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  1. #1

    Post VSG - Visiomed Group

    With the Australian launch of the Funhaler approaching it is a good time to review potential.

    Visiomed stated:

    150K Funhaler units = profitability

    500K+ Funhaler units = potential $3M+ profit

    Potential Market for Funhaler
    (based on Population & Asthma Statistics as detailed below)

    As Funhaler will be launched in Australia, I thought it would be a good time to estimate the size of its potential local market. Funhaler will have a worldwide market so I've also taken the USA market into consideration (for starters).

    To obtain a conservative ESTIMATE of potential Funhaler sales, I collected a few stats. These estimates are conservative because the market for the Funhaler unit is broader than just parent/child use.

    NB The unit would also be invaluable to; 1) hospitals, 2) GP clinics, 3) Paediatricians, 4) Asthma & Related Respiratory Specialists, 5) Ambulance Officers/Paramedics, 6) Child Health Clinics, 7) Child Care & School First Aid resources, etc.

    A conservative estimate of the potential market (Aust & USA only) follows:


    USA - 1,108,361+ FUNHALER UNITS

    The Australian market alone has the potential to make Visiomed profitable.

    Clearly the USA market is a very attractive proposition.

    Now let's consider if just one hospital in China decided to purchase ...

    2) USA

    1) Australia

    population latest count Dec 2003 - 20,008.7 (Census Aug 2001 - 18,972,350 people counted - children 0-4 years = 1,243,969, 5-9 years = 1,331,926 counted)

    Source: Asthma Foundation of NSW

    . 2.2 million people Australians have asthma. This represents an eight per cent increase since 1989-90.
    . 1 in 6 children and 1 in 10 adults have been diagonised with asthma.
    . Australia has one of the highest prevalence of asthma in the world.
    . Asthma is the most commonly reported long-term condition for children aged under 15, and more likely to affect boys than girls (15 per cent to 12 per cent)
    . Asthma is one of the leading causes of childhood admission to hospital and absenteeism from school and work.
    . Asthma ranks among the 10 most common reasons for seeing a GP.

    = Australian Potential Market: 207,245 units based on year 2001 census and 1999 asthma prevalence statistics


    2) USA

    population latest count in 2000 - 281,421,906 (child under 5 years 19,175,798)

    Source: National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Data Fact Sheet' Asthma Statistics; Jan 1999


    'Asthma ranks among the most common chronic conditions in the United States, affecting an estimated 14.9 million persons in 1995 and causing over 1.5 million emergency department visits, about 500,000 hospitalizations, and over 5,500 deaths.magnitude of the problem. ... '


    'In 1995, the prevalence of self-reported asthma was 56.8 per 1,000 persons. The prevalence was higher among children than adults and higher among blacks than whites. Among the general population, the prevalence of asthma was higher among females than males (Figure 1); however, among children, the prevalence was higher among males.

    The prevalence of asthma has been increasing since the early 1980s for all age, sex, and racial groups. The overall age-adjusted prevalence of asthma rose from 30.7 per 1,000 population in 1980 to a 2-year average of 53.8 per 1,000 in 1993-94. This represents an increase of 75 percent. The prevalence among children ages 5 to 14 increased 74 percent, from 42.8 per 1,000 in 1980 to an average of 74.4 per 1,000 in 1993-94. Among children up to 4 years of age, asthma prevalence increased 160 percent, from 22.2 per 1,000, the lowest prevalence among any age group, to a 2-year average of 57.8 per 1,000 in 1993-94, the second highest prevalence behind children ages 5 to 14 (Figure 2). ... '

    = USA Potential Market: 1,108,361 based on year 2000 population and 1999 asthma prevalence statistics
    1) Cash - capital raising subsequent to end of financial year + balance of grant funding
    2) Costs - Recently announced prospect of reduced operating costs
    3) Market Acceptance - Spacers recommended for target market - Funhaler trial results = evidence of improved acceptance and improved outcome
    4) Competition - other spacers
    5) Direct competition - none - proprietary product
    6) Distribution - Aust - Network of Asthma Assoc - further details to be advised
    7) Distribution - elsewhere - further details to be advised

  2. #2

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Hi Chris . Have followed VSG for a while and rode it down from 6cents .It looks as if they have a good product and the powers that be in USA have given it the thumbs up .When do you think manufacturing will begin ?
    Regards KOOKA .

    p.s. Are you the same Chris who holds. CBD AND WAL ?

  3. #3
    Administrator Joe Blow's Avatar
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    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Here's a 12 month chart. Looks like VSG has found some good support at 3 cents.
    Attached Images

  4. #4

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Quote Originally Posted by kooka1956
    Hi Chris . Have followed VSG for a while and rode it down from 6cents .It looks as if they have a good product and the powers that be in USA have given it the thumbs up .When do you think manufacturing will begin ?
    Regards KOOKA .

    p.s. Are you the same Chris who holds. CBD AND WAL ?
    Hi Kooka1956,

    Can't be far away - guess 1-2 months because Aust launch is soon and they'll need stock for that. I imagine they'll manufacture in quantities according to plans - sufficient for Aust first, then international.


    ps Did hold CBD - divested. Not holding WAL at present but it is on the watch list.

