13/08/2008 - 22:00

Avita targets Mexico, Greece

13/08/2008 - 22:00

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Avita Medical, which formed after the merger of Clinical Cell Culture and Visiomed Group, has new contracts under way in Greece and Mexico.

Avita targets Mexico, Greece
TARGET: Lorraine Glover says the US market is very important for Avita, in addition to its recent success in Mexico and Greece.



Avita Medical, which formed after the merger of Clinical Cell Culture and Visiomed Group, has new contracts under way in Greece and Mexico.

Following the merger in February 2008, the company is active in both the regenerative medicine and respiratory markets and posted an unaudited rise of 16 per cent in group revenue for the 2007-2008 financial year.

Avita Medical said in an announcement that the result was based on strong growth in sales of its respiratory products, with revenues up 35 per cent on the previous year.

The company continues its European expansion plans, focusing on a small number of key markets, while still working to speed up clinical acceptance of its Funhaler paediatric asthma spacer in the US.

Avita is also aiming to market its ReCell tissue engineering product in the US, but said it was working with a small number of select distributors for its product that enables surgeons to treat skin defects using the patients own cells.

The Funhaler distribution agreement in Greece will be officially launched in September in advance of the Northern Hemisphere winter.

"Asthma remains a significant health problem for Greek children and adolescents. In the last 10 years, Greece, with a population of approximately 11.2 million, has experienced a dramatic increase in diagnosed asthma and corresponding sales of bronchodilators," Avita Medical's chief executive William Dolphin said.

Avita has also received regulatory approval for the registration and importation of medical devices into Mexico for its ReCell tissue harvester technology.

Working with local Mexican distributors, Avita has identified opportunities in hospitals, burns and plastic surgery clinics.

"The Mexican regulatory process is complex and time consuming and ReCell approval is a significant milestone for Avita Medical," Dr Dolphin said.

Avita has had difficulty gaining regulatory approval for its regenerative medicine products in the past, notably in the Clinical Cell Culture business, which was jointly founded by former Australian of the Year, Fiona Wood.

Avita has ceased active marketing of two of the three Clinical Cell products due to market size constraints and high manufacturing costs.

Avita has focused its regenerative medicine resources and efforts on its flagship product ReCell and is promoting the product in a limited number of key markets.

"In the US we are making progress, however the FDA trial has been hampered by restrictive criteria," Avita's Asia-Pacfic general manager Lorraine Glover said.

"We're looking to turn around that disappointing recruitment from last year, put the new clinical protocol in place and get under way. The US market is very important for us."

Avita sees fast penetration in Europe as well as solidifying its position in Australia as key factors in its short-term strategy for both the respiratory and regenerative medicine products.

"That doesn't take away the path forward for larger markets; we're strategically looking at larger markets and they're the blue sky and the future for us" Ms Glover said.

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