News - 2010
New Capital and Board at Uscom
December 22nd, 2010
In a major shakeup at Uscom Ltd a newly revamped board has been installed after the successful capital raising of $3 million being fully allocated. Phil Kiely, former managing director of Oracle Corporation, was today appointed as Executive Chair to reshape the company into a global leader in the biotechnology sector.
The private placement was priced at 30c per share raising $3m ($2.9M committed and $0.1M contingent). Up to 15% of the capital of the company ($1.88M maximum) will be issued immediately with the balance being issued subject to shareholder approval early in the New Year.
The company will also offer shares to all existing shareholders on the same terms as the placement through a Share Purchase Plan.
The capital will be directed at implementing a new sales culture in the company and strengthening a new and invigorated sales distribution channel to achieve global sales success for the award winning and life saving cardiac output monitor, the USCOM 1A.
The board also announced the appointment of Mr Jochen Bonitz effective 4th January, as a nonexecutive Director as a replacement for Mr Roman Zwolenski, who is retiring after 8 years. Mr Bonitz was a former Director at KPMG Corporate Finance with over 20 years experience in the technology sector spanning a career in programming, consulting and Mergers & Acquisitions advisory and is now an independent consultant on corporate strategy and corporate finance. Mr Rob Phillips will remain an executive director and Mr Bruce Rathie will remain as a non-executive Director.
Mr Kiely said, “This new board is now well equipped with the right set of skills and injection of capital to exploit the full potential of this groundbreaking technology in the global markets. We expect to see a major transformation of the business to achieve results through a much more disciplined approach to sales and marketing.”
Uscom appoints Kiely & announces proposed $3m Private Placement
December 2nd, 2010
Uscom Limited today announced the appointment of Mr Phil Kiely as Executive Chairman, effective on finalising a capital raising. Mr Kiely will replace Mr Rob Phillips who will remain on the Board as Director – Medical Science.
Uscom is undertaking a private placement of up to 10 million shares at 30 cents followed by an SPP to all shareholders. The placement total of $3 million dollars will be split into two tranches. Ordinary shares related to the first tranche of $1,881,180 (6,270,600 shares) will be issued on completion and any balance over the first tranche will be subject to shareholder approval.
A shareholder meeting will be held early next year to approve the second tranche of the private placement.
Mr Kiely is a former Managing Director of Oracle Corporation for Australia and New Zealand. Based on his 25 years experience in the information technology arena, Mr Kiely sees a great opportunity to boost the sales of Uscom through revamping its distribution network and injecting a new sales culture into the business.
“The biotech sector has a lot to learn from the experiences of the ICT sector in the rollout of products” says Mr Kiely. “The groundbreaking technology of Uscom is well positioned to change the game in intensive patient care, particularly in paediatrics and emergency. Uscom is at the cusp of becoming a leading medical devices company with a remarkable life saving device”.
Mr Phillips said he looked forward to focusing on his areas of strength, concentrating mainly on clinical science, validation and R&D: “It is timely to welcome someone of Phil’s background and skills to Uscom. His experience in strategy, management, distribution and business development is ideal to take Uscom to another level.”
Mr Kiely’s nominated entity will be granted 4 million, 5 year options in equal tranches with exercise prices at 75 cents, $1, $2 and $3. Mr Phillips said this incentive package had been structured to reward exceptional performance which Mr Kiely is confident he can deliver. The options will be subject to shareholder approval at the shareholder meeting to be held early next year.
In addition to his board role, Mr Kiely will be contracted with Uscom to drive the new sales and marketing programmes and to hire a new CEO.
Uscom today signed its first new distributor agreement in the North American market, Medical Dynamics, and the company is poised to sign three additional distributors in the next few weeks. These distributors will give Uscom coverage of up to 75% of the U.S. market.
Uscom is also reviewing the performance of all distribution partners in Asia and Europe to achieve greater sales. Its current exclusive worldwide distributorship with Spacelabs will expire on December 12.
Strategic Review of Sales and Distribution Channels
August 20th, 2010
Uscom today announced a strategic review of sales and distribution channels with a view to strengthening global sales coverage and identifying new distribution partners across world markets to complement or replace current sales and distribution capability.