  5. #5

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Blow
    Here's a 12 month chart. Looks like VSG has found some good support at 3 cents.
    Hi Joe Blow,

    VSG's recent progress toward commercialisation and profit has gone largely unnoticed. They have greater potential than many realise so here's hoping you're right on that one!


  6. #6
    Ralph Nelson Elliott Porper's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Talking Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    I've been watching VSG for a while now, slowly but surely going down.

    Then today a big update and the share price up about 14 %.

    Basically VSG say they will start production in December and should be selling the Funhaler device by Jan. 2005.

    Selling 300,000 will produce 2 million net profit, not bad, of course the big question is will anybody want them.

    In trials they do appear to encourage youngsters to take their medication which must be encouraging.

    All in all a big gamble but looking better than it did 6 months ago, and if the Funhaler does catch on the gain will be phenomenal.Worth watching for a while I think, if I get a spare bit of cash from my immense capital gain on MUL(ha ha) I may just speculate on a few.

  7. #7

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    I'm disappointed Visiomed are divesting the skin cancer application of their Expert System technology but only from a personal perspective. I think it could have been of real assistance to rural communities who have limited access to specialist services.

    All applications for this technolgoy are well-suited to remote diagnostics (e-health).

    From an investment perspective however; I"m pleased.

    I suspect there was some resistance from this particular specialist arena and Visiomed has made a tough but wise financial decision in divestment.

    Visiomed have retained rights for all other medical applications for the technology so they need only focus on applications where there is evidence of both market need and potential. I'm looking forward to hearing of further developments.

    Back to the present.

    Visiomed is one of only a handful in their industry sector to be this close to;

    . realising commercialisation of a unique Aussie product, and;
    . internally fundng their operational and developmental activities.

    In terms of share price (and based on milestones achieved to-date), I"m hoping to see a fairly steady climb to and through 4c in the very near future.

    Major milestones and SP catalysts:

    1) Australian launch by Fiona Stanley
    2) Media coverage - would appeal to Mum & Dad investors as they would readily relate to this stock
    3) confirmation of reputable US distributor, and; FDA approval
    4) Sales results
    5) confirmation of international distributors and approvals
    6) R&D - though this could be kept confidential until late stage to retain market advantage

    If Mum and Dad investors become aware of both Visiomed and Funhaler (which is highly likely given it's uniqueness, relativity, and broad community appeal), it's possible VSG could outperform.

    Other thoughts?


  8. #8

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Been doing a bit of research on this after seeing the first post. There is one concern, there is other medication ,that is still possibly a few months away from becoming available, that purports to have a cure for asthma.

    This would affect the demand for the funhaler.

    Any views?

  9. #9
    Ralph Nelson Elliott Porper's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    New Zealand

    Talking Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Thanks for posting that Gordon Gecko, I didn't realise there was a supposed cure for asthma, but will look into it, obviously this will make a big difference long term.VSG are one of the companies on my shortlist, maybe re-think now.

  10. #10

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Hi Gordon,

    Thanks for contributing.

    As with all major health conditions (where money is to be made on a large scale), there will always be clinical research, development, trials, etc involving bio-advances, new approaches based on specific asthma triggers, new products, and of course; prevention strategies.

    I do a substantial amount of research and there are numerous advances in Asthma treatment, however; at this time I am unaware of any treatment that offers a cure or that would impact substantially on inhaled medication or devices that aid inhaled medication, in the near future - specifically for this age group and on an international scale.

    Long term is a different story and I think we will see some major advances.

    If I've missed something ... I would appreciate hearing if you know of a company FDA approved to market an asthma product (for young children and toddlers) that does not utilize an inhaler/spacer for delivery.


  11. #11

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    My sister-in-law works for a legal firm in the US that assists a lot of comapanies world wide with setting up contracts to make application for FDA approval.

    The info I have is that a Australian University has identified a protein (I think it is called EBP or CBP) that asthma sufferes don't have. Medication is available that contains the protein. The medication can be in liquid or tablet form and it is a private company that is looking to develop it. They are also doing additional research is underway to find a way to help the body produce its own protein from a young age.

    I will see if I can get more written info that I can post on the site.

  12. #12

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Device, insurer stocks up on Bush win

    By Laura Gilcrest, CBS MarketWatch
    Last Update: 1:41 PM ET Nov. 3, 2004

    WASINGTON (CBS.MW) - As George W. Bush won re-election Wednesday, stocks across the medical device and health insurance sector leaped upward

    Bush's victory for a second term confirmed Wall Street claims that those industries heavily favored the incumbent as the "market-friendly" choice. On Wednesday morning, challenger Sen. John Kerry reportedly conceded victory to Bush after determining the president's lead in the key state of Ohio was insurmountable.

    In the medical device arena, shares of coronary stent maker Boston Scientific (BSX: news, chart, profile) shot up 3 percent to $36.03 in mid-afternoon trading, cardiac device giant Guidant's (GDT: news, chart, profile) stock climbed 2 percent to $64, while device maker Baxter International's (BAX: news, chart, profile) shares rose 1.2 percent to $31.04.

