February 13, 2009 / 4:51 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Electro-Optical skin-cancer detector effective; shrs up

(Adds company comments; updates stock movement)

By Esha Dey

BANGALORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Electro-Optical Sciences Inc MELA.O said its experimental device proved effective in detecting melanoma, a type of skin cancer, sending its shares soaring 88 percent.

Melanoma is an aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancer that is often very hard to detect.

The device, MelaFind, was tested in 1,383 patients in the pivotal trial and detected 125 of 127 melanomas overall, the medical device maker said.

There were no adverse events associated with the use of the device, the company said.

“The ability to diagnose melanomas in an objective way is something (dermatologists) never had,” Roth Capital Partners analyst Matt Dolan said.

Electro-Optical’s Chief Executive Joseph Gulfo refused to comment on the expected revenue from the device, but said that the company initially plans to launch the product regionally.

Roth’s Dolan said: “As a rough estimate I am looking for about $10 million in the first year, and that ramps up pretty quickly to about $40 million in the following years.”

Dolan, who currently does not have any rating on the stock, said the company could also become an attractive target for acquisition by bigger and diversified medical device companies.

Electro-Optical plans to file for pre-market approval with U.S. health regulators shortly, and said the device would receive expedited review upon the submission.

An expedited review status typically means regulators will review the device within 180 days from submission.

CEO Gulfo said the company expects to file “within a month or so.”

“We have to be prepared to launch within six months of filing and that would certainly be our plan,” Gulfo added.

Shares of the company rose to a high of $6.63, before paring some gains to trade up $2.37 at $5.90 Friday afternoon. The stock was the second biggest percentage gainer on Nasdaq. (Editing by Savio D’Souza, Amitha Rajan and Deepak Kannan)

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