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Pyng Medicals FAST1 is offering paramedics, Emergency
Medical Services, emergency room personnel and military medics an exciting new way of
rapidly delivering fluids and drugs to the heart
Emergency Medical Devices
(PYT-TSX.V, PYNGF-OTC: BB)
Pyng Medical Corp.
Unit 7, 13511 Crestwood Place
Vancouver BC Canada V6V 2E9
President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published - February 15, 2007
David Christie, BSc (Biology), MBA
David Christie is President and Chief Executive Officer of Pyng Medial Corp., bringing
considerable experience in commercializing medical devices to Pyng. David has over 25
years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience in the medical
device and high technology industries.
In his most recent role as Chief Executive Officer at InnerVision Medical Technologies
Inc., he was instrumental in raising $2 million, assembling an international team of
professionals, and leading the development of Flash Ultrasound technology. In his
previous role as Chief Operations Officer at VSM MedTech Ltd, David was responsible for
manufacturing, regulatory, quality assurance, and service of functional brain imaging
systems and blood pressure monitors, contributing significantly to the growth of VSM from
a company with no revenue and 12 employees to $15 million in revenue and 175 employees.
In prior roles as Executive Vice President and General Manager, David led the engineering
and business development initiative on ground-breaking blood pressure technologies and
prior to that as Vice President Sales and Marketing, successfully launched their
proprietary blood pressure monitor (BpTRU) and established international
distribution. David was Vice President and Regional General Manager, BC and Alberta, for Medigas,
Canada's leading respiratory care company. David held increasingly senior management
positions with American Hospital Supply, which was acquired by Baxter Corporation, the
world's largest supplier of medical-surgical supplies to hospitals.
David has his Masters in Business Administration from the University of British Columbia,
and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Montana.
Pyng Medical Corp is uniquely positioned to command a leading market position in the
resuscitative urgent care market. Building off the strength of our proprietary FAST1
Intraosseous Infusion System, Pyng is poised to expand internationally, penetrate in to
all clinical applications, and diversify with complimentary product lines. We are focused
on serving the needs of emergency room doctors and nurses, paramedics and any first
responders, in the battlefield, ambulance or in any hospital during Code Blue
trauma. By building a strong core high-margin business that is profitable, keeping our
overheads low and under control, and with a very clean balance sheet, we have all the
fundamentals for a strong, sustainable investment. Our loyal customers think FAST and save
lives with our innovative solution. We believe that savvy investors should think PYNG to
enhance their market portfolio.
CEOCFO: Mr. Christie, you are relatively
new at Pyng Medical; what attracted you to the company?
Mr. Christie: What attracted me is the
unique position that PYNG is in, in emergency medical services and pre-hospital care as
well as the emergency room and on the crash carts of the hospital. Our innovative product,
the FAST1 intra-osseous infusion system,
has been proven in the battlefield and on the ambulance to save lives. It is unique in
terms of its capabilities and we have a very strong market position.
What is your vision for Pyng?
Mr. Christie: Our vision is to take it
from the strength that we have today, which is principally in the defense market and
expand that into emergency medical services to all of the first responders, such as
ambulance and firefighters. In addition, we want to get it into the hospitals in the
emergency rooms and the crash carts. We also want to expand internationally into Europe,
which we have already initiated, Australia and Asia as well as add complimentary products
to our core product, the FAST1.
Tell us about the F.A.S.T.1; what does it do?
Mr. Christie: The FAST1 is our brand name for the intra-osseous
infusion system that Pyng has developed and marketed internationally. By
intra-osseous we are referring to the bone marrow space. The FAST1 is unique in that we access the space
in the sternum and the sternum is well suited for emergency care for a couple of reasons.
First, because it is one of the best-protected sites on the body and second, it is closest
to the heart. With our proprietary product, we penetrate just exactly into the bone marrow
space very safely. We can deliver drugs and fluid into the heart within 25 seconds from
the time of insertion.
How does your offering improve on the current method?
Mr. Christie: What is happening now is
a clinician will try to start an intravenous (IV) line, which is quite often time
consuming and difficult especially for a patient going into cardiac arrest because
peripheral vessels tend to shut down; all of your blood goes to the heart and the core of
the body in an emergency situation. The alternative is intra-osseous infusion, which was
recently adopted by a group called the Interdisciplinary Liaison Committee On
Resuscitation, which has said that if you cannot get an IV line started within your
standard protocol, you should go immediately to intra-osseous infusion. The only
alternative up until now would be what is known as a central line, which is quite an
involved procedure to get into a major vein like the subclavian or the internal jugular
Who is using F.A.S.T.1 now?
Mr. Christie: FAST1 is widely used in the battlefield by
medics throughout the US military, so it is being used in theater in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It is also being used by ambulance attendants and firefighters, who are the first
responders and paramedics. For example, San Francisco Fire has recently contracted to put
FAST1 on all of their ambulances. In addition, the emergency rooms and the hospitals
are starting to use them. It is probably most adopted by the defense establishment,
secondly by the paramedics and lastly by the hospitals for use on their crash carts and in
Do you see a point down the line where the current intravenous approach would be replaced?
Mr. Christie: That is exactly right.
We are already seeing that the medics in the battlefield are going immediately to our
product; wherever you have a situation where speed is of the essence in saving lives, FAST1 has its name for just that reason; it
is very fast. From the point of insertion it is only 25 seconds to get drugs to the heart.
It only takes inside of a minute to insert the FAST1.
