Category: News

30 Nov 2016

AUSTRALIA’S 4DX MAKING WAVES IN U.S. HEALTHCARE

Melbourne, Australia, November 30, 2016:  Australian medtech startup 4Dx is making a bold foray into the US diagnostics marketplace, inking deals with major US hospitals and attracting one of the country’s most prominent oncologists to join its Board of Directors.

Dr Bob Figlin will join the 4Dx board from December 1st.  Dr Figlin is Deputy Director of the Integrated Oncology Service Line, and Deputy Director at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, part of the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is also currently the director of the Hematology Oncology Division at the institute.

Dr Figlin says, “4Dx has developed some of the most promising and exciting technology I’ve ever seen in the fight against disease. It will be a privilege to be able to use my medical and business experience to assist the company through this phase of its growth.”   Dr Figlin co-founded biotechnology company Agensys, which later sold as part of a nine-figure deal.

4Dx has also established formal clinical partnerships with several of the biggest and most advanced hospitals in the US, including Cedars-Sinai, The Cleveland Clinic, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The unique software developed by 4Dx generates moving, ultra-high-resolution images of motion and airflow in lung tissue. This revolutionary technology enables clinicians to view and measure abnormal lung function at the earliest stages of disease providing clinicians with new technology to significantly enhance traditional respiratory diagnostic methods.

The company is currently accepting investment monies which will be used to finance a US expansion and further clinical trials as it moves towards FDA approval, which is anticipated for next year.  The Series A Capital Round is expected to close oversubscribed on December 9th.  A second round of fundraising is planned for early 2017.

29 Nov 2016

Prominent Oncologist and Researcher Joins 4Dx Board

Melbourne, Australia, November 30, 2016: Australian technology start-up 4DX has attracted one of the biggest names in global oncology as its latest Board member.

Robert A. Figlin, MD, FACP, joins the 4Dx board on December 1st.  Dr Figlin is Deputy Director of the Integrated Oncology Service Line. He also serves as the Deputy Director at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, part of the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles and is Director of the Haematology Oncology Division at the institute, where he is in charge of integrating research and clinical strategies across all the Cedars-Sinai campuses.

Since his arrival at Cedars- Sinai six years ago, he has established the Experimental Therapeutics Program and successfully recruited clinical research staff in critical specialty areas such as breast cancer, bone marrow transplant, gastrointestinal oncology, genitourinary oncology, survivorship, and cancer biology.

Dr Figlin says, “4Dx has developed some of the most promising and exciting technology I’ve ever seen in the fight against disease. It will be a privilege to be able to use my medical and business experience to assist the company through this phase of its growth.”

Dr Figlin co-founded Agensys – an early stage biotechnology company focussed on developing novel therapies for cancer.  The company has since been sold to Astellas Pharmaceuticals as part of a nine-figure deal.

4Dx founder and chair, Andreas Fouras, says, “Bob Figlin brings unparalleled experience and expertise in cancer therapies to 4Dx, where enhanced cancer treatment is among our first priorities. Bob brings a vast medical knowledge and adds enormous capacity to our board’s business decision making capacity.”

Lung cancer is the biggest killer of all cancers and the current standard treatments of chemotherapy and radiotherapy have devastating effects on the lungs. 4Dx technology is non-invasive and will positively impact the way medical professionals are able to diagnose, and treat their patients.

“4Dx is undergoing significant acceleration and is thrilled to have a clinician, researcher and entrepreneurial thinker in Bob Figlan join our team.”

“This revolutionary technology and the development of unique software to generate moving, ultra-high-resolution images of motion and airflow in lung tissue enables clinicians to view and measure abnormal lung function at the earliest stages of disease in a way that has not been possible before now.”

As well as their association with Cedars- Sinai, 4Dx has also created partnerships with other leading hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the US, and The Alfred and Peter Mac in Australia.

22 Nov 2016

4Dx To Close Series A Capital Raise

Melbourne, Australia, November 23, 2016: 4Dx Limited is pleased to announce that, due to an overwhelming response, as of 5pm, Friday, 9th December, 2016, the company’s $4m Series A capital round will be officially closed.

