Move over Appen: A new artificial intelligence stock to list on the ASX

This technology could save some of the 9 million lives lost each year to coronary artery disease.

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A medical specialist holds a red heart connected via technology and artificial intelligence (AI)

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Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) is the most prominent technology company on the ASX involved in artificial intelligence (AI).

Its shareholders have suffered immensely in recent times, with the stock dropping more than 65% over the past 12 months. But even with that calamity, Appen shares have quadrupled in the last 5 years.

And it has gained more than 1,668% since listing in January 2015.

So if you’re interested in getting in from the ground level on a new AI player, there is one such company listing this month on the ASX.

Heart disease will only increase with an ageing population

Perth’s Artrya Limited (ASX: AYA) has just closed its initial public offer, with its shares due to commence general trading on the ASX on 26 November.

The company’s technology aims to automate the diagnosis of coronary artery heart disease, which can cause heart attacks.

Co-founder and managing director John Barrington said there is growing demand for improved detection of coronary artery disease.

“With 9 million people dying from the disease each year globally, the pressure on health systems is already substantial, and it’s only going to increase over the next few decades with ageing populations,” he said.

“This float will assist the company in its next stage in expansion.”

During the IPO, shares were offered for $1.35 each to raise $40 million and give Artrya a market valuation of $105.45 million.

According to the company, it has received $19 million of funding over the past 2 years from both investors and government research funds.

The Motley Fool has enquired with Artrya to confirm the progress of the IPO.

‘No warning signs of a heart attack’

Artrya’s flagship cloud software suite is called Salix, which non-invasively detects the presence of “vulnerable plaque” in a patient’s arteries in about 15 minutes.

Such plaque is liable to rupture and cause heart attacks.

The technology was developed in conjunction with expertise from the University of Western Australia, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and the Ottawa Heart Institute.

An “unrestricted launch” across Australia is scheduled for early in the new year while the IPO money will be used to take the technology overseas after that.

“Coronary artery disease affects an estimated 126 million people worldwide,” said Artrya chair Bernie Ridgeway.

“Of those, the majority have no warning signs of a heart attack. As the prevalence of CAD rises due to an ageing population, global health systems will have to deal with more CAD cases.”

He added that Salix is expected to disrupt the international market for Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) scans and Invasive Coronary Angiogram (ICA) procedures.

“An estimated 20 million cardiac CT scans are expected to be performed in both North America and Europe alone by 2025,” said Ridgeway.

“By addressing current limitations in diagnostic reporting for CAD, Salix has a valuable first-mover advantage.”

Salix was placed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) as a Class 1 medical device in November last year.

Artrya is pursuing a subscription model for commercialisation of the software.

“This model will help Artrya penetrate the global CCTA and ICA markets because healthcare providers pay no upfront costs to use Salix,” Ridegeway said.

“Artrya believes the software-as-a-service model could deliver annuity revenue and profitable margins for the company.”

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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