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PolyNovo (ASX:PNV) - CEO, Paul Brennan - The Market Herald
CEO, Paul Brennan
Sourced: The Australian
  • Medtech developer PolyNovo (PNV) has reported booming sales figures and secured a debt financing facility to continue its research and business expansion
  • PolyNovo has just had its best month of sales ever — posting a remarkable 173 per cent boost compared to March last year
  • The bump is in part due to the efficiency of the company's NovoSorb BTM burns treatment, which is helping free up valuable hospital beds during the pandemic
  • PolyNovo has also secured a $9.3m debt finance facility with National Australia Bank
  • In addition to the NAB loan and existing cash reserves, the company has also reached break-even point with sales, and posted a profit for January
  • PolyNovo is performing strongly on the market today, with shares up 10.4 per cent, trading for $1.85 each

Medtech developer Polynovo (PNV) has made a flurry of announcements, including a market update and the results of a clinical trial for its NovoSorb BTM burns treatment as well as a new debt finance facility.

Market update

PolyNovo has just had its best month of sales ever - posting a remarkable 173 per cent boost compared to March last year. Sales for the March quarter were up 166 per cent too, showing it's not just one anomalous month, but a fairly stable upward trend.

The company reports it opened six new hospital accounts, including four major campuses, across the U.S. in the last two weeks of March. Two of those customers have already placed multiple orders. This boost comes despite the limitations placed on sales staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company believes the boost comes in part because of the virus outbreak. PolyNovo's NovoSorb Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM) is a dermal scaffold, which helps with skin regeneration in people with deep burns.

While hospitals need to closely monitor their deployment of resources, such as ICU beds, the efficacy of the NovoSorb BTM treatment means patients can be treated transferred more rapidly than via traditional methods. With hospital beds at a premium during the pandemic, the product provides demonstrable benefits for patients, clinicians and the hospital system alike.

PolyNovo Chief Executive Officer Paul Brennan says while the pandemic has provided obvious challenges, the marketing team has successfully shifted to digital formats.

"The COVID-19 epidemic has limited our sales team having direct face to face access in many regions. However, our teams have been using platforms like Zoom to conduct product presentations," Paul noted.

"In one recent presentation two surgeons who had never used BTM could see the inherent clinical, economic and resource benefits over the incumbent competitor and have indicated they will switch to NovoSorb BTM."

PolyNovo Chief Executive Officer Paul Brennan

"Any resource sparing our product brings to hospitals is valuable for all patients,” he explained.

PolyNovo Chairman David Williams adds that while sales are still difficult to predict month-to-month, there is a "strong upward trajectory."

Although burns treatments would be considered a bit off-topic during a pandemic, in a roundabout way the COVID-19 outbreak has helped put NovoSorb BTM on the map.

Debt finance facility

PolyNovo has also secured a $9.3 million debt finance facility with National Australia Bank. The paperwork is expected to be finalised in the very near future.

Paul Brennan says the money will be used to advance research and marketing capabilities.

"This facility will fund the hernia cleanroom construction, manufacturing equipment and other capital expenditure. Cash surplus to those needs along with our existing $7.4 million cash will be used for working capital and growth," Paul said.

The company considers itself well funded now. In addition to the NAB loan and existing cash reserves, PolyNovo has also reached break-even point with sales and posted a profit for January.

With increasing sales, the company seems well-positioned to continue advancing its novel research into other products using the NovoSorb BTM technology and to expand its sales and marketing reach.

A study in patience

PolyNovo has also announced the results of its CE Mark Burn Trial for NovoSorb BTM. CE Mark approval is required for the sale of a product in Europe.

Somewhat strangely, the company was granted CE Mark approval in December last year — long before the trial was complete. The product had previously been granted Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) approval in August via the new Priority Review Designation pathway, which expedited NovoSorb BTM's regulatory approval in Australia.

With ARTG approval and supporting clinical data, PolyNovo successfully applied for CE Mark approval in December — months ahead of the trial's completion.

It may seem completing the trial process was a bit of a waste. However, the clinical data which emerged has actually raised the product's stock.

Independent statistical analysis showed significant benefits of the NovoSorb BTM product over other dermal matrices. While the results are highly technical, the trial's results reflect the product's superior efficacy and functionality when compared to previous best treatment standards.

Paul Brennan says the study just reiterates what the company knew all along, but will do a lot to help with PolyNovo's marketing pitches.

"The results of this full thickness burn trial reinforce what surgeons across the world are reporting; That BTM is “robust”, a relatively simple product to use, performs extremely well in the most challenging of case applications and seems to be resilient even if there is an infection," Paul explained.

"This study supports our CE Mark claims and adds to the high level of data that clinicians request to support their decisions to make BTM their preferred choice of dermal matrix."

PolyNovo Chief Executive Officer Paul Brennan

"Achieving a superior result to the benchmark is often demonstrated by our clinical and functional outcomes reported by surgeons and patients around the world," he added.

PolyNovo is performing strongly on the market today, with shares up 10.4 per cent, trading for $1.85 each as at 1:10 pm AEST.


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