Thursday 4th June 2020
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AFT Pharmaceuticals (NZX.AFT; ASX.AFP) today announces it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Austria’s Ever Valinject (Ever) for the commercialisation of Maxigesic IV®, the intravenous form of its patented analgesic, in a significant portion of Western Europe: Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
It also announces steady market share gains and sales growth across a broad range of its Australasian over-the-counter (OTC) medicines as consumers seek protection against Covid-19 infection.
MAXIGESIC IV® DISTRIBUTION
The agreement with Ever builds on AFT’s existing partnership over other Maxigesic dose forms. It will see Ever drive the launch of Maxigesic IV in Germany, Italy, France and Austria where the total analgesic market is worth US$585m1, US$545m1, US$587m1 and US$125m1 respectively.
Market data forecasts from an independent market research company, DelveInsight predicted that by 2028 Maxigesic IV could make up just under 16% of the US$553m postoperative analgesic market in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, indicating an estimated sales volume of just under US$90m for the top 5 markets in Europe.2
AFT Managing Director, Dr Hartley Atkinson says: “Ever Valinject is a strong, dynamic partner and its sales teams are highly experienced at selling in the hospital sector including specialty and added value injectable products. Ever has an excellent understanding and track record in these markets.
“With a combined population of over 219 million3 (2019), we believe that these markets represent great potential for Maxigesic IV. We expect first sales of Maxigesic IV in Germany and Austria in late 2020, following the registration of the Maxigesic IV in 18 European countries in May 2020. Further regulatory filings will be required to finalise registrations in Italy and France prior to being able to launch in these additional countries.”
Maxigesic IV has been registered in the following EU nations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
COVID-19 RELATED MEDICINES
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic AFT has seen an uptick in sales and market share in a variety of its OTC product categories, ranging from traditional cold and flu medicines through to eyecare products.
The increases were particularly strong ahead of, and during, the Covid-19 lockdowns. They have since moderated as the lockdown restrictions eased but still leave AFT’s portfolio of medicines in a stronger position than they were at the same time last year.
Dr Atkinson said: “Our Australasian OTC medicine portfolio represents a core strength of the company. It is an attractive and growing business in its own right, but it also provides a launch pad for AFT to commercialise its extensive intellectual property around the world.
“We are very pleased with the sales progress and we are delighted to be able to supply products that deliver real health benefits to customers during these difficult times.”
Maxigesic extends market share in Australia
In Australia Maxigesic® has increased its market share in its category to now reach an 11.1 percentage point lead on a quarterly basis over its nearest competitor7. The increase comes amid strong demand for the medicine in response to Covid-19 fears due to the recognition the medicine can offer effective relief to cold and flu symptoms.
Eyecare sales driven by an increase in screentime
More time spent in front of screens during the Covid-19 lockdown has seen an unexpected increase in sales of eyecare products. Sales of AFT’s lubricating eyecare products, including Hylo-Forte®, Hylo-Fresh®, NovaTears® and Optisoothe ®, increased by 151% in April 2020 compared to the same month a year ago. This increase whilst not expected to remain at this level is consistent with AFT’s growth in market share and broader market growth in the category.
Hand Sanitiser launch successful
AFT introduced its Crystawash® Hand Sanitiser in Australia and New Zealand in late May as an extension to its Crystaderm® skin antiseptic range - Crystaderm cream (the top selling antiseptic cream in New Zealand), Crystawash saline wound wash, Crystasoothe® for sunburn and burns.
Sales at the AFT list price in the first three days of launch for the new Crystawash Hand Sanitiser, available in purse packs of 50ml and 500ml pump packs, reached a pleasing NZ$436,000.
Liposomal Vitamin C: AFT reaches #1 in New Zealand pharmacies.
Sales of AFT’s liposomal Vitamin C have continued to break new records. The new generation formulation uses patented liposomal technology that delivers 80% greater absorption than standard Vitamin C5.
IQVIA data for sales to New Zealand pharmacies for the first quarter of the calendar 2020 year showed that Vitamin C Liposachets® reached the #1 selling product [number of sachets sold] in the liposomal vitamin C category6.
AFT is working on expanding the liposomal vitamin category by launching a number of line extensions that will help build immunity during the winter months, including a children’s version of Vitamin C Liposachets; a blackcurrant flavoured version of Vitamin C Liposachets; and Vitamin D Liposachets.
Source: AFT Pharmaceuticals (NZX.AFT; ASX.AFP)
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