    Managed care stocks also were hopping, with health insurer Humana's (HUM: news, chart, profile) shares soaring 7 percent to $ 21.07 by mid-day, United Health Care (UNH: news, chart, profile) stock jumping 5 percent to $75.47, and First Health Group Corp. (FHCC: news, chart, profile) shares gaining 3 percent to $16.41 in afternoon trading.

    Meanwhile, shares of drug distributor PerkinElmer (PKI: news, chart, profile) were up 2 percent to $21.45 in afternoon trading, reflecting optimism that drug price inflation -- on which the distribution industry still depends, may pick up under a re-elected Bush Administration.

    Other notable health care stock jumps in afternoon trading included: Express Scripts (ESRX: news, chart, profile), up 6 percent to $67.11, Medco Health Solutions (MHS: news, chart, profile), rising 5 percent to $35.72, and Wellpoint Health Networks, climbing 4 percent to $98.97.

    These sectors' movement on the heels of Bush's re-election reflects a changing health care landscape, analysts say.

    "I thought a while ago that [the election outcome] wouldn't matter," said Belmont Harbor Capital -Soleil analyst Daniel Owczarski, because medical device firms weren't affected by issues of Medicare reimbursement and wasteful spending concerns.

    But more and more, device makers are being lumped together with pharmaceuticals from a political standpoint, he said.

    As a result, device companies had worried that a Kerry presidency might usher in more price controls and limited coverage, particularly for some of the newer technologies, Owczarski said.

    Device reimbursement hasn't been an issue under the Bush administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid has readily covered cutting-edge medical devices if a particular technology would cut hospitalization costs down the line, he said.

    "(But) a Kerry-led administration might question the economic impact of the newer technologies," Owczarski said Tuesday.

    Analyst Eli Kammerman of Cathay Financial agreed, noting that makers of the more expensive medical devices and those that substitute for drug therapy -- such as drug-eluting coronary stents -might risk less reimbursement under a Kerry-led administration.

    Boston Scientific (BSX: news, chart, profile) has led the field in the stent market, with increased competition expected by 2007.

    What's more, Kerry's plan to roll back the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans might stifle medical device innovation, by discouraging individuals from forming start-up medical device companies, he said.

    "There needs to be an incentive for taking the risk," Kammerman said.

    Managed care firms could have lost their edge under a Democratic administration, he added.

    "My view is that Kerry's intent to expend health care coverage [via the Congressional Health Plan] would be generally bad for the free market in health care and would lead to greater pricing pressure and price controls," Kammerman said.

    Laura Gilcrest is a reporter for CBS MarketWatch based in Washington.


  13. #13

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Thanks Gordon. I look forward to hearing.

    There is quite a bit of successful research regarding proteins and allergies ... and related to that there is a belief that a percentage of asthma sufferers (those whose asthma is triggered by specific allergens) could benefit from medication or supplements that diffuse allergic triggers.

    I haven't seen anything in the news regarding this particular area of research in relation to one specific asthma cure so I would be very interested in learning of anything new.


  14. #14

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Hi again Gordon,

    As a follow-up I have pressed on with my own research and have copied below some information on protein research as it relates to asthma.

    As mentioned there's plenty of exciting research into what causes inflammation (NB asthma is only one of the conditions involving inflammation); and plenty of research into the causes of allergies, but to my knowledge no-one is claiming an asthma cure.

    As far as medication goes, I haven't found anything regarding a medication that is proven safe and effective in controlling proteins in relation to asthma ... which is not to say it doesn't exist ... just to say that I've been unable to find it.

    The other possibility is that someone is working on a medication that reduces inflammation in a specific condition, eg; arthritis. Theoretically, this could have additional application for asthma, however; drug approvals are very specific in terms of what conditions the drugs are allowed to be prescribed for. That means the developer would still need to undertake all the usual regulatory procedures, i.e.; clinical trials etc to prove efficacy for asthma.

    Let me know if you turn up anything new.


    Nature Medicine 10, 193 - 196 (2004)
    Published online: 11 January 2004; | doi:10.1038/nm983
    A MARCKS-related peptide blocks mucus hypersecretion in a mouse model of asthma

    Mucus hypersecretion is a crucial feature of pulmonary diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis. Despite much research, there is still no effective therapy for this condition. Recently, we showed that the myristoylated, alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (MARCKS) protein is required for mucus secretion by human bronchial epithelial cells in culture1. Having synthesized a peptide corresponding to the N-terminal domain of MARCKS, we now show that the intratracheal instillation of this peptide blocks mucus hypersecretion in a mouse model of asthma. A missense peptide with the same amino acid composition has no effect. Based on quantitative histochemical analysis of the mouse airways, the peptide seems to act by blocking mucus release from goblet cells, possibly by inhibiting the attachment of MARCKS to membranes of intracellular mucin granules. These results support a pivotal role for MARCKS protein, specifically its N-terminal region, in modulating this secretory process in mammalian airways. Intratracheal administration of this MARCKS-related peptide could therapeutically reduce mucus secretion in the airways of human patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis.

