ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) is a penny player in the life sciences space that has pulled back sharply over the past 6-8 months and may represent a deep value opportunity at this point. So, we thought it would be a good time to take a closer look at the stock.
The company’s most recent announcement is from the Board of Directors: ITUS has appointed Dr. Amit Kumar as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kumar replaces Mr. Robert Berman, who has resigned as President, CEO and as a Director. In addition, Mike Catelani, ITUS’ CFO, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). We often see top management changes accompany major inflections, so ITUS shares may well be worth a look here.
ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) bills itself as a company that funds, develops, acquires, and licenses emerging technologies in the areas of biotechnology, High-Tech., Life Sciences, and Informatics.
Current licensing programs involve encrypted communications, and advanced materials. ITUS has an ongoing program to develop highly efficient, flat panel displays, based upon a proprietary technology utilizing carbon Nanotubes and phosphor-luminescence.
The company, through its subsidiary, Anixa Diagnostics Corporation, is also developing a platform called Cchek, a series of non-invasive, blood tests for the early detection of solid tumor based cancers. It has a collaborative research agreement with The Wistar Institute for the development and validation of Cchek. The company was formerly known as CopyTele, Inc. and changed its name to ITUS Corporation in September 2014. ITUS Corporation was founded in 1982 and is based in Los Angeles, California.
The company matches strides with a handful of other players in the cancer detection space, including Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYGN), OncoCyte Corp (NYSEMKT:OCX), and Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML). Together, these companies share a pie that could be a $10B market space by 2020.
A New Dawn?
As noted above, ITUS shares have been carving out a new base at deep value levels of late. The company has moving to shore up its top levels of management, with the board installing a new leader at CEO and President, and moving the CFO into the COO spot.
Dr. Kumar, the company’s new CEO, stated, “I look forward to leading the Company through its next stage of development. As our company becomes exclusively focused on biotechnology and specifically cancer, we felt that leadership with technical and industry expertise was warranted. My vision for ITUS is to create a new paradigm in how we think about cancer, detect cancer and help people afflicted with this deadly disease. I want to thank Rob for his stewardship of the Company for the last four years, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
As for Mike Catelani, the former CFO and new COO: according to company materials, he joined ITUS in November 2016 as CFO of the company, and “is now taking on the additional title and responsibility of COO. Mike’s experience includes senior strategic, operations, and finance roles in a number of biotechnology companies. Mike has been instrumental in founding, running, and raising capital for his companies. His business development experience includes negotiating, executing, and managing pharmaceutical alliances with a value greater than $100 MM.”
Dr. Kumar added, of the change, “I am pleased to have Mike become a more integral member of the senior team, and I look forward to working with him as we build ITUS. I have worked with Mike in the past, and have found him to be a dedicated and exceptional executive.”
Mr. Catelani added, “I’m excited to take on an expanded role at the Company and to work closely with Amit and the senior team as we continue to grow ITUS in the cancer field. We’ve been building a solid scientific foundation through the development of our cancer detection technology, and I look forward to helping the Company advance that technology, as well as others, in pursuit of our goal to help people with cancer through better diagnoses and earlier treatment.”
As noted above, the company is pushing to revolutionize early detection of several solid tumor cancers, and has just made two major changes at the top after a steep corrective period. The narrative from here will likely involve a lot of new moves, and give the company many chances to push out positive press release material. If ITUS isn’t on your radar already, it might deserve a deeper look.