Just a week after raising $55 million in a private placement, Nanox, an Israeli startup that has developed a revolutionary digital x-ray machine, has filed for a $125 million initial public offering on Wall Street that values the company at as much as $600 million.
Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Ran Poliakine, the company has developed an x-ray machine called the Nanox.ARC that is not only more compact and lightweight than conventional devices but produces 3-D images, emits less radiation and costs a fraction of the price of conventional imaging devices. Based on technology originally developed at Japan’s Sony for a novel LED screen, the Nanox.ARC uses a proprietary silicon chip embedded with 100 million nanocones that generate x-rays. There are no moving parts, no need for cooling and no need for lots of electric power.
The company says it marks the first fundamental change in basic x-ray technology since the process was first developed in 1895. That technology requires heating a metal filament to 2000 degrees Centigrade. The filament emits electrons that collide with an anode to create x-rays, a process that uses a lot of electricity to keep the device cool.
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The Nanox.ARC includes software that integrates it with the internet cloud, where the images are stored and sent to radiologists to examine remotely, or to companies that use artificial intelligence to analyze them.
Nanox’s business model is to offer screening as a service; in other words, users would pay for each scan rather than buying the device outright, which entails a big capital outlay. It hopes to cut the cost of medical imaging to the point that it becomes a commodity product and expand access to the service to large parts of the world where it is now unaffordable.
The company unveiled its prototype Nanox.ARC last February and expects to have its first commercial version on the market in the first quarter of 2021, conditional on it getting regulatory approvals. By the second half of next year, it expects to have 1,000 systems installed, and by 2024, to have 15,000.
Among its backers are Taiwanese company Foxconn, the photographic film company Fujifilm and Korea’s SK Telecom.