    Protein protects infants By Miranda Wood, Health Reporter
    April 4, 2004
    The Sun-Herald

    World-first research by Sydney doctors has found that premature babies have much lower levels of a natural protein that protects lungs from inflammation.

    Doctors at Sydney's Royal Hospital for Women have monitored 165 newborns over the past two years to compare the levels of Clara cell secretory protein in premature and full-term babies.

    The hospital's director of newborn care, Dr Kei Lui, said the research proved that the amount of protein in full-term babies was 20 times higher when compared with premature babies born at 24 weeks.

    Dr Lui said scientists at the hospital's laboratory were examining how the protein helped babies.

    "We know full-term babies tend to recover much quicker [from] any form of lung inflammation and premature babies tend not to," he said.

    Clara cell secretory protein had anti-inflammatory agents and Dr Lui said babies produced a "surge" of the protein after birth.

    "We need to define the role of it in the newborn lung and then we need to do much more to see whether it is beneficial," Dr Lui said.

    Asthma linked to scar creating protein
    Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
    Research Overview

    Discovery of what induces scar tissue in the lungs of asthma patients
    Asthma is a major burden in Australia - affecting 25% of children and 10% of adults. Scar formation in the lungs of asthmatics is a major contributor to difficulty in breathing during an asthma attack. I have discovered what causes the scar tissue to be made. This finding could be the key to new drugs for the treatment of asthma.

    ' ... I also found that asthmatics are less able to stop the action of this scar creating protein which adds to the scar formation. This is due to a lack of a molecule, present in the non asthmatics, that controls the production of the scar tissue. ... '

    Researchers Identify A Protein That Could Banish Allergies

    “We have to remember though that mice are not the same as humans,” cautions Dr Vanhaesebroeck. “Our work points towards a promising future for developing inhibitors for allergic conditions, but we are still a long way from developing a drug for human patients.” The LICR group’s research efforts are also focused on their findings that p110delta could also play a role in certain tumours, like leukemia, and that targeting the p110delta pathway may one day also be useful in the treatment of cancer.

    The Macquarie Bank Asthma Australia Research Alliance

    In May 2001 Macquarie Bank, through the Macquarie Bank Foundation, entered into an alliance with Asthma Australia, providing approximately $1 million to fund a range of research activities over the next five years.


    Around the country, we hear and read regularly of many, many exciting 'breakthroughs' in cancer, heart disease, mental health, asthma, arthritis and the list goes on. In reality, of course, it still takes 7–10 years to translate a basic research discovery that gets scientists excited into a real treatment and benefit for patients.

    Humanity's heritage: The human genome and stem cells
    21 July 2004

    Professor John Shine
    Secretary, Biological Sciences, Australian Academy of Science
    Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney

  15. #15

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Trial hopes for chronic lung blockage
    18:00 AEST Wed Nov 10 2004

    It’s a little known disease showing all the signs of old age, leaving sufferers breathless, coughing and fatigued. But left unchecked, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from smoking, or COPD, can narrow airways and lead to a painful premature death.

    The condition is set to become one of the nation’s biggest killers, and already affects two million Australians aged between 45 and 70. But a clinical trial being put together in Sydney will aim to test the effectiveness of new drugs to help fight the disease.

    “Anything that's got a hill in it, going for a walk, up stairs … by the time I'm finished I can hardly breathe,” says sufferer George Littler.

    Mr Littler, a smoker for many years, is part of the trial at Sydney’s Woolcock Institute for Medical Research. The focus is a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs called PDE4. When inhaled, the drug appears to block cells causing lung damage.

    “From what we know [about it] so far it is quite promising, but the truth comes from doing the studies in our patients,” says Dr Paul Searle from the Woolcock Institute.

    “It is an insidious disease. It starts with [patients] not being able to do things they used to be able to do.

    “Finally, when they realise they are significantly debilitated they may need oxygen 24 hours a day.”

    Patient Keith Woods was diagnosed with COPD eight years ago when he was 51.

    “It’s worse than cancer I reckon,” he says. “There's nothing worse than not being able to breathe!”

    Researchers say that unless COPD is diagnosed relatively early in its development, giving patients a chance to quit smoking and start medication, the disease leads to a steady, irreversible decline in lung function.

    “There's people here 20-years older than me that have got a lot more capability as far as lung usage goes,” Mr Woods says. “I look at them and I'm jealous.”

    Dr Searle says the Institute is looking to recruit over 100 patients who may have COPD for the trial, which is expected to last three to six months.

    “You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”


  16. #16

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Hi Gordon,

    Here are another two interesting articles along the same lines.

    As discussed earlier, some areas of research are focused on identifying allergy markers and creating medications that would ideally stop the body from having an allergic reaction (relevant for a percentage of asthma sufferers),
    there is other recent research that further hints elements present during an allergic reaction are there for a reason (as if we didn't already suspect this - reminds me of tonsilectomies).

