Latest clinical trial results for robotic leg device-maker Rex Bionics’ (RXB:AIM) have done little to ease major sales concerns. Tests are aimed at showing that these robotic devices can provide meaningful support for spinal injury sufferers, but there is much work to do, and investors for now remain unimpressed, the shares failing to budge on today's news from 48.5p.
The clinical trials are promising, revealing that 19 out of 20 volunteers taking part in the study were able to complete various exercises to demonstrate device safety.
But despite huge publicity in the national press and mainstream television, Rex has failed miserably in commercial terms. Just three units have been sold since the company joined AIM in May 2014 at 180p. At £95,000 a pop, perhaps that's not surprising.
Management seems confident that sales can be rapidly expanded going forward thanks to outsourcing deals with distributors in the US, Europe and Hong Kong. While wheelchair users are the main target market, trial results suggest that physiotherapy could provide a new end user market in time.
But the fact remains that Rex is very sub-scale. The company needs to shift 70 devices a year to break even, and in the meantime is burning through stacks of cash, about £4 million a year cash at the current pace.