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VOL. 124 | NO. 131 | Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Luminetx Expands Global Penetration

By Tom Wilemon

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BRIGHT SIDE: Despite recent competitive and internal issues, Luminetx Corp. has reported sales of its VeinViewer device are the highest in the three years since it started being distributed. -- FILE PHOTO/TOM WILEMON

Luminetx Corp. on Monday reported its second quarter sales of VeinViewer were at the highest level since the company began shipping the vascular imaging product three years ago.

More than 1,200 VeinViewer units have now been sold globally. The product is being sold in 40 countries on every major continent except for Africa, and the company is in talks to begin distribution there, said Chris Schnee, vice president of global marketing and international sales.

The Memphis-based company has a new chief executive officer, Richard Kindberg, who came on board in March.

“We knew 2009 would be a challenging year for our company, particularly given the current state of the global economy,” Kindberg said in a prepared statement. “Nonetheless, we continue to realize success by focusing our efforts with customers that see the intrinsic value our product delivers. VeinViewer resonates during these tougher times by saving time and money, reducing potential infections while improving patient care and overall patient satisfaction.”

Competitive issues

Luminetx markets the VeinViewer medical imaging device and has a new product, the Snowflake, which is a biometric imaging device, or one that measures physical or behavioral characteristics such as fingerprints or voice patterns.

The company has the rights to a patent developed by Herb Zeman, a retired University of Tennessee Health Science Center professor, that allows health care professionals to see veins under patients’ skin, which is the VeinViewer’s primary function.

For 2008, the company reported year-over-year sales growth of 77 percent for the VeinViewer. Luminetx is expanding its global distribution network and is on five of the top six Group Purchasing Organization contracts, giving it access to more than 85 percent of the acute health care hospital market, the company said.

“We have seen new would-be entrants attempt to break into the marketplace we have created,” Kindberg said. “Others have fallen away as their product concept could not capture the confidence of the customer to the degree that VeinViewer has achieved.”

He did not mention any specific competitor, but Luminetx has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AccuVein LLC, a New York-based company that this year launched a smaller product that provides the same function as Luminetx’s VeinViewer.

Last week, AccuVein announced it had struck a five-year agreement with the U.S. General Service Administration to put its product in military, veteran, prison and other federally operated hospitals.

“The VeinViewer product is truly best-in-class as evidenced by the many hundreds of customer sites we now have around the world,” Kindberg said. “That being said, Luminetx is constantly identifying new means to enhance our technologies to better serve our clients and their patients. You can expect some amazing new additions to the VeinViewer product family in the future.”

Lighting the way

The VeinViewer currently being marketed is the VeinViewer GS version, which was launched in January 2008 as the second generation model, Schnee said.

“The No. 1 thing that fuels market penetration for a company like ourselves is having a strong global sales distribution network,” he said. “We use a very tried and true model of third party companies around the world and in the U.S. that are trained to demonstration, sale and service (of) the product. Really, the acceleration of the market penetration is a result of finding and partnering with excellent medical distribution companies.”

Luminetx is working on new products geared toward customer needs.

“The key thing for Luminetx is not to guess what the customer wants ...” Schnee said. “We certainly see a future where VeinViewer is in different forms – smaller – and also has different functionalities.

“Those are the kinds of things we constantly ask our customer base about what’s important to them. The GS model today is the one that has hit this key milestone for the company. It’s fantastic. It really has forged a market where one did not exist.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 19 170
BUILDING PERMITS 28 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 25 98 716
BUSINESS LICENSES 4 26 302
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0