The review process will be co-ordinated by Deb Johnson, Uscom’s Seattle based VP Marketing and Global Distribution. In addition, Uscom has appointed two specialist US consultants as advisers to assist it in relation to the process.
Mr Rob Phillips, the Uscom Executive Chairman and acting CEO said “It has been a difficult two years for emerging medical device markets with the global financial crisis and US Healthcare reforms having changed the sales environment for hospital capital asset purchases dramatically. However we are intent on responding to this changed environment and improving our current sales performance by identifying new distribution opportunities which will more efficiently deliver USCOM to the health care providers. It is possible that a more regional approach may be more effective and deliver better results in our target markets. We now have outstanding scientific evidence confirming clinical utility and a growing installed base, so the marketing process is now firmly focused on the establishment of performance centered distribution channels. The specialist appointments are designed to accelerate and make more efficient this process.”
The outcome of the review will be to better respond to the uncertain nature of target markets particularly in the US, mixed sales and distribution performance and to deal with the expected expiry of the Spacelabs exclusive distribution agreement for the in hospital sector on the 13th December 2010. It is envisaged that, as part of the review, new product co-development partners will be identified to seek to accelerate penetration of new markets via co-development of novel Uscom technology and products. Currently USCOM global sales & distribution capabilities are predominantly divided between Spacelabs Healthcare and Pacific Medical Systems and this review is to determine where and how additional sales & distribution capability may be deployed to improve sales performance in these markets.
New US Patent for Uscom
April 27th, 2010
Uscom today announced the notice of issuance of a new patent by the U.S. Patent office covering the USCOM algorithm. The USCOM algorithm is a method which allows the pulmonary valve diameter to be calculated from the subject height. The US patent recognises the novelty of the science and affords competitive protection for a period of 20yrs in the US jurisdiction; the largest medical device market in the world.
The algorithm, which has now been extensively validated as an integral component of the USCOM device, may have additional commercial application in cardiac surgery and general ultrasound.
This granting takes to a total of 20 the number of patents held in various jurisdictions by Uscom Ltd, with 17 additional patent applications currently in process. These patents are central to possible new products and product developments and will protect the commercial opportunity of the Uscom product pipeline.
Mr Rob Phillips, Executive Chairman and Director of Clinical Science said “Patents represent a fundamental commercial value to Uscom and the protection they provide underwrites new product developments. These patents will support development of a new generation of monitoring devices with real value in the competitive monitoring market. This is further confirmation of the creative and innovative culture within our Company.”
Canadian Regulatory Approval for USCOM
April 6th, 2010
Uscom today announced that it has received a Medical Device Licence for USCOM in Canada by the Medical Devices Bureau of Health Canada. This licence is a requirement for USCOM sales in Canada.
This now completes the USCOM worldwide regulatory approval programme which allows USCOM sales into the major world markets including US, China and Europe. Uscom’s marketing partner, Spacelabs, is responsible for the Canadian market and can now initiate Canadian sales activities.
USCOM has been used in research activities in Canada and was evaluated by Canadian physicians at international meetings.
Rob Phillips, the Executive Chairman of Uscom and Director of Clinical Science said “Canada is a sophisticated and significant medical device market which has shown considerable interest in our technology, and this approval will allow Spacelabs to activate the regional sales process to take advantage of this interest. Additionally this approval now means we have regulatory access to the world’s major medical device markets, supporting the activities of our global marketing partners Spacelabs and Pacific Medical Systems.”
USCOM publication on ICU fluid and septic shock
March 18th, 2010
Uscom today announced the publication of a new study by Intensive Care specialists at the Wesley Hospital, in Brisbane, Queensland in the journal Anesthesia and Intensive Care confirming the usefulness of USCOM for guiding fluid in treatment of septic shock.
The study by Dave Sturgess and his colleagues demonstrated that non-invasive USCOM measures were more than twice as effective as invasive catheter measurement of blood pressure, or blood tests for detecting patients who required fluid treatment for septic shock. Septic shock is a serious and common disease with a high mortality, and it requires rapid and accurate treatment, usually led by administration of fluids.
