Gateshead drugs firm Shield Therapeutics has revealed a significant increase in revenue driven by US sales and upfront payments from new distribution partners.
The manufacturer said unaudited total revenue for 2022 rose to £8.5m, compared with the £1.5m it generated the year before. Shield's sales agreement with US healthcare group Viatris was behind much of the progress as total US prescriptions of the its Accrufer capsules increased to more than 25,000, worth £2.8m in sales.
The firm has previously said it hopes to sell about £123m ($150m) of the iron deficiency product to the US by the end of 2025, citing a large, under-served market of around 20 million people who suffer from anaemia. By linking with Viatris, Shield plans to establish a 100-person sales team in the US which will target 12,000 healthcare professionals.
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Recruitment of that sales team was said to be well under way with 16 people already trained and promoting Accrufer in their territories and 17 more having either accepted job offers or considering offers. Shield's push into the US market is being funded by the proceeds of a share subscription and placing, an extended shareholder loan facility and upfront payment from Viatris partnership which altogether amounts to about $37.7m.
Greg Madison, CEO of Shield Therapeutics, said: "We believe Accrufer has the potential to be the oral iron treatment of choice for patients with iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia. In 2022, we set out to substantially increase product adoption, sales growth, physician awareness and generate positive clinical experience and expand payor coverage. 2022 has been a landmark year for Accrufer, marked by consistent improvements across all of these key performance indicators, led by a substantial increase in prescriptions and product revenues. I am proud and grateful for the excellent work by our team and our partners.
"Completion of the Viatris collaborative sales agreement in December 2022 has set Accrufer up for strong 2023 growth in prescriptions and product sales. We are thrilled to be working with Viatris to bring Accrufer to more patients suffering from iron deficiency/iron deficiency anaemia in the US.
"I am pleased to report that the collaboration is off to a great start and hiring and training is well underway to put the expanded sales team in place. We are pleased to expand our commercial footprint with Viatris' well established prescriber relationships, best in class digital marketing, direct to patient capabilities, and extensive market access experience."
Elsewhere Shield updated on progress on the path to regulatory approval in Korea and China as well as a 10% increase in European sales of its iron deficiency capsules, marketed as Feraccru across the continent.