An Australian biotechnology company, better known for creating some lead drug candidates in the field of oncology, has completed fundraising to launch it's hair loss products in the USA. We investigate.
Cellmid are a small Australian biotechnology company currently valued at around A$30M (circa $23M). With a respected background in developing oncology drugs it came as something of a surprise when, in June this year, they launched a range of hair loss products into the Australian and Japanese markets. According to the marketing material the launch was the result of over 12 months of planning, product development and manufacturing at the Cellmid subsidiary, Advangen. The result is a range of 13 products, branded Evolis Professional, all featuring the company's unique FGF5 inhibitor which, the company claim, is able to prevent hair loss and increase hair growth, along with selected anti-oxidants to improve scalp health and hair condition.
Does It Work?
The company did publish results of an extremely small-scale trial of 32 patients which gave promising if modest results. The range will be attractive to men and women who are nervous of using the current FDA approved offering, Minoxidil... for men it is linked to a reduced sex drive and for women the lack of FDA approval for internal use make an alternative highly attractive. Their sales figures in Australia and Japan would certainly support the theory that there is room and demand in the market for a non-minoxidil based treatment.
Coming To America
Having achieved A$1M of sales for their hair loss products during the September quarter growth is encouraging ahead of a major national advertising campaign. Little wonder their attention was drawn to the US market where hair loss products are worth $3.5B annually. Nearly 60% of that revenue is currently generated by minoxidil based products so it is easy to see why Colour Collective, Cellmid's US distribution partner, are forecasting Evolis as a $100M plus brand in the US.
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