Amid growing uncertainty in the US surrounding pharmaceutical pricing, government funding to research and insurance coverage, Canada’s healthcare industry is making a gradual recovery from some of the hardships seen in late 2015 and early 2016. While no investment in a company is a sure-thing, Canadian pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies continue to develop and commercialize novel products which bring value to both patients and shareholders.
To learn more about the Canadian healthcare sector, and some of the most promising publicly-funded and privately-backed companies, Xtalks attended this year’s Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference. Bloom Burton & Co. is a Toronto-based investment banking company with a focus on serving the healthcare investment industry.
Their annual two-day conference aims to bring Canadian healthcare companies and international investors together through 30-minute company presentations and private, one-on-one meetings. Since the inaugural event in 2011, the Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference has grown to include presentations by 66 Canadian healthcare companies to over 1,000 attendees.
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the companies that presented at the Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference 2017.
Concordia International (Public, TSX: CXR, NASDAQ: CXRX)
Who They Are: An international specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on both generic drugs and branded legacy pharmaceuticals.
2016 Total Revenue (USD): $816.2 million
Where They’re Located: Oakville, Ontario
Key Fact: Concordia is moving away from the Valeant-like product acquisition and pricing model.
Company Highlights: Concordia has over 200 products offered in 90 countries, with 10 new products approved, or awaiting approval, by European regulators in the last year. Core competencies of this company include their global commercial footprint, outsourcing model to ensure capital is not invested in development or manufacturing of their own products and a lean and tax-efficient cost structure.
Comment by Allan Oberman, Concordia International CEO: “This is a company in the midst of transformation. The business was built on a Valeant-like strategy – a strategy that I would call acquire legacy brands, strip out investment, aggressively price and then just hit repeat, repeat, repeat in order to build the business. As one looks forward in the immediate term, it’s important to stabilize the business. The old business model will not work going forward.”
Novelion Therapeutics (Public, TSX and NASDAQ: NVLN)
Who They Are: A biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapies for patients with rare diseases.
2016 Total Revenue (USD): $13.6 million
Where They’re Located: Vancouver, British Columbia
Key Fact: Novelion conducts research and development into new therapeutics for rare diseases and traditionally-underserved patient populations.
Company Highlights: Two commercial products – Juxtapid (lomitapide) and Myalept (metreleptin) – are currently on the market. Juxtapid is approved to treat adult patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, while Myalept is approved to treat generalized lipodystrophy.
Over 100 patients are currently on companionate use for Myalept, while Novelion works to support patients on their journey and secure insurance reimbursement for the drug.
Comment by Mary Szela, CEO of Novelion Therapeutics: “Novelion is a company with strong growth potential. We have two commercial on-market products that are highly clinically differentiated. We also have a superb commercial infrastructure globally that can help us realize that potential. Our lead asset, metreleptin, and our platform for growth, is a product that has multiple potential indications. We call it, ‘a pipeline within a drug.’”
Merus Labs (Public, TSX: MSL, NASDAQ: MSLI)
Who They Are: A specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition and optimization of established drug products.
2016 Total Revenue (USD): $69.3 million
Where They’re Located: Toronto, Ontario
Key Fact: Merus is primarily focused on the European market.
Company Highlights: Merus Labs has 12 marketed products, eight of which are legacy products. Their products are marketed in over 40 countries, many of which are in Europe. The company has made licensing deals with large pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, Sanofi and UCB. This company was recently acquired by specialist pharmaceutical company Norgine in a deal worth $342 million.
Comment by Barry Fishman, CEO of Merus Labs: “Even though we’re based in Canada, we’re a European focused company. There are very few companies that cover the type of ground that we do in Europe, being present in every single European market. We depend on strategic partners for most of our business. When we buy products, we always buy them with the intention to do something different than the seller does.”