Rob Phillips, the Executive Chairman of Uscom and Director of Clinical Science said “This is further evidence that USCOM is an important tool in critical care medicine. Fluid administration is the most common circulatory intervention by intensivists worldwide and this study shows USCOM methods to be twice as effective as current methods when used in treatment of septic shock. The Washington University School of Medicine also recently demonstrated that USCOM was twice as effective as invasive catheter based pressure measures for guiding fluid treatments and should become routine for management of fluids in general ICU patients. Fluid management has always been a problem for intensivists, and this recent work is evidence that USCOM can dramatically improve this common critical care practice.”
Reference: Sturgess DJ, Pascoe RLS, Scalia G, Venkatesh B. A comparison of transcutaneous Doppler corrected flow time, b-type natriuretic peptide and central venous pressure as predictors of fluid responsiveness in septic shock: a preliminary study. Anesth Int Care 2009;38(2):336-341.
New Global Marketing and Distribution Appointment
February 1st, 2010
Uscom today announced the appointment of Ms Debra Johnson to the position of Vice President of Global Marketing and Distribution. Debra is based in Seattle and will be responsible for co-ordinating and optimising Uscom global sales channels and resources.
Debra Johnson has a clinical background and has been employed by Spacelabs Healthcare in sales and marketing roles for the last 13 yrs, most recently as Director of Strategic Alliances. Debra is US based with a close understanding of the sales organisation of Spacelabs Healthcare, Uscom’s in hospital strategic marketing partner, and will be responsible for management of sales channels across Nth America, Central and Sth America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Debra will report directly to the CEO.
Mr Rob Phillips, the Uscom Executive Chairman and acting CEO, said “Debra brings a wealth of experience in device sales and marketing to Uscom at a time when our sales channels have been set in place and are poised for rapid growth. This US appointment represents the next step in the beefing up of the Uscom sales organisation and is an expansionary investment as Uscom grows to become a global Medical Device Company. Knowing Uscom and Spacelabs Healthcare as well as Debra does will allow seamless continuity and rapid traction in this new management role.”
US Recognition for Uscom Founder
January 6th, 2010
Uscom today announced the designation of Rob Phillips as a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). The ASE is the world leading Institution overseeing standards and practice of Echocardiography, or heart ultrasound. This designation is recognition of extraordinary commitment to the field of Echocardiography particularly in the areas of education, research and clinical practice.
The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is a professional organization of physicians, cardiac sonographers, and scientists involved in echocardiography, the use of ultrasound to image the heart and cardiovascular system. The organization was founded in 1975 and is the largest international organization for cardiac imaging.
Rob Phillips, the Chief Executive Officer of Uscom and Director of Clinical Science said “This is a gratifying and humbling honour, substantially as recognition for development of the science at the core of the Uscom device.”
For more information on ASE, visit www.asecho.org or ASE’s Public Information site, www.SeeMyHeart.org.
Management change for Uscom in 2010
January 4th, 2010
Uscom today announced that Mr Paul Butler will resign as CEO and Director in response to the ongoing international travel requirements related to the Company’s geographical market expansion. The Company is now seeking to recruit a new CEO, plus a Global Sales Manager to enhance the commercial management team. Nick Schicht will continue in his role as General Manager, while the position of interim CEO will be occupied by Mr Rob Phillips, the Uscom Executive Chairman. Paul Butler joined Uscom in 2002 and was appointed to the position of Uscom CEO in January 2007. From 1st February 2010 Paul will continue with Uscom on a consultative basis working on business development projects.
Rob Phillips, the Executive Chairman of Uscom and Director of Clinical Science said “Paul has been integral in determining the culture, strategy and operations of Uscom and leaves the CEO role with the Company in a strong position. Uscom has a strong global marketing partnership, good cash reserves and is poised for revenue growth, with additional strategic partnership opportunities in discussion. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Paul supervised the design and development of the USCOM device and was part of the management team which took the Company public. The Board of Directors is grateful to Paul for his energy, dedication and loyalty and we look forward to his on going contribution to Uscom.
We believe an expanded globally focussed management team will best capitalise on the rapidly evolving international opportunities and will mark 2010 as the beginning of a new growth phase for the Company as our worldwide marketing strategy begins to gain traction.”