Innovus Pharmaceuticals Inc (OTCMKTS:INNV) is a stock that we have looked at on a number of occasions here at Insider Financial and it’s one that, for a variety of reasons, hasn’t really lived up to what we see as its long-term potential in its target market.
The last time we covered the company was back in May and – at that time – Innovus’ stock went for pretty much exactly the same price at which it trades today – in and around $0.10 a piece for a market capitalization just shy of $15 million.
At that time, we pointed to the commercial launch of the company’s lead product – an asset called Fluticare – as being a sort of pivotal moment for Innovus and its shareholders. The situation was somewhat complicated in that it involved the hijacking of a secondary ANDA as a route to market as opposed to relying on the company’s primary ANDA (which it had submitted close to a year earlier) but – despite the complication – we felt it was a positive move and one that could serve to streamline the path towards revenue potential realization if it played out as Innovus hoped it might.
It’s taken a bit longer than we expected but, this month, management at the company finally reported that it has launched Fluticare commercially in the US.
As per the release detailing the launch, Innovus reported that it is launching the product in over 10,000 independent pharmacies, direct and through Amerisource Bergen and McKesson, via its Beyond Human extensive print media platform (this is a proprietary platform that we highlighted back in May as potentially being a real driver for low-cost growth) and online channels and distributors, including its own website, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) online stores.
So that’s a pretty big distribution channel – but why would people want this product?
For those new to Fluticare, it’s an allergy relief type nasal spray that is already sold under a few other brand names in the US, including Flonase and ClariSpray. These latter two brands are exactly the same strength active compound (it’s a steroidal spray) as Fluticare and there is data in place to suggest that none has any specific advantage over the other in terms of safety and efficacy.
This doesn’t sound great for Innovus until you consider the fact that ClariSpray and Flonase are only available by prescription, while Fluticare is an over-the-counter (OTC) product.
In other words, an individual can go into a pharmacy and buy it off the shelf, while the same individual would need to go and see a physician (and, subsequently, pick up a prescription) if they wanted to get either ClariSpray or Flonase.
This is a major market opportunity, especially given the fact that this type of product (when we say this, we mean the prescription versions that are already available) is the most prescribed Rx 24-hour nasal allergy spray API and form in the U.S. over the past 7 years by a factor of over 10 to 1.
The launch was a mid-quarter launch but analysts expect product revenues to hit the books almost immediately, so we are looking to the company’s fourth quarter financials as an early indicator of the expected demand for this sort of product in the US markets. Beyond that, however, and as a more interesting and reliable insight, first and second quarter financials next year should be much more representative of this drug’s potential given that’s likely when the commercialization efforts will start to come into full force.
Keep in mind that we may see a near-term equity raise so as to allow the company to fund Fluticare’s launch. This raise will likely be dilutive, which shouldn’t be a problem long-term assuming the capital is allocated towards driving growth of Fluticare demand in the US near term, but it’s a consideration nonetheless.
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Disclosure: We have no position in INNV and have not been compensated for this article.