Mantis Photonics conducted a webinar on January 11th 2024, aiming to introduce the company to potential investors. Following the meeting, a question and answer (Q&A) session occurred, you can find the transcription directly below.
For additional information, view the recorded session on YouTube to gain valuable insights directly from the founders. The Q&A session starts at 35:23.
Q: What is your exit policy?
A: The preferred exit is an IPO on the Nordic Nasdaq around 2027, by comparing with other companies in the ophthalmology market, we estimated our valuation be around 100 million euros.
Alternatively, we have been in contact already with some technology partners that could take an interest in us, in acquiring our technology so that is an alternative exit.
Q: Is Toku Eyes a competitor?
A: Toku Eyes is not a competitor because they are a software company, Toku eyes work with off-the-shelf retinal imaging device like an OCT device or fundus camera and analyse the images with their proprietary software technology to diagnose cardiovascular diseases.
We have been in contact with them, and we could work with them at some stage as we are a hardware company.
Q: Can you expand retinal imaging diagnosis to other diseases like cardiovascular disease?
A: Yes, the retina is a marvellous place where a lot of information is present about your general health, even so much that it becomes very complicated for us to pick one.
Currently, following our first clinical results we know that Age-related Macular Degeneration we can provide tremendous value in a field which is very hot because there are new medication coming to the market and AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the western world.
Our plan is to be able to track more accurately the development of that disease than what is currently being done. And to be able to track and classify the AMD biomarkers (the drusen) which is fundamental to apply medication in a more effective way.
We also have a clinical trial on Alzheimer’s disease; it is a hot topic but still lack of an effective medication even though Biogen’s lecanemab that slows the progression of the disease was recently approve by the FDA.
We are also keeping an eye on Cardiovascular health. One of the projects we would like to embark on is Chronical Kidney Disease, we are not on it yet because we need to focus on ophthalmological disease and neurological disease for now.
A (from Dr Anders Behrens): Parkinson disease is fastest growing neurological disease in the world. There’s a protein alpha-synuclein that is also deposited in the retina and that would be a very important if it can be detected. Some works with standard fundus images have shown that it can be detected with this technology but with moderate accuracy. We are planning for a future study using Mantis’ hyperspectral camera.
Q: Mention of Imec as competitor, is Mantis part of imec istart programme?
A: We are not part of the Imec istart programme because as a Swedish startup we cannot take part of a Belgian programme.
Imec is a competitor on one hand as they have hyperspectral imaging tech that is competing with ours even though they don’t have a mandate to commercialize. On the other hand, Imec also has an interesting technology called OCT on chip which might be compatible with ours, we have had discussion with them to include their technology in our platform but that is also a long-term project. They are a very interesting stake holder for us, so we keep in touch with them.
Q: Which class of medical device would the camera fall under and are you targeting FDA or MDR first?
A: We are targeting MDR first. The camera itself is class 1 device because this is a non-invasive procedure and we are only injecting visible light, if you look in the MDR regulation there is actually a specific definition for the type of device that only uses visible light, and it is class 1.
The analysis software will most likely be class 2 as it would be a diagnosis support.
The first commercial offering would be a class 1 device which is why we are so confident that we can bring it to the market rather fast since we will not need a notified body for that first step.
Q: Does Mantis plan to offer in the future a SaaS solution to postprocess the images or the core of the business is around the camera (hardware)?
A: The core of the business is indeed around the camera, that’s why we have two patent families for this hardware. And we would like to partner with one of the many companies that are making software for retinal analysis, we are in contact with several of those. As we are now focusing on bringing this portable device on the market, we decided to put all our efforts on that. Moreover, because those other software partners have huge AI teams, and we would rather partner with them than build one ourselves at this stage.