It is anticipated that the round will close oversubscribed.

4Dx founder and Chairman, Andreas Fouras, said, “4Dx is extremely pleased with the response to our capital raise. The domestic investment community has demonstrated a deep understanding of our proposition, and the value inherent in it.”

“We believe this result indicates a very clear acceptance of the need for 21st century diagnostic technology in the medical marketplace. The enthusiastic reception 4Dx has received delivers 4Dx a broad base of investors and makes us highly optimistic about the prospects of a second round of capital raising in early 2017.”

4Dx has invented a four-dimensional, non-invasive, software-based imaging technology that maps regional lung motion and air flow as the lungs breathe.

The capital round places a valuation of $36m on 4Dx Limited.

Funds from the Series A investment round will be used to take the company’s first software product to market, including clinical studies to further validate the product, as well as the development and submission of its first application for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance.

The respiratory diagnostic sector represents a global market of over US$25 billion per annum, and 4Dx has a clear plan to address this market, building the company one product at a time.

The 4Dx technology has been extensively patented, with core patents granted in key jurisdictions including the US and Australia. It has been proven through published preclinical studies over the past 10 years.

 

21 Nov 2016

‘Next Cochlear’ 4Dx closes capital raise as FDA approval enters sight

The Australian Financial Review featured 4Dx in todays Technology section online.

by Yolanda Redrup

Medical imaging startup 4Dx has raised $2.5 million from a range of retail and high net worth investors, which the business will invest in its clinical trials that will see the company approved by the US Food and Drug Administration by mid next year.

The company, which already has one major deal with Los Angeles hospital Cedars Sinai to use its lung imaging technology, also has an additional $2.5 million committed that is expected to close this week, taking its total series A raise to more than $5 million.

Chief executive Andreas Fouras said the company had developed a strong investor base featuring healthcare professionals and business bigwigs from retail, resources and banking and finance, making him confident the company could go achieve its ambitions of being as successful as Cochlear.

“These investors are just dipping their toes in the water at the moment with us, so that makes me excited about what it means for their ability to take a stronger position going forward when we release strong results next year,” he said.

“The world is starting to notice 4Dx … We’ve got hospitals cold calling us now from the UK, the US and Australia, and asking how they can get access to our technology early … I think we could have 10 of the world’s biggest hospitals using our technology within 12 months of FDA approval.”

Dr Fouras was a Monash University mechanical engineering professor, specialising in wind tunnel imaging, but left his academic career, sold his house and moved to Los Angeles to develop 4Dx.

Current lung imaging technology techniques give an overall picture of the amount of air a lung is taking in, but 4DX’s technology highlights if there are parts of the lungs which are receiving less air, helping in the early diagnoses of lung diseases and more effective treatment.

While the technology is at present being used just for lung diseases, the company has started to invest in research and development to expand it to other organs and conditions. At the moment it has a human clinical trial under way to extend the technology to heart imaging.

“It has the technological capability to be expanded outside of the lungs … we have some patents for heart imaging already and the clinical trial has had promising results,” Dr Fouras said.

“We want to be a global diagnostics company. In the US, and globally, there are significant pressures on the costs of diagnostics, and technology that should be seen as a profit centre is viewed as a burden. So we’re ready to come in and change that and deliver modern, affordable technology that can disrupt the space.”

After completing the lung imaging clinical trial in the first quarter of 2017 and securing FDA approval by mid-year, the company hopes to raise an additional $20 million or more, which will enable it to commercialise its other products currently in development and scale its operations globally.

“We expect to raise the $20 million in two stages through the well-established process of a pre-IPO raise and then an IPO,” he said.

“But the big milestone for us next year will be going public with the clinical trial results. Then we’ll be able to show how well the technology works in comparison to the existing technology in the marketplace. At that point we’ll go back to the market and establish a funding model going forward.”

