Immuron delivers another year of strong sales growth

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Sep 2, 2019, in ASX Biotechs

In delivering its annual report on Friday, Immuron Ltd (ASX:IMC) provided a promising update in relation to its various activities in the health and biotech sectors.

The group's principal activity is oral immunotherapy research and development and product sales focused on bovine-colostrum enriched with antibodies of choice for the treatment and prevention of a range of infectious and immune modulated diseases.

Product sales comprise the well-established Travelan and Protectyn, used for the prevention of travellers’ diarrhoea.

Travelan is Immuron’s over-the-counter gastrointestinal and digestive health supplement, and global sales increased by 29.5% year-on-year in fiscal 2019 to $2.39 million.

Australian sales increased 14% to $1.22 million, a good performance given this is a more established market for the product.

Increased initiatives in the pharmacy sector, including television advertising with Chemist Warehouse and stronger merchandising in-store, contributed to this sales momentum.

Travelan cracks the $1 million mark in the US

In the US, Travelan sales also spiked dramatically with fiscal 2019 revenue exceeding the $1 million milestone for the first time, as sales grew strongly by 32% year-on-year to $1.02 million.

The company’s partnership with Passport Health, America’s largest travel medicine network, and rising sales on the Amazon platform was central to this performance.

During fiscal 2019, Immuron collaborated with the US Department of Defense, focusing on research and development initiatives in relation to Shigella research.

Shigella is the bacterium responsible for the onset of dysentery.

Immuron’s associates at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), a Bangkok-based laboratory of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), performed the research.

Dr Robert Kaminski, a senior scientist with WRAIR said, ‘’The study results clearly demonstrated that animals with severe inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and high inflammatory cytokines in fecal samples were associated with severe dysentery and that prophylactic administration of Travelan significantly reduced the inflammatory response ... the combination of our Shigella vaccine research and development efforts with Immuron’s oral immunotherapy platform make [sic] perfect sense.’’

The World Journal of Gastroenterology reports an estimated 1.5 billion annual episodes of diarrhoea worldwide.

They lead to the deaths of about 2.2 million people, mostly children in developing countries.

Authorities believe Shigella causes 80 to 165 million cases of disease worldwide, leading to about 600,000 deaths annually.

Looking to the future, three Immuron Shigella-specific therapeutic products will now go on to evaluation in WRAIR’s pre-clinical models of shigellosis.

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