchange. 

Cyto Wave said it will need between $9 million and $10 million during the next four or five years to complete its clinical trails, whose outcomes are key to the company’s success, according to its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. 

The company could be a huge hit for UAMS, which owns 5 percent of the firm and will receive 30 percent of any royalties that Cyto Wave receives, according to Cyto Wave spokeswoman Deah Chisenhall.

Cyto Wave said the medical imaging market will reach $25.3 billion by 2015 and is expected to grow by 4 percent a year. 

Dr. Vladimir Zharov, a professor of biomedical engineering at UAMS, helped develop the noninvasive, portable device, called iV3, that Cyto Wave said will eradicate cancer cells. 

It was developed over six years at a cost of $4.4 million with grants and donations from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute,  U.S. Department of Defense and UAMS.

Chisenhall said the technology works by first injecting the patient with a “cocktail of magnetic, gold carbon nanotubes that have a special biological coating to target moving cancer cells in a cancer patient.”

Then “a simple magnet device” will be placed on top of the skin to attract and capture the deadly metastasis cells, she said. And finally, the cancer cells will be microsurgically removed for further genetic analysis or they will be killed directly in the blood vessels through the skin with a noninvasive laser, Chisenhall said. 

The iV3 device looks like a wristwatch worn by the patient. The company said in the SEC filing that “iV3’s simplicity could provide a robust, cost effective clinical diagnostic instrument for routine use in clinical practice.” 

A clinical trial is starting next month for melanoma patients. Those trials are necessary to receive FDA approval.  

The FDA, though, could delay, limit or deny the iV3’s approval for a myriad of reasons, one of which may be if the device turns out not to be safe or effective, Cyto Wave’s filing said.

Favorable trials are keys to the company moving forward.

“We will be able to fund the first stage of our clinical trails with cash on hand,” the company said in its filing. At the end of 2012, Cyto Wave had $948,445 in cash.

“But if any stage of our clinical trials produces ambiguous or unfavorable results, it is unlikely that we will be able to raise additional funds for subsequent stages and our business will fail and our stock will become virtually worthless,” the company said. 

The trials are expected to finish in August. “We’ll know more once these trials come out,” Chisenhall said.