As the technology was developed while Dr Fouras was at Monash, Monash has held the patents for the technology until now. Dr Fouras negotiated a deal with the university to have all the IP moved to the company when the business had successfully raised more than $6.4 million in total.

“Monash have worked very hard to be supportive and more engaged with industry … Monash said once we’d raised that amount they’d feel comfortable that were weren’t at risk of falling over due to a lack of capital … but we’ll continue to have a royalty agreement with them.”

 

 

14 Nov 2016

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR FOR MEDICAL IMAGE TECHNOLOGY

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4Dx was featured in an article in Australias national daily newspaper, The Australian today. Andreas Fouras, Founder and CEO of 4Dx is interviewed and the article discusses the new software for imaging lung function devised by 4Dx.

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR FOR MEDICAL IMAGE TECHNOLOGY

A “dream job” studying airflow through jet engines has led to an innovative lung imaging system that Professor Andreas Fouras is convinced will disrupt a $25 billion a year global industry and dramatically change healthcare outcomes.

The Australian father of five, who has relocated his family to Los Angeles to progress his venture, says he has found his opportunity to make a difference. With his team at 4DX, he has devised a new way of imaging the lungs by showing in real-time motion how air flows through them, pinpointing the areas that aren’t working well and those that are.

Professor Fouras says given the best technology for imaging the lungs is 50 years old, his innovation, which relies on computer software and four-dimensional imaging technology, is the next generation of care.

“We take X-rays of your lungs and look at how all individual parts are moving in very subtle detail with very sophisticated mathematics, which allows us to see accurately in fine detail how the air is moving through every part of the lung,” the 42-year-old says. “It gives clear insight into the trouble areas.”

A patient gets an X-ray — the X-ray machine would be used slightly different to how it is used now — and it is sent to the 4DX analysis cloud, which picks up every deficit in lung function. A detailed report is then sent back to the doctor.

Fouras initially took his mortgage to the maximum to start his company, 4DX, and later sold his house to pour every last penny he had into his new dream job.

“We are definitely on to something. 4DX is going to change healthcare globally — I’m convinced of that,” he says. Fouras says he had worked his way up the ranks at Monash University to build what he thought at that time was his dream career as a researcher, working on “fantastic” technology.

“While I was excited intellectually by the research, I wasn’t excited by the outcomes of, say, reducing drag on an aircraft by 1 per cent,” he says. “I realised that the mathematical discoveries I’d made could be useful in helping make better-informed decisions in healthcare and impact on people’s life.

So I pivoted my career down that path, and while it’s fairly common overseas, I think I’m a little bit of a trailblazer in Australia in terms of an engineer working completely in healthcare research.

“Initially it was bittersweet leaving a dream career behind but as a researcher, inventor and now a CEO, there is that common thread of ‘I’m just looking to make the world a better place through good ideas’.”

Lung diagnostics mostly relies on historic procedures. The most commonly used procedure is the pulmonary function test, which was designed in the 1860s. Then there are chest X-rays, which were developed in the 1890s, and the CT from the 1970s. “They are the mainstay of lung diagnostics and the best-case scenario is you are relying on technology that is almost 50 years old,” Fouras says.

There are 72 million lung diagnostic procedures performed in the US each year and about five million to 10 million scans per year in Australia. “All of those people are getting sub-quality information,” Fouras says. “Diseases are getting picked up later than they should, bad treatments aren’t being stopped right away and millions of people are having horrible health outcomes, or worse, dying, as a result of that.”

4DX is in the process of getting regulatory approvals and expects US support early next year. Scans using the technology are already being done in clinical trials in several hospitals in the US and Australia.

Fouras says while 4DX would remain an Australian company, he has moved its corporate headquarters to the US, given that is where the key market is. The professor says the movement in Australia to support innovation appears to be in the right direction but he says there are some zeros missing from the scale at which that movement is being proposed.

“Over the last 10 years, if you aggregate it, there have been significant cuts to the innovation budget. Any small increases proposed by the current government don’t get us back to where we were five to 10 years ago.”

