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Benzinga Talks With Imprimis Pharmaceuticals' CEO About Earnings, MKO Melt, Drug Pricing And More

Benzinga Talks With Imprimis Pharmaceuticals' CEO About Earnings, MKO Melt, Drug Pricing And More
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Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IMMY) owns, markets and dispenses a portfolio of compounded therapeutic in various areas, including ophthalmology, urology, otolaryngology and infectious diseases.

Benzinga had the privilege of chatting with the company's CEO, Mark Baum, about its most recent earnings print and what is in the pipeline.

Double-Digit Growth

Baum told Benzinga that the company's most recent earnings report represents its seventh consecutive or sequential quarter of double digit growth. The quarterly adjusted loss improved year-over-year, while revenue totaled just under $5 million for the quarter — marking an improvement of nearly 150 percent from a year ago.

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"So we are increasing sales, decreasing burn, stabilizing and increasing margins and that's on top of the fact that we have made investments over the past 2 quarters to really build a platform to grow significantly faster as we get into the latter part of the year and into 2017," Baum said.

Baum continued that a highlight of the quarter was a 330 percent growth in the ophthalmology business, and he expects to boost his market share in the drop less therapy market to 10 percent to above 50 percent.

MKO Melt Update

MKO Melt is a patent pending, compounded conscious sedation formulations — an alternative option to IV anesthetic for patients undergoing ocular and other surgical procedures.

Baum pointed out that "sometime in the next couple of years" the company will have the patent fully issued. He also expressed the benefit of the MKO Melt and highlighted a story in which five people lost their vision through an injection that was not performed properly before the patients underwent cataract surgery.

Baum proclaimed that his product now offers physicians an alternative in which there is no injection and a "solution for conscious sedation."

"So they take what looks like a small cough drop and it melts under the tongue and that sedates the patient during the surgery," he said. "No needles. It's an IV-free sedation."

Path Moving Forward

Baum told Benzinga that the company has spent resources to build up its infrastructure and obtained a platform to become a company with an annual revenue base in the multi-$100 million level.

However, the executive did acknowledge that a reduction in expenses is equally important. This remains a key priority moving forward, and Baum thinks he brought in the right person for the job, Clayton Edwards.

Edwards was named senior vice president of operations for Imprimis and joined the company after running the pharmacy business for OptumRx.

"He sees the growth," Baum said of Edwards. "He sees the opportunity, and that's why he's joined the team. It's through his experience that we believe we'll be able to reduce expenses and become more efficient."

Drug Pricing

Finally, Baum explained how he wants his company to play a difference in the often-talked-about topic of drug pricing. He cited a CDC report that said 130,000 people a year die because they are forced to cut pills because they can't afford to pay for the medicine.

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Baum wants to highlight this fact and present his company as a solution to the problem given its lower cost structure.

"It's sort of not a fun thing to talk about, but it's real. And we see it every day in our business dealing with real people that can't afford their medicines," he said.

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