NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY), a biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing topical non-antibiotic antimicrobial products for the global eye care market, today provided an update on its commercial launch of Avenova™.
“We are encouraged by the market’s initial acceptance of Avenova,” said Ron Najafi, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of NovaBay. “We spent most of third and fourth quarters of 2014 building our commercial infrastructure and training our newly formed 15 medical representative direct salesforce. As expected, revenue contribution from Avenova was modest, but we are optimistic based on the growth we experienced during this period.” NovaBay is reporting 2014 third quarter and fourth quarter sales for Avenova of approximately $90,000 and approximately $219,000, respectively.
“While too early to provide full year guidance, we expect Avenova sales for the first quarter of 2015 to be well above the level of the third and fourth quarters of 2014 combined. Avenova sales for February were more than double January sales, and sales so far in March are well outpacing the comparable sales days in February,” Dr. Najafi added.
“We are gaining sales traction as we build awareness of Avenova’s unique attributes in managing blepharitis and dry eye syndrome. These chronic eyelid conditions afflict about 30 million Americans. Many patients who have suffered for years from the inflammation, itchiness and other effects of blepharitis and dry eye are reporting relief after using Avenova for a little as two weeks,” said Glenn Moro, Vice President of Avenova Sales and Marketing.
“It is gratifying that sales are increasing both due to first-time orders as well as from reorders as ophthalmologists and optometrists incorporate Avenova into their practices. To ensure product availability, we have engaged major distributors McKesson Corporation and Cardinal Health that collectively serve about 90% of the 67,000 retail pharmacies in the U.S.,” Mr. Moro added.
In February 2015, NovaBay increased its direct salesforce to 35 medical representatives, most with more than 10 years of experience. The salesforce is calling on ophthalmologists and optometrists in major markets across the U.S. The commercial organization is led by Mr. Moro, who has proven success in launching products in this market during his 27-year career and most recently as global marketing head at Alcon. Based on extensive market research, the company has assigned its representatives in the markets across the U.S. representing the highest sale potential.
“This is a well-conceived commercial strategy to bring a needed product to a large and highly underserved patient population,” said Dr. Najafi. “Based on our ability to gain traction in the U.S. market, which we estimate at $500 million annually, we may expand the number of medical representatives later this year.
“Word of mouth in this physician population is a powerful tool in gaining acceptance and our marketing collateral features testimonials from highly respected ophthalmologists and optometrists. We have placed full-page advertisements in eight of the top trade journals in March. We also are raising visibility through our presence at 10 industry conference this year. We have a major display planned for the exhibition floor at the well-attended American Academy of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) conference in San Diego next month,” Dr. Najafi concluded.
NovaBay will report full 2014 fourth quarter and full year financial results including Avenova, NeutroPhase® and collaboration revenue after market close on Thursday, March 26, 2015. NovaBay management will host an investment community conference that day at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, to discuss financial results, provide a company update and answer questions. Shareholders and other interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing 866-880-4999 from within the U.S. or 702-495-1913 from outside the U.S. A live webcast of the call will be available at http://novabay.com/investors/events and will be archived for 90 days.
A replay of the call will be available for 48 hours, beginning two hours after call completion, by dialing 855-859-2056 from within the U.S. or 404-537-3406 from outside the U.S. and entering the conference identification number 2379523.
Avenova* is the only eye care product to contain Neutrox™, NovaBay’s proprietary, pure hypochlorous acid (HOCl) with all the bleach (sodium hypochlorite) impurities taken out. HOCl is a naturally occurring substance produced by white blood cells to fight microbial invaders. Laboratory tests show it has potent antimicrobial activity and yet is non-toxic to mammalian cells. Neutrox neutralizes bacterial toxins in vitro. Avenova is uniquely suited for daily use by the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic eye conditions like blepharitis and dry eye. It is the only such product designed for continuous daily eyelid hygiene.
About NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Going Beyond Antibiotics®
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focusing commercializing and developing its non-antibiotic anti-infective products to address the unmet therapeutic needs of the global, topical anti-infective market with its two distinct product categories: the NEUTROX™ Family of Products, including AVENOVA™ for the eye care market and NEUTROPHASE® for wound care, which was initially cleared by FDA, and CELLERX™ for the dermatology market; and its AGANOCIDE® compounds, led by AURICLOSENE™. NovaBay is partnered in the U.S. and around the globe with: PBE, Inc. (USA), IHT, Inc. (USA), Galderma (France), Virbac (France), China Pioneer Pharma (China and Southeast Asia), Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals (South Korea), Biopharm (North African and Middle East), Sarmedic Ltd (Israel) and Alpha Pharma LLC (Ukraine).
*Avenova Skin and Wound Cleanser is intended for use under the supervision of healthcare professionals for cleansing and removal of foreign material, including microorganisms and debris from wounds, and for moistening absorbent wound dressings and cleaning minor cuts, minor burns, superficial abrasions and minor irritations of the skin. It is also intended for moistening and debriding acute and chronic dermal lesions, such as Stage I to IV pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, post surgical wounds, first and second degree burns, grafted and donor sites.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements.” The forward-looking statements include statements regarding Avenova’s commercial acceptance in the marketplace and the anticipated future financial performance of the Company. NovaBay does not provide guidance on future sales and no statement in this news release should be construed as a financial forecast or as guidance on sales for future periods. All statements in this news release are based on management’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Other risks relating to the company and its products, including risks that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release, are detailed in NovaBay’s latest Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially under the heading “Risk Factors.” NovaBay undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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Thomas J. Paulson
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