Cancer Detection in Seconds
Vita Imaging is a medical-device company developing cancer detection and diagnostic technology.
Its first product, AURA, is an award-winning, non-invasive imaging device that can detect melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in two seconds.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Nearly 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease every day, and one in five will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.” This report identified skin cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and established its prevention as a high priority.
Part of this prevention is in an effort to reduce healthcare costs. Skin cancer healthcare costs total more than eight billion dollars a year.
Notably, the American Cancer Society reports that the five-year survival rate for melanoma is ninety-nine percent — when detected early. However, most healthcare providers still rely on visual inspection of suspicious lesions to identify potential skin-cancer concerns. Soon, they’ll rely on Vita Imaging.
This company’s AURA device is coming to market following two decades of extensive research and development by the British Columbia Cancer Agency Research Center and the University of British Columbia. Vita Imaging has an exclusive license from both entities and is backed by a comprehensive patent portfolio, which will facilitate development of future products from platform technology.
AURA objectively quantifies the chemical composition of the skin using a technique called Raman spectroscopy. This is a non-invasive method of observation and has a wide range of applications — from detecting cancerous cells to identifying pharmaceutical ingredients to authenticating works of art and artifacts.
Using this technique, AURA achieves sensitivity of ninety percent with eighty-two-percent specificity with respect to identifying skin cancer (far superior to current devices on the market). Furthermore, AURA has the potential to treat all epithelial cancers such as stomach, colon, lung, and esophageal cancer.
AURA has been tested in comprehensive clinical studies, including the largest study using Raman technology for skin-cancer detection. It’s successfully passed all product performance and safety tests. Through this process, Vita Imaging has demonstrated that AURA exceeds all FDA benchmarks, paving the way for full clearance and commercialization as a Class III medical device (these devices generally sustain or support life).
Thinh has extensive experience growing businesses.
Prior to Vita Imaging, he was Chairman and CEO of V-Silicon, a leader in the smart-television market. Before that, he founded Sigma Designs, a semiconductor-manufacturing company that went public.
Earlier in his career, Thinh worked for Amdahl Corporation and Trilogy Systems Corporation, two computer-technology companies. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.
Maria has a background in developing biotech-related therapeutics.
Prior to joining Vita Imaging, she was Head of Clinical and Business Operations with Quest Clinical Research, a biotech company researching infectious diseases and diabetes. Before that, she was a consultant with DaVinci Consulting, a company serving biotech-related businesses.
Earlier, she was Chief Administrative Officer with College Medical Center, a California-based healthcare company. Before that, she founded iontherapeutics, a medical-device startup that achieved FDA approval for devices aimed at treating diabetes.
Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Pace University.
Dzung has more than thirty years of financial experience, including holding senior financial positions at multiple publicly-traded companies and startups.
Previously, she held finance roles at Vivus, a pharmaceutical-manufacturing company, and Micro Lambda Wireless, an electronics-manufacturing company.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from San Jose State University.