Even without the benefit of an upcoming over-the-counter sales breakthrough for the medicinal cannabis industry, Bod Australia (ASX: BDA) managed to achieve significant growth in sales in the last six months of 2020.
The Sydney-based purveyor of MediCabilis medicinal cannabis formulations for chronic pain saw its prescriptions surge 91 per cent over the first half of the year to almost 4,000 prescriptions.
This also represents a year-on-year growth of 114 per cent, while repeat prescriptions accounted for 62 per cent of volume.
The group attributes the success to continued product uptake and strong brand recognition in Australia, as well as the commencement of an Australia-wide, multi-clinic study with MediCabilis into its potential efficacy in treating anxiety disorders, insomnia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The study, announced in July last year, aimed to collect data from 500 patients who would be prescribed MediCabilis over a 12-month period.
Bod has also progressed a number of educational initiatives with Australian prescribers which have assisted in generating sales, and the company forecasts continued sales growth in both the Australian and UK markets.
In addition Bod has a key ally in its minority shareholder, Swisse owner H&H Group, which has propelled the company's hemp-based wellness products into stores such as Chemist Warehouse and Priceline Pharmacy.
CEO Jo Patterson says it is very pleasing to see strong growth and continued support from patients and physicians for MediCabilis.
"We expect strong demand for MediCabilis to continue across Australia and this growth will continue to add to our revenue profile. Board and management look forward to updating shareholders on sales progress in the coming months," says Patterson.
"MediCabilis is commonly prescribed for a range of chronic conditions, but most noticeably chronic pain and anxiety. To treat these kinds of conditions, patients will always require a GMP (good manufacturing practices) pharmaceutical grade, standardised and consistent product.
"This is one of the key competitive advantages of MediCabilis and one of the reasons behind the company's strong repeat prescription growth."
BDA shares rose 11.6 per cent on the news this morning to $0.48 each, but this is still much lower than the $0.065 per share level reached in late 2020.
In mid-December, Bod established a medical advisory board to make the most of the Therapeutic Goods Administration's (TGA) decision to allow over-the-counter CBD sales for approved products without prescriptions.
The race is now on across the industry to develop pathways for getting products approved as meeting the Schedule 3 on the TGA's Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
"Bod is currently exploring a number of opportunities to launch CBD products under both its medicinal cannabis division, as well as its consumer focused CBD and hemp product vertical," Patterson said on 16 December.
"We will work with our newly established board to progress opportunities on both sides of the business, ensuring we have considerable optionality to drive revenue growth.
"We look forward to leveraging their expertise in the coming months to unlock opportunities that will further position Bod as a leading medicinal cannabis company."
Bod's medical advisory board includes: Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney Professor Iain McGregor, Head of neurology at the Gold Coast University Hospital; Associate Professor Arman Sabet MD, Head of School and Dean at Sydney Pharmacy School; University of Sydney Professor Andrew McLachlan AM; and Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide Professor Ian Olver AM.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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