    For example; a recent Stanford study on mast cells (mast cells are immune cells implicated in the wheezing of asthma and other nasties) discovered a possible hidden value of mast cells:

    1) ' ... survival during sepsis was greatly improved in the mice with mast cells ... '
    2) ' ... mice without mast cells died ... '.

    So, even though mast cells can behave badly, remove/inactivate the mast cells and you could adversely tamper with the body's own natural defence system - it's immune reponse, i.e.; the body's inherent ability to fight and win against serious infections.

    Food for thought,

    Nov 16, 2004

    Asthma's wheezy feeling

    By Shelley Widhalm

    Call it a family affair — Grace and Tom McCabe and their 12-year-old son Danny have allergies and Mr. McCabe and Danny have asthma.
    "My asthma hasn't been so bad," says Mr. McCabe of Alexandria, who, like his son, is allergic to cats, dogs, mold, dust, grass and pollen, but, unlike him, is not taking allergy shots. "Long term, I want to do it, especially if we ever want to have any pets."
    Danny has been taking allergy shots for more than three years to remove one of his asthma triggers and become less reliant on his inhaler.
    "His breathing is much easier. When he takes a breathing test, you can tell his lung capacity is much greater now," says his mother.
    Danny recalls his first asthma attack four years ago.
    "I just couldn't breathe. My lungs could barely take up any air at all," he says. "It feels like you're going to explode."
    More than 70 percent of the 20.3 million Americans reporting having asthma also have allergies, according to statistics from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), a Milwaukee professional medical organization that promotes education and research.
    "Asthma oftentimes is triggered by allergies," says Dr. Martha White, an AAAAI member and an allergist and immunologist for the Institute for Asthma & Allergy, a private practice and research center in Wheaton.
    Asthma is present in one out of 20 people and allergies in one out of four to five people, Dr. White says. Those with allergies have a one-in-four chance of developing asthma, both of which are genetic, she says.
    A team of American and Australian researchers found a gene linked with asthma, a step in understanding the genetic causes of the disease, after conducting a four-year-study reported last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    The researchers discovered that a gene in the prostanoid pathway — the inflammatory biochemical pathway considered to be important in asthma — might be associated with the inflammation seen in the disorder, says Dr. Scott Weiss, pulmonary specialist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
    Understanding the gene, along with other genes, will lead to a cure for the disease and help doctors predict the course it will take in individual patients and the best medications and treatments to use for them, Dr. Weiss says.
    "Prediction isn't a cure, but prediction can be very helpful to patients," he says.
    Asthma can be brought on by allergies, respiratory infections and exposure to irritants, such as air pollution. The disease is more prevalent in Western, urbanized countries, possibly, at least in the United States, from a decrease in air quality, spending more time indoors where dust and other allergens are located, and a tendency to be "too antiseptic," says Cynthia Liss, a registered nurse with a master's of science in nursing and a clinical instructor for the College of Nursing and Health Science at George Mason University.
    "Asthma is becoming more and more well understood as an allergic disease, though there are cases of non-allergy asthma," says Mo Mayrides, director of public policy for the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a nonprofit patient organization based in Washington, dedicated to education, advocacy and research.
    In the case of allergies, the body produces immunoglobin E (IgE), an antibody, against a specific allergen so that the next time the allergen is encountered, the allergen binds to the IgE molecule and with enough binding, triggers an allergic reaction, Dr. White says. Allergy shots can help, she says, by changing the body's immune system, so that the body stops producing IgE.
    Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which the airways, the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs, are blocked during an attack. Symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness can result.
    The muscles around the airways tighten, causing the airway openings to narrow. The inside walls of the airways become inflamed or swollen and can be sensitive to allergens — animal dander, dust mites, pollen and mold — and irritants — cigarette smoke, cold air, strong odors, stress and strong emotions, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, in Washington. The inflammation, along with extra production of mucus, causes the airway openings to narrow further.
    "It's a very complex disease. However, it's one that responds in a very gratifying way to the proper treatment," says Dr. Harold Nelson, member of the NHLBI asthma expert panel and professor of medicine at the National Jewish Medical Research Center, a hospital and research facility located in Denver.
    Two classes of medication are used to treat and control asthma, a disease that cannot be cured, according to NHLBI.
    Controller or preventive medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene modifiers that are taken daily, keep the airways open by acting on the inflammation response. Rescue medications, or short-acting bronchodilators, are used as needed to help relax the muscles around the airways.
    "The medications block one or another part of the inflammation process," says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, consultant for scientific affairs to the American Lung Association (ALA), based in New York. "Research is focusing on the development of new medications, for the most part focusing on various parts of the body's anti-inflammatory process."

