To Our Valued Shareholders,
The first quarter of 2017 delivered all-time highs for TSO3 in revenue, shipments and installations. Training took place at multiple locations throughout GETINGE’s network of global operations and tangible progress took place within the Company’s GI initiative. All-in-all a very good start to the year.
In the quarter we shipped 36 STERIZONE® VP4 sterilizers to Getinge Infection Control. While this is excellent, the real reward was to see an increased flow of shipments from Getinge’s inventory to its end customers in the US, Canada and Europe. While we cannot disclose details of their business, the rate of installations had a significant up-tick during the first quarter and the end-user hospital list continues to add significant reference institutions.
Sales training during the quarter included both product and sales training at the initial and, in some cases, advanced levels. Getinge Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as Asia Pacific (APAC) regions participated.
As a reminder, the Company’s technology targets two distinct markets segments; that of supporting hospitals in the delivery of sterile instruments directed at the surgical suite, and that of enabling a transformational shift in process effectiveness by elevating the reprocessing practice in the GI market segment. To date, our primary commercial progress has taken place in the support of delivering sterile instruments to the surgical suite.
In support of our GI initiative, during the first quarter of 2017 the Company completed tests required to demonstrate that the STERIZONE® VP4 sterilizer can effectively terminally sterilize multi-channeled flexible endoscopes having an elevator guide mechanism as part of their design. This data enables us to support our sterilizer’s use for these devices in the Canadian and European market. Our plans for the US have been previously outlined and include developing additional data for device OEM’s to support adding the STERIZONE® VP4 sterilizer to their labeling. The Company continues to direct its resources toward making these claims a 2017 event.
As the Company continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of our superior sterilizing technology, we also remain focused on creating solutions to enable longer life of instruments routinely sterilized in our technology. This is particularly important in the GI segment, as these devices were designed for reprocessing in a less robust high level disinfection process. The Company made strong progress on this front in the quarter, with practical solutions that lower potential repair costs and thereby increase the attractiveness of our technology.
So, with this progress in-hand and the data that documents our superior solution, we are engaging in the national dialogue and are directing our science at the problem of under reprocessed devices -- and the fact that we have a viable solution. Recently, the Company announced that our innovative method to document sterilization of these complex medical devices was accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal: the Canadian Journal of Infection Control. We have also taken steps to officially communicate with State and Federal lawmakers specifically the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to educate on our viable solution to the current concerns of under reprocessed devices.
This said, it is clear that healthcare facilities are not simply waiting for the laws to change to drive improvement in process. I am pleased to say that the Company is currently responding to a number of healthcare facilities requesting that we assist in their desire to change processes and to move from the less robust high level disinfection of complex multi-channeled flexible endoscopes to a terminal sterilization process. These requests have come from the US, Europe and Canada. Each is being followed through very carefully as this is truly defining a new standard for the industry. I am particularly pleased to say that we are working with the largest facility in Western Canada and have agreed to open the first dedicated GI facility where all ERCP scopes will be terminally sterilized using the STERIZONE® VP4 process. The information gathered form this work will impact decisions in the Province, the Country and the Global healthcare community. It is only fitting that this technology, with our Canadian roots, will now see its clinical significance demonstrated in the same country. Obviously more details will be shared as we progress.
So, we are making great progress in both the sterilization of devices for the surgical suite and ground breaking practices in the GI market segment. Our resources are dedicated to supporting our growth and maximizing the value of the technology in our customer locations. We continue to expect big progress this year!
Again, my thanks to the dedicated employees, our Board and you the owners of this Company for your continued support .
R.M. (Ric) Rumble
President and Chief Executive Officer