MedMira Takes Control of Sales Channels as it Prepares for Greater Impact on US Market

MedMira Takes Control of Sales Channels as it Prepares for Greater Impact on US Market

By: Dylan Sikes - News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In today’s tight economic climate, the health care industry is on the hunt for ways to reduce costs while simultaneously providing superior products. According to information released by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and UNICEF in November 2011, 34 million people in the world are living with HIV/AIDS in 2010 with the majority (about 23 million) of those afflicted living in Sub-Saharan Africa. estimates that there are over 200 million people in the world infected with hep C. A lack of patients to diagnose is certainly not a problem. Considering only diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C, a way to rapidly diagnose these global diseases could provide a substantial financial savings across the medical industry and governments. That’s exactly the premise that Halifax, Nova Scotia-based MedMira Inc. (TSX-Venture:MIR) has built its business model around with its diagnostic technology and solutions.

The company has developed and markets a rapid flow-through technology platform with marketing approval for most of the world. A simple, three-minute procedure provides instant results utilizing whole blood, serum or plasma specimens to test for hepatitis B and C, syphilis, HIV or helicobacter pylori, a bacterial agent for which untreated infections can lead to stomach cancer. The company's tests are sold under the Reveal®, Multiplo™ and Miriad brands in global markets.

It is notable that availability of MedMira’s products varies by country, but there is enough meat on the bone with approvals already that could generate substantial revenue for a company with only a $23.5 million market capitalization.

For example, MedMira’s Reveal G3 HIV-1 antibody test is approved by the FDA for sale in the United States, but its Reveal HP test for helicobacter pylori antibodies is not (although its Rapid H. Pylori Antibody test is). One to look for future FDA clearance is its Multiplo test, a comprehensive rapid testing platform that screens for HIV 1 and 2, hepatitis B and C and syphilis in a single test. Given the large population of people co-infected with HIV and HCV, the test can be valuable worldwide, but there’s no discounting the importance of receiving clearance in the States.

Multiplo is being advanced towards clinical trials – and the FDA approval process – through a U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity contract.

On Tuesday, MedMira took a step to strengthen its sales and distribution channels by ending a contract with American Health Partners for the distribution of its Reveal G3 Rapid HIV-1 antibody test. American Health Partners handled the relationships with other companies, such as Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) and VWR International for sales of the product.

Going forward, MedMira will work directly with these companies to support their sales staff and customers, eliminating a middleman as they look to expand their product offerings in the near future.

"With this change, we are looking ahead to the launch of our next generation rapid HIV test to meet the growing demand based on the new U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines which recommend routine HIV screening for all people aged 15-65 and all pregnant women in the United States,” said Hermes Chan, chief executive at MedMira.

Chan added that the company intends to follow that launch with new US Army-funded rapid tests, Multiplo HBc/HIV/HCV and Reveal HBsAg.

Further, MedMira has engaged logistics provider My Care Solution to handle imports and warehousing of product ahead of the company establishing a sales and marketing office with the intentions of bolstering its footprint in the U.S.

MedMira is still turning the corner with regards to financial reports, but could be reaching an inflection point for the company as it expands in North America and internationally. Share value has risen about 50 percent in the past six months, although shares are very thinly traded and fighting resistance at 6 cents. Proper due diligence of this unique company is, as always, encouraged.

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