    The latest asthma medication, Xolair, a brand of anti-IgE that is injected bimonthly when other medications fail to work, neutralizes or blocks the IgE by combining with it to make it ineffective. The FDA approved the medication in 2003 for moderate to severe asthmatics with a high level of IgE.
    "The best treatments are the inhaled steroids. They have been shown to decrease symptoms of asthma [and] to improve lung function or lung capacity," says Dr. Depak Soni, chief of pulmonary medicine at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.
    Dr. Soni emphasizes the importance of taking prescribed medications, remarking that some patients will stop taking them when they start feeling better. The symptoms, at that point, likely will return, he says.
    "Early treatment is probably key. The longer you wait to treat symptoms, the more difficult it becomes," Ms. Liss says. "Asthma can become progressively worse."Thomas recommends asthmatics take short-term medications before exercising since exercise also can be a trigger, along with keeping hydrated to prevent mucus buildup and spending additional time warming up and cooling down.
    "I respect the disease process," says Ms. Thomas, a lifelong asthmatic.


    Source: Stanford University Medical Center

    Date: 2004-11-16
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    Stanford Study Reveals That Cells Linked To Asthma And Eczema Also Help Cure Deadly Illness In Mice
    STANFORD, Calif. - Mast cells are immune cells known mostly for their unwanted effects: they cause the wheezing of asthma, the itching of eczema, the sneezing and runny nose of hay fever and, in extreme cases, the life-threatening shock of anaphylaxis. But researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that these cells also have some very beneficial effects.

    Stephen Galli, MD, the Mary Hewitt Loveless, MD, Professor and chair of pathology, and his colleagues have shown for the first time that mast cells can provide protection from a potentially deadly condition known as sepsis by destroying a molecule that contributes to the pathology and death associated with this bacterial infection. Their results are to be published in the Nov. 14 advance online edition of Nature. The first authors, Marcus Maurer, MD, and Jochen Wedemeyer, MD, were postdoctoral fellows in Galli's laboratory during the study.

    "What we have uncovered in this study is a new role for the mast cell, which is to limit the amount of damage caused by endothelin-1, a molecule that is produced in high amounts by the body during severe sepsis, as well as in association with other disorders," said Galli.

    Sepsis is a severe illness caused by overwhelming infection of toxin-producing bacteria in the bloodstream. The effects of sepsis in humans include a high fever, hyperventilation and diarrhea and can be life threatening, especially in patients with other medical problems.

    During some infections, endothelin-1 levels can go very high, causing extreme dilation of the veins and contributing to some of the severe symptoms of sepsis. At the start of the study, the scientists already knew that, in cell culture, mast cells are activated by endothelin-1. In turn, the mast cells also can produce endothelin-1 and break it down. "However, it was not possible to guess what the net effect of the mast cells on the endothelin system would be, because mast cells can both degrade it and produce it," said Galli.

    To see the mast cells in action rather than in a culture dish, senior research scientist Mindy Tsai, DMSc, helped produce genetically engineered mast cells that could or could not respond normally to endothelin-1. The researchers could then selectively transplant these mast cells to mice that lacked the cells and thus see how it affected the ability to respond to endothelin-1 or bacterial infection.

    Most of the mice without mast cells died as a result of bacterial infection. But survival during sepsis was greatly improved in the mice with mast cells that could respond normally to endothelin-1. The scientists found that endothelin-1 can activate mast cells in the mice and, once triggered, the cells produced another protein that breaks down endothelin-1, reducing its toxic effects. In other words, said Galli, the mast cells help to restore normal physiological balance in the mice with high levels of endothelin-1.

    High levels of endothelin-1 have been reported in a number of human diseases, such as high blood pressure, pulmonary hypertension, asthma, congestive heart failure, renal failure and gastric ulcers, said Galli. Moreover, mast cells have been implicated in many of the same disorders.

    "Although we have studied a bacterial infection as a kind of first test case, we hope to be able to develop models that would allow us to study this phenomenon in other diseases as well," he said. "We are too early in this work to see clearly what the therapeutic potential will be."

    Other scientists have considered the possibility of eliminating mast cells as a possible treatment for diseases such as asthma. However, Galli said his team's results offer an example of a beneficial function that would be lost if those cells were eliminated.

    "It's reassuring that evolution has produced cells that under some circumstances have significant benefit, even though when they are activated inappropriately, such as in asthma, they produce harm," Galli said.

    Interestingly, he said, a component of a particular snake venom, that of the Israeli mole viper, contains a compound similar to endothelin-1. Animals bitten by the snake develop some effects that are similar to those observed in sepsis. It is possible that mast cells also counteract this venom component, breaking it down and reducing the toxicity of the protein. Galli's group is looking at this now.

    Other Stanford researchers who contributed to this work are Martin Metz, Adrian Piliponsky and Davavani Chatterjea. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.


    Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.


  17. #17

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Change of Director's Interest Notice

    Name of Director
    Ian Keith Macpherson (Director & Chairman)

    Date of Change

    Number Acquired

    3.3 cents per share ($16,500)

    Nature of Change
    Acquisition of shares on market

    No of Securities Held After Change
    1,799,892 Options (VSGO)

    Refer to ASX notice 25.11.04 to clarify/confirm accuracy and obtain further details

  18. #18

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Change of Director's Interest Notice

    Name of Director
    Ian Keith Macpherson (Director & Chairman)

    Date of Change

    Number Acquired

    3.0022 cents per share ($15,011)

    Nature of Change
    Acquisition of shares on market

    No of Securities Held After Change
    1,799,892 Options (VSGO)

    Refer to ASX notice 26.11.04 to clarify/confirm accuracy and obtain further details

  19. #19

    Thumbs up Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    in relation to YOUNG CHILDREN and

    in relation to YOUNG CHILDREN

    Monoclonal Antibodies

    IgE binds to allergens and triggers the release of substances from mast cells that can cause inflammation. When IgE binds to mast cells, a cascade of allergic reaction can begin. Xolair prevents these antibodies from sending messages to the mast cells so those cells never get the signal to release the chemicals that cause the reaction.

