General Biologicals Corp (GBC, 普生) yesterday outlined plans to seek a listing on the Taipei Exchange later this year as its losses narrow.
The company’s main business of making precision medical diagnostic products has made headway in Middle Eastern markets, while newly approved testing kits for hepatitis D would round out its offerings on the local market, CEO Frank Lin (林孟德) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.
Rising customer demand last quarter pushed sales to NT$53.01 million (US$1.78 million), up 36.31 percent from a year earlier, with sales in March rising 91.73 percent annually to NT$26.96 million, company data showed.
The sales contribution of a line of oral and feminine care products based on anti-microbial peptide P113 has risen over the past year as efforts to build brand recognition have begun to pay off, the company said.
The sales contribution of P113-related products last year rose from less than NT$10 million to more than NT$30 million, accounting for about 16 percent of total revenue, as consumers grew more receptive to biological anti-microbial products that do not contain alcohol and other harmful chemicals, Lin said.
Last year, net losses narrowed from NT$86.21 million in 2016 to NT$79.61 million, with net losses per share improving from NT$2.45 to NT$2.19 and sales gaining 1.81 percent to NT$187.89 million, company data showed.
“We expect to contain net losses per share to less than NT$1 this year,” Lin said, adding that gross margin had improved from 29.67 percent in 2016 to 43.97 percent last year, as rising sales contribution from the US helped offset greater laboratory expenses in that country.
General Biologicals plans to submit an application to list on the Taipei Exchange in the second half of this year as part of efforts to raise funds for a phase III clinical study on P113’s effectiveness as a non-antibiotic treatment for oral candidiasis, Lin said.
Phase I and II trials showed that P113 is an effective treatment for oral candidiasis compared with antibiotics such as nystatin and azoles, which are susceptible to drug resistance and can cause severe side effects, he said.
The company is seeking a licensing partnership and investment to fund further studies on P113’s antimicrobial properties against drug-resistant “super germs,” such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Lin said, adding that P113 does not lead to antimicrobial resistance, as the peptide is designed to trigger an immune response to fight infections.
P113 is well-positioned to tap the market for the treatment of drug-resistant infections amid a growing global death toll and a lack of new antibiotics over the past three decades, he said.
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