As per reports, the Dutch government announced its intention to hold 3M (MMM) accountable for the pollution of the Western Scheldt river with PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals.” The Netherlands asserts that 3M’s nearby Belgian plant is responsible for the pollution in the Dutch section of the river. The presence of higher-than-acceptable levels of pollutants has resulted in financial damages to both the fishing fleet and the government, according to the Netherlands. In response, 3M stated that it has already reached out to the Dutch authorities to discuss the PFAS situation in the Western Scheldt.
To address concerns, 3M announced in December that it has set a deadline of 2025 to cease the production of PFAS. The European Union is also considering a ban on these chemicals. PFAS, or perfluoralkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are persistent compounds that do not break down easily and have been found in hazardous concentrations in drinking water, soil, and food sources in recent years.
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DID YOU ALSO KNOW?…
The multi-billion-dollar global fertility market is predicted to reach approximately US$47.9 billion by 2030, yet remains severely underserved with many patients (upwards of 90% by many estimates) unable to access affordable treatment. INVO Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: INVO, $.1925 offers the INVOcell solution which provides an advanced, effective and affordable infertility treatment to help increase access to care. INVO is commercially advancing INVOcell through the opening of INVO Centers, opportunistically now pursuing acquisitions of established fertility (IVF) clinics in the U.S., and continuing to offer the technology to existing fertility practices.
On May 15, INVO announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2023 and provided a business update. Steve Shum, CEO of INVO stated, “We made significant progress on nearly every key operational metric during the first quarter, particularly within our three existing INVO Centers in Atlanta, Birmingham and Monterrey achieving record levels of revenue and patient cycles. These three centers combined to generate $646,707 in revenue, an increase of 108% from the first quarter of the prior year and were ahead 46% sequentially from Q4 2022, as patients increasingly recognize and value the remarkable opportunity INVO offers to assist families with affordable fertility options. We are extremely pleased to see the existing clinics nearing break-even and look forward to each of them generating positive cashflows and profits in the near future. Tampa Fertility Institute, our planned INVO Center in Tampa, is progressing with a mid-summer target opening and we are also executing on the early preparation work for an INVO Center in Kansas City. To build on the success we are achieving with our INVO Centers, we expanded our commercialization approach to include the acquisition of established and profitable US IVF clinics and announced the execution of binding agreements to acquire Wisconsin Fertility Institute,” Shum continued. “We view our acquisition strategy as highly complementary to our ongoing efforts to build new INVO Centers, increase sales of our INVOcell® device and expand adoption of the IVC procedure. We expect this strategy to accelerate our corporate development efforts and our path to profitability, as we integrate IVC alongside IVF. We view these two procedures as highly complementary to each other and to our mission of expanding access and affordability for the millions of people for whom the cost of IVF is out of reach. We look forward to closing the acquisition in the current quarter.”
On April 18, Maxim Group’s Analyst Jason McCarthy, Ph.D. issued a BUY rating on INVO Bioscience (INVO). His report is titled, “4Q Results and Outlook: Fertility Space Remains Active as INVO Expands Strategy with IVF Clinic Acquisition.” His 12-month Price Target is $3.
On April 5, INVO announced that it congratulates recently acquires Wisconsin Fertility Institute on being named one of America’s Best Fertility Clinics by Newsweek. During the survey period from November to December 2022, Newsweek and Statista invited over 3,000 reproductive endocrinologists, infertility specialists, obstetricians/gynecologists working in and referring patients to fertility clinics, other medical professionals (e.g., registered nurses, laboratory assistants) and fertility clinic administrators/managers working in fertility clinics to participate in the survey. Participants were asked to assess the quality in five categories for each recommended facility and to assign a ranking position to a set of fertility clinics. Only facilities defined as fertility clinics and ART (“Advanced Reproductive Technology”) providers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were considered. Click here for a full listing and methodology for inclusion.
On March 27, INVO Bioscience announced the closing of its previously announced registered direct offering of 3,680,000 shares of common stock (or pre-funded warrants in lieu thereof), priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules. In a concurrent private placement, the Company also issued warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 5,520,000 shares of common stock. The combined effective offering price for each share of common stock (or pre-funded warrant in lieu thereof) and warrant is $.815. The warrants are immediately exercisable, expire on the eight-year anniversary of the issuance date and have an exercise price of $0.63 per share. Maxim Group LLC is acting as the sole placement agent for the offering.
On Jan. 16, BioSpectrum published an article titled “INVO Bioscience introduces next-gen technologies to fertility market in Taiwan.”
On Jan. 5, INVO Bioscience announced it has entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Ming Mei Technology Co. Ltd (“Ming Mei”) for Taiwan. The agreement will have an initial 1-year term with renewals. Ming Mei is a leading distributor of fertility-based devices and components in Taiwan helping to bring the latest and most advanced medical equipment into the region. Ming Mei estimates it has approximately 90% coverage of reagents and consumables in the reproductive medicine market in Taiwan. With strong customer relationships in the region, and their familiarity with the field of reproductive medicine, Ming Mei is ideally suited to expand distribution of INVOcell in Taiwan. Taiwan is a destination for assisted reproductive technology (ART) throughout Asia and also has the lowest birthrate in the world. Taiwan’s birth rate has dropped as a result of similar trends elsewhere in Asia, such as later marriage and increasing cost of living. Further, the average age of patients requiring therapy is rising. Fortunately, according to the statistics published by “ICMART”, the overall implantation rate of therapy in Taiwan ranked second worldwide, almost equal to the level in the U.S., and a leading country in Asia. The stable high success rate derives from updated medical research and enriched clinical experience from the physicians, advanced laboratory facilities and technology as well as patient-centered customized treatment plans (depending on their age, ovarian functions and causes of infertility, etc.) Prior to the pandemic, in 2019 there were approximately 55,000 ART cases in Taiwan, an increase of approximately 55% compared to 2016. In July 2021, the government in Taiwan implemented a subsidy plan for ART with the goal of encouraging more local married couples to undergo ART treatments. The subsidies are also available to transnational couples in which one spouse holds a Taiwanese ID card.
On Jan. 3, INVO announced it has signed an agreement with Shelly W. Holmström, M.D. FACOG, to serve as the physician operator for the Company’s soon to be opened Tampa, Florida INVO Center.