    Drugs in the class of Monoclonal Antibodies:

    Xolair (Omalizumab) is indicated for adults and adolescents (12 years of age and above) with moderate to severe persistent asthma who have a positive skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and whose symptoms are inadequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids. Xolair has been shown to decrease the incidence of asthma exacerbations in these patients. Safety and efficacy have not been established in other allergic conditions.
    - blocks immunoglobulin E (IgE), an underlying cause of allergic asthma symptoms
    - recommended for those who continue to have asthma symptoms even though they are taking inhaled steroids (but Xolair is not a rescue medication)
    - clinical studies - 0.5% of patients developed cancer, 0.2% on placebo developed cancer (time frame - less than 1 year) for patients 12 years of age and above http://www.xolair.com/index.jsp http://www.xolair.com/patient/prescribing_info.jsp http://www.xolair.com/index.jsp

    from Tanox website
    Xolaire (Tanox) - subcutaneous use (injection)
    Prescribing Info - Pediatric Use
    Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 have not been established.
    Leukotriene Modifiers

    Leukotriene modifiers are the newest class of drugs for the treatment of asthma. Leukotrienes are chemical compounds that are released during the inflammatory process. They are chemical messengers that help protect the body against attacks by invaders. However, when they are a part of an allergic response, leukotrienes cause airway obstruction through smooth muscle contraction, mucous production, and swelling of the airways. Leukotriene modifiers block the action or production of leukotrienes, and subsequently inhibit the inflammatory process. Two types of leukotreine - based medications have been developed: leukotriene inhibitors that interfere with the actual synthesis of leukotrienes, and leukotriene antagonists that block the action of leukotrienes by interfering with receptor sites.

    Leukotriene modifiers are good for patients who don't respond well to other anti-inflammatory therapies. They are also finding increasing favor with physicians who treat asthma in children. They are not used to treat acute asthmatic attacks and are available only in tablet form.

    Drugs in the class of Leukotriene Modifiers:

    Montelukast - MONTELUKAST (Singulair®) helps to reduce asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness) and control your asthma. It does not provide instant relief and cannot be used to treat a sudden asthma attack. It works only when used on a regular basis to help reduce inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. Montelukast is effective in adults and children. This drug is also helpful in improving seasonal allergies, like hay fever. Generic montelukast tablets or chewable tablets are not yet available. Montelukast chewable tablets are normally prescribed in children 2 years of age or older.

    ZAFIRLUKAST (Accolate®) helps to reduce asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness) and control your asthma. It does not provide instant relief and cannot be used to treat a sudden asthma attack. It works only when used on a regular basis to help reduce inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. Zafirlukast is effective in adults and older children. Generic zafirlukast tablets are not yet available. Take zafirlukast by mouth (i.e., swallowed) on an empty stomach. Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children under the age of 5 years old. Special care may be needed.

    SINGULAIR is a prescription medicine approved to help control asthma in adults and children as young as 12 months and to help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies in adults and children as young as 2 years.
    SINGULAIR should NOT be used for the fast relief of acute asthma attacks or to prevent or treat asthma made worse by exercise. You should still have rescue medication available and continue to take your other asthma medications unless your doctor tells you to stop.
    ACCOLATE is a nonsteroidal tablet for the prevention and continuous treatment of asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older, available only by prescription. ACCOLATE IS NOT FOR USE IN THE REVERSAL OF ACUTE ASTHMA ATTACKS. Common side effects for ACCOLATE included headache, infection and nausea in adults and headache and abdominal pain in children.
    Oral Beta-2 Agonists

    Beta-2 agonists work in a manner similar to adrenaline, opening airways and easing breathing. They work by binding with, and thus stimulating, beta-2 receptors that line the cell walls of the lungs and the bronchioles. The effect of the stimulation is to relax smooth muscles and widen the airways.

    Possible side effects to the Beta-2 agonists include shakiness, rapid heartbeat, and upset stomach.

    Oral beta2-agonists works in a similar fashion to inhaled beta2-agonists, but they may take longer to work than the inhaled formulation. Oral beta-agonists must be absorbed in the digestive tract and travel through the circulatory system before they begin working in the lungs, whereas the inhaled formulations go straight to the lungs.

