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US pitch helps Micro-X join Major League

Business

Adelaide hi-tech imaging company Micro-X is starting to make inroads into North America with the first sale of one its mobile X-ray units to a major sporting club.

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The Tonsley-based firm announced today it had sold one of its lightweight Rover x-ray systems to Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners.

The immediate delivery of the Rover x-ray system from Micro-X’s Seattle facility means the unit can be used to diagnose baseball injuries for the remainder of the 2022 baseball season, which ends in October.

Seattle Mariners senior director of high-performance Rob Scheidegger said the Rover was ideally suited for use in the professional sports environment.

“Having the ability to produce high-quality images from such a versatile and mobile unit right in our ballpark is a game-changer for our medical team,” he said.

The machines use carbon nanotube technology, with a simpler design and more reliable performance in a smaller, lighter and less complex unit than traditional mobile x-ray devices.

The sale comes as Micro-X looks to increase its activity in North America. The listed company this month signed a distribution agreement for Rover in the United States with Medlink Imaging, a nationwide dealer of radiographic equipment.

Medlink Imaging is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vieworks Co Ltd, a major global supplier of imaging plates, based in South Korea. A key element of the distribution agreement is an initial commitment to acquire US$0.72 million (A$1.0 million) of Rover mobile systems during the first year of the agreement and each year thereafter.

Micro-X managing director Peter Rowland said Vieworks was one of the largest suppliers of detectors worldwide and was well respected internationally.

“This relationship with their US distributor not only positions us well for the US market, but also positions us for further expansion globally,” he said.

Micro-X this month also announced it had struck an exclusive deal with Leader Healthcare Group to distribute its Rover in the UAE.

In March, Micro-X partnered with a US charity to provide four of its portable X-ray units to be used in Ukrainian hospitals.

The company is also developing a miniature CT Baggage Scanner that can be incorporated into automated airport checkpoints. The design of its prototype has been accepted for approval by the US Department of Homeland security.

Micro-X listed on the ASX in December 2015 shortly after relocating from Victoria to South Australia to establish a manufacturing hub at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

It launched its flagship lightweight mobile x-ray unit, the Nano, in 2017 and has since launched the more durable Rover version, which is designed for defence applications such as military field hospitals.

But the company is yet to make a profit and posted a $14.7 million loss after tax in 2020-21. It also reported a $9 million half-year loss in February.

Micro-X has a market capitalisation of about $60 million and a share price of $0.13 at today’s opening, well down on its price of $0.33 a year ago.

It was ranked No.50 in InDaily’s 2021 South Australian Business Index of the state’s top 100 companies, up from No.60 in 2020.

Tickets sales for the 2022 South Australian Business Index opened this month, with individual tickets at $163.35, including the booking fee, and tables of 10 for $162.22. A 10 per cent discount is offered for purchases before the end of the financial year on June 30.

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