His company has raised $5m and Fouras expects to reach $7m by year-end. “We have done well out of the Australian market but it took about 10 times more effort and three times longer than what it would’ve taken overseas.”

21 Sep 2016

Appointment of General Manager – Notting Hill Devices

4Dx is excited to announce that Paul Cooke will be taking on the role of General Manager of 4Dx’s specialist hardware subsidiary, Notting Hill Devices. As Paul moves into this role, he will be stepping aside from his role as Non-Executive Director, effective 1st September. During his tenure as Non-Executive Director, Paul played a key role in lifting 4Dx’s profile during our recent capital raising endeavours.

 

12 Sep 2016

Monash license agreement changes

Monash University

A number of positive changes have been made to the key licence agreement with Monash University (which grants 4Dx rights to commercialise this technology in exchange for royalty payments).

Most notable among these changes is that the funding threshold for assignment of patents has been lowered to A$6.5 million from A$10 million. Once this lower threshold has been met, all of these patents will be permanently and irrevocably handed over to 4Dx – the royalty, however, will remain.

Other changes reduce restrictions for 4Dx to sub-license the technology to other companies.

 

02 Sep 2016

Andreas Fouras, CEO of 4Dx, says backing bright people is a bright idea

Andreas Fouras, Founder and CEO of 4Dx, spoke with Nature Index on the recent call from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for public consultation on the structural review of their grant program.

m1Following criticism that current funding models are failing to support researchers across all stages of their careers, the NHMRC have opened the debate around three proposed alternative models to review research grant submissions: two based largely on funding people, as individuals or teams; and one that supports ideas.

Andreas joins the camp to support funding people, stating that the disadvantage of funding projects or ideas is that review panels struggle to evaluate projects that draw on multidisciplinary expertise, “there are no panels for research identified as belonging to ‘other’ fields, ” he says.

To read the full article click here.

 

 

01 Sep 2016

4Dx retail round closes with full subscription

Scan-room-with-4dx-reportWe are pleased to announce that our recent retail offer of shares is now fully subscribed after successfully raising AU$500,000.

It is very encouraging to gain backing so enthusiastically from retail investors committed to seeing our technology come to market as fast as possible.

These funds take us a step closer to commercialising our technology through ongoing clinical validation and expansion of our US operation, where Founder and CEO, Andreas Fouras, is now based.

We would like to thank all of our investors for their ongoing support and will continue to update you with news as we reach significant milestones.

To find out about future opportunities, please register your interest here.

25 Aug 2016

AuntMinnie.com interview 4Dx on their advanced visualization tool being used for imaging lung disease

4Dx was interviewed by AuntMinnie.com, an influential community site for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry.

In the article “Advanced visualization tool assesses lung disease”, Eric Barnes interviewed the 4Dx team on the new technique they have developed that combines fluoroscopy and advanced visualization to generate high-resolution images of the motion and airflow of lung tissue.

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“The patients breathe under fluoro and we can record the motion of the tissues, and from that we can quantify a number of things, like ventilation,” said Andreas Fouras, CEO and Founder of 4Dx.

4Dx uses software to segment and track the bronchial tree and estimate airflow inside that part of the body. The team explained that, assuming air inside the lung and lung tissue is incompressible, the calculated lung expansion directly represents airflow into and out of the lung regions.

Asked how the technology will be used, Andreas explained that they foresee a number of clinical applications.

“Depending on the nature of the disease, it may be easier to see the disease through an image of the ventilation, or it may be easier to see it on the airways themselves where you can see the airflow going through,” he explained. “It primarily depends on whether the disease is restrictive [affecting the tissues] or obstructive [affecting the airways].”

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4Dx has tested the technology in animal studies and has started performing human trials with leading Australian and US hospitals.

Andreas believes the images to be very powerful for diagnosis of common lung disease, and, more importantly, for the monitoring and follow-up of a patient as a disease progresses, or as a patient undergoes treatment.

To view the original article “Advanced visualization tool assesses lung disease”, by Eric Barnes is available to members at AuntMinnie.com.