Biome Australia (ASX: BIO) is gathering momentum after seeing sales of its probiotics, plant-based supplements and sports supplements surge by 70 per cent to $1.56 million in the first quarter of FY23, leading to expectations the biotherapeutics company will generate $7 million by the end of the fiscal year.
If the forecast transpires it will represent a 69.9 per cent growth rate, compared to a 78 per cent uplift to $4.12 million in FY22.
While Biome operated at a $4.5 million loss in the previous financial year, this is still an improvement on the $5.3 million loss recorded in FY21.
The optimistic outlook comes five months after the group secured a distribution deal with pharmacy chain Priceline, which bolsters the company’s distribution network by 50 per cent since listing in November 2021. To date, Biome’s brands – Biome Advanced Probiotic, Activated Nutrients and AXP - can be found across 3,000 distribution points across Australia.
“Biome’s distribution footprint has achieved sufficient scale to continue rapid growth for the coming years,” said Biome Australia managing director and founder Blair Norfolk, who is a finalist in the 2022 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards.
At the time of writing, shares in BIO are up 9.6 per cent to 8 cents each.
“Health professionals using Biome’s products are reporting overwhelming positive feedback from the results they are seeing with patients with irritable bowel syndrome, iron malabsorption, mental health concerns and skin conditions.
“This is the type of feedback that motivates the team at Biome to continue growing sales to get the product into the hands of our customers.”
Seven years before founding Biome Australia, Norfolk worked alongside former Monash alumnus Dr Jaroslav Boublik in California to establish Health Science Innovation (HSI), which was an activated nutrient range of nutraceutical products.
Moving back to Melbourne in 2018, the entrepreneur – alongside other significant HSI shareholders Dr Boubik and CFO Douglas Loh – decided to establish Biome Australia as a way to maximise the clinical research the small-scale startup had completed.
Today, Biome Australia’s range of live probiotics helps prevent and support the management of health concerns, including low mood and sleep, bone health, iron malabsorption, mild eczema and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The business currently partners with TerryWhite Chemmart – which has resigned as a strategic partner for FY23 - and other independent pharmacies to deliver its range across Australia.
The group notes its estimated addressable markets are in excess of 12,000 distribution points, 5,800 pharmacies and 6,000-plus independent health practitioners. Biome currently has 25 per cent total market penetration and aims to double its distribution network within the next 2-3 years.
Biome currently has three ongoing clinical trials – one of those being Biome Lift, which is a study that is assessing the efficacy of the Biome Lift Probiotic compared to a placebo in reducing the severity of symptoms in patients with subthreshold depression. Preliminary results for the study are expected in Q3 FY23.
Meanwhile, Biome Kids is analysing the influence of probiotic use on absenteeism and immune health among children aged 2-5 years attending childcare centres. Finally, Biome Osteo is examining the effect of 12-month supplementation with Biome Osteo on bone metabolism as well as bone mineral density. Both trials are expected to finalise in FY24.
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