    Drugs in the class Oral Beta-2 Agonists:

    ALBUTEROL (Proventil®, Ventolin®) is a bronchodilator, a medicine that opens up your air passages and makes you breathe easier. It is a medicine for patients with various lung problems such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. Generic albuterol oral syrup is available.Take albuterol oral syrup by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

    ALBUTEROL (Proventil®, Ventolin®) is a bronchodilator, a medicine that opens up your air passages and makes you breathe easier. It is a medicine for patients with various lung problems such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. Generic albuterol tablets and extended-release tablets are available. Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

    METAPROTERENOL (Alupent®) can open up air passages and make breathing easier for people with various lung problems such as asthma. Generic metaproterenol tablets are available.Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

    TERBUTALINE (Brethine®) is a bronchodilator, a medicine that opens up your air passages and makes breathing easier. It is a medicine for people with lung problems such as severe asthma and bronchospasm. Generic terbutaline tablets are available. Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

    Proventil Syrup
    The usual starting dose for children 6 to 12 years of age is 1 teaspoonful 3 to 4 times a day. The dosage should not exceed 3 teaspoonfuls 4 times a day. For children 2 to 6 years of age, the starting dose is 0.1 milligram per 2.2 pounds of body weight, to a maximum of 4 milligrams, 3 times a day.

    Special Warnings: The drug has been known to cause life-threatening bronchial spasms, especially with the first dose from a new canister or vial.

    There have also been rare reports of skin reddening and peeling in children taking albuterol syrup.
    Volmax (albuterol sulfate) Extended-Release Tablets
    Extended-Release Tablets are indicated for the relief of bronchospasm in adults and children 6 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease.
    The usual dose for children between the ages of 4 and 12 is 10 mg (1/2 tablet) 3 times a day. For children over 12 years old the usual dose is 20 mg (1 tablet ) 3 times a day.
    People taking Alupent® tablets orally may experience a greater incidence of unwanted effects as compared to those taking inhaled Alupent®. http://www.lung.ca/drugs/pages/16.html
    This medication is not recommended for use in children below 12 years of age.
    Brethine (injection)
    Indications and Usage
    Brethine is indicated for the prevention and reversal of bronchospasm in patients 12 years of age and older with asthma and reversible bronchospasm associated with bronchitis and emphysema.

    Dry Powder Inhalers
    Because DPIs rely on the force of a person's inhalation in order to properly deliver the medication into the lungs, DPIs are not recommended for children under five, people with severe asthma or those suffering a severe attack.

    These breathing treatments usually take about 10-15 minutes and are given several times a day.

    Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) and Spacers
    The MDI is a small aerosol canister in a plastic holder which delivers a burst of medication directly to the lungs. The preferred method of using an MDI is by using it with a device called a "spacer." A spacer is a tube that attaches to the inhaler. It holds the medication until you can breathe it in. This makes using the MDI easier and helps deposit the medication into the lungs better. Spacers also come with masks to be used by small children or anyone else that may not be able to breathe in correctly through a standard spacer. Medications delivered by MDI include Aerobid, Alupent, Atrovent, Azmacort, Combivent, Intal, Qvar, Serevent, Tilade and Vanceril.


    There are numerous proven, widely-accepted, and widely-used asthma medications delivered by inhalation (including generic versions).

    Inhaled medications are reliant on efficient inhalation methods to ensure compliance with medication delivery directly to the lungs as intended. Inefficient inhalation (not drawing a deep enough breath) results in inefficient medication. For this reason nebulizers and spacers are recommended as an aid to medicating asthmatic children.

    A nebulizer is well-suited to aiding medication in children too young to manage a spacer either alone or with carer assistance. A nebulizer is a passive device that does not in itself teach children to inhale deeply, therefore; there remains a very real risk of inefficient inhalation. In addition, this time-consuming delivery method (about 10-15 minutes several times a day) is highly likely to become troublesome, inconvenient, and encounter rising levels of user-resistance.

    A spacer is well-suited and highly recommended to aid medication in children as soon as they are able to manage its use; either alone or with carer assistance. Whilst standard (unembellished) spacers may be less troublesome and more convenient than a nebulizer, there is still a risk children will not inhale sufficient medication deeply into the lungs.

    The Funhaler, a children's asthma spacer device was developed specifically to address the above shortcomings and ensure efficient compliance with medication delivery. Effectiveness of the Funhaler has been proven in clinical trials:
    1) The Funhaler improved the medication technique of children by 60%.
    2) 94% of parents preferred the Funhaler to a conventional spacer device.

    Asthma is in the news daily and often linked to successful research and drug development news. Whilst all advances are welcome, from this writer's research and perspective, developments appearing in the news are early results requiring further research or further trials and most are years from successful market realisation, therefore; in this writer's opinion the Funhaler is best-suited to aid asthma medication delivery in young children as soon as they are able to manage its use; either individually or with carer assistance.

    This means the world-wide market potential for the Funhaler from early in 2005 (in this writer's opinion and worth only what you paid for it here), is clearly substantial and protected (by patents).

    NB Patents secured to protect the Funhaler may provide a basis for additional applications and markets.

  20. #20

    Default Re: VSG - Visiomed Group Limited

    Hi Cris, Haven't heard much from VSG regarding the Australian launch of the funhaler. It's now almost April. Any thoughts?



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