Therefore, it is a minute and a half from the moment that you start the procedure until
you have fluid and drugs to the heart. That is a rapid response that can literally make
the difference between life and death for patients in critical condition.
What is your plan for more widespread use of the F.A.S.T.1?
Mr. Christie: It is pretty
straightforward in a lot of respects. The emergency medical services market is a clear and
obvious target that we can reach through publications like the Journal of Emergency
Medical Services, as well as attending the relevant conferences and we are doing that.
Expansion into new geographic markets like Europe and Asia and Australia, we are picking
the right distributors, and we are in the process of doing this in countries that we have
not entered yet. In the hospital market, it is appealing to the medical doctor and the
critical care nurses, which is a process that we have also begun to initiate.
Tell us about the device itself.
Mr. Christie: The device is classified
under the FDA and other regulators as a hypodermic needle; it is actually a proprietary
hypodermic needle assembly. It fits comfortably into any average-sized hand. It is
delivered intuitively with all the required peripheral components to make a complete
assembly. Once it is properly inserted, you can hook it up to the same kind of lines that
you would hook up an IV, the fluid and drug lines. In addition, you have got dressings to
protect the site from infection and it is all a complete system.
Is it a disposable item?
Mr. Christie: Yes and it needs to be,
because with any kind of needle assembly, there are always aspirated fluids. Therefore,
there is a risk of cross contamination if you were to try to clean and reuse a device like
this, so it is a single-use device.
Is the cost a factor for potential customers?
Mr. Christie: The cost really is not a
factor. These are retailing in the domestic market for $165 dollars. If you compare that
to an IV line, an IV line might only cost one tenth of that, but the other alternative,
which is the central line, can cost hundreds of dollars and it is also a very time
consuming procedure. When you look at your combined cost of labor and product, this is
very affordable especially for a device that saves lives.
Do you have other products you would like to add as well?
Mr. Christie: We do, but none that I
can disclose at this time. We have some product line extensions in development and we are
pursuing complimentary products in what we call the resuscitative care market. Any
instance where you have a patient in urgent enough need of critical care that requires the
FAST1, there are other products that are
also going to be used. Therefore, we are both developing and procuring complimentary
devices that we will introduce to the market as appropriate.
Do you have your own sales force?
Mr. Christie: We are very small. We
are certainly a manufacturing and development company. We have about six professional
staff in-house here in Richmond, B.C. in western Canada as well as about half-a-dozen
specialized assembly personnel who work in our Class 1000 clean room. We partner for our
distribution and our most significant partner domestically is Bound Tree Medical Products,
Inc., which is the leading domestic supplier to the EMS and defense market. They are well
positioned with over fifty sales representatives on the ground throughout the US. We have
comparable distributors in Australia, the UK, Germany, Austria, and other countries where
we are currently establishing distribution.
Do the emergency room people realize how much of a problem getting the intravenous in is,
or does that have to be pointed out to them?
Mr. Christie: Paramedics, EMS and
emergency room personnel are aware of the difficulty of IV administration and there have
been many attempts at solving this problem. However, to date it is a problem that has not
been solved. Some people just do not have veins that are obvious or easy to locate. The
other part of the problem is that when you have somebody in a shock or trauma situation,
their peripheral vessels basically shut down, therefore the veins are literally not there.
They are well aware of the problem and the difficulty for them in the hospital has been
that the alternative is the cut-down procedure that they use to access a
central line, and it requires quite a level of expertise and it is usually done by an
anesthesiologist or possibly a critical care nurse. Those people have to be called to the
emergency room, which is time consuming in and of itself. Therefore, to have a rapid
alternative that anybody can use is very desirable for them.
Will you tell us about the financial picture of the company?
Mr. Christie: The financial picture is
very solid. We have an incredibly healthy balance sheet. We have $650 thousand cash in the
bank. We have a $500 thousand line of credit, but we have not drawn down one penny. We
have no debt and we are in a good equity position. We have about 10 million shares issued,
free, and outstanding; quite a small market capitalization for a company at our age and
stage. The shares are trading at about 47 cents, which is about the mid point of a 52-week
low and high. We just came off of a very strong 1st Quarter. We just announced
our record-breaking sales number close to $ 1 million, which is the strongest first
quarter we ever posted coming off of a very strong year where we recorded $3 million in
revenue and netted out about 10% of that on our bottom-line income.
Why should potential investors be interested now and what should people know about Pyng
Medical that might not jump off the page?
Mr. Christie: There are a few reasons,
but number one is that our stock is undervalued, but by how much undervalued is for the
investors to decide. We can say it is under-valued because all of the financial
fundamentals are in extremely good shape. We are a company that has maintained very low
overhead. We enjoy high gross margins, which are in the order of 70%, which in the medical
device industry is pretty rare. I mentioned the change in the market place with the
so-called ILCOR guidelines, by the Interdisciplinary Liaison Committee On Resuscitation.
It was just a year ago in November 2005, when they recommended intra-osseous infusion as
the first alternative to infuse fluids in the event that you cannot start an IV. That
change in the market is beginning to build momentum toward the FAST1. Finally, we are seeing those results
starting to materialize now. We sold over 80 thousand F.A.S.T.1 devices in just
three years and the momentum is starting to build on the revenue line.
Any final thoughts for our readers?
Mr. Christie: I am excited about the
opportunity. I have been involved in over a dozen medical device product launches that
have gone very successfully. I worked in all different areas of the business and I know a
good opportunity when I see one and this is it. I am excited to be here and I am excited
to create some real value for shareholders as we take the company forward.
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