By Jim Schutz
I hope this message finds you all well.
All is well at Oculus after a solid Q4 earnings call in early June. In anticipation of our earnings calls, we typically prepare several days in advance to ensure our message is clear and concise. Our message on this call was clear-cut: Revenue was up in the United States, Mexico, China, India and the Middle East with 65%+ growth and expenses were flat across the board.
We focused portions of the call on our U.S. efforts. A year ago this time, for the quarter ending March 31, 2009, we generated $79,000 in U.S. product sales. This year, for the quarter ending March 31, 2010, we generated $600,000 in U.S. product sales and for the quarter ending December 31, 2009, we generated $307,000 in U.S. product sales. Looking at our annual numbers, for the year ending March 31, 2009, we generated $298,000 in U.S. product sales and for the year ending March 31, 2010, we generated $1,196,000 in U.S. product sales. We experienced all this growth while expenses remained flat.
We spend a lot of time at Oculus discussing patient stories as we listen to our end customers–the patients–in an ongoing effort to improve upon our Microcyn products. We receive plenty of feedback from patients (please keep them coming) and dissect the information along product lines, regulatory and basic science. Our CEO, Hoji Alimi, challenges us to expand these patient stories into clinic or hospitals stories whereby our Microcyn products can then impact entire wings of patients rather than just one patient at a time.
With the help of a brilliant ex-McKinsey and Pfizer veteran who is helping us craft our U.S. sales strategy, we identified a large East Coast skilled nursing chain with the intent of flooding a single unit within their chain with our Microcyn products for care of chronic wounds. As you may know, skilled nursing facilities serve patients who require constant nursing care due to pressure ulcers, or what are commonly referred to as bedsores. We were so convinced that we would improve wound-healing times and save this facility money, we offered 30 days worth of free product–as much as they could use– and then followed up with them to collect data.
The results were terrific – one floor of this large chain, which shall remain confidential due to our agreements with them, healed 25 pressure ulcers in 30 days. These are ulcers that previously showed no ability to heal. The management of this chain detailed the data and they are continuing to provide raw numbers on their cost savings by using Microcyn liquids and hydrogels in lieu of less efficacious and more expensive wound care products. They’ve offered to publish a poster of their experience at a large industry conference and are hoping to introduce us to other local skilled and unskilled nursing facilities, home health care companies and local hospitals. We’d like to repeat this experience over and over at other similar large facilities across the country.
A second success story focuses on our successful and aggressive “collaborative” strategy we use to help sell our Microcyn products. Biofilm destruction is large problem in chronic wound care; and especially so for doctors who uses expensive skin substitutes. There are a handful of skin substitute companies that manufacture human, bovine or porcine skin to help accelerate stalled wounds. But if you don’t remove the underlying biofilm before using one of these $1,000-plus skin substitutes, then you may have to start from scratch if an infection grows under the skin substitute or if the skin substitute doesn’t take. Our Microcyn liquids are compatible and do no harm to every single one of the skin substitute products we’ve tested to date – and that is no surprise to us since Microcyn is non-toxic to mammalian cells.
One skin substitute company, again for confidentiality purposes we won’t identify the company’s name, has found that they sell more of their skin substitutes and their doctors experience better takes by killing biofilms with our Microcyn products before layering on their skin substitute. A large percentage of this company’s 100-person sales force is now selling and advocating the use of Microcyn as a necessary biofilm killer before and after layering their product. This is an interesting relationship and opportunity for us – as we generate Microcyn evangelists/salepeople in other companies at no cost to us. To the contrary, these salespeople are actually ordering Microcyn at our regular price by the case!
Our CEO likes to say that we’ve turned a corner at Oculus, evolving from a clinical story to the commercial revenue growth story we are today. We are growing our sales team daily and hope to feed these commission-based sales professionals an entire portfolio of innovative products. Revenue is up across the board, the product pipeline is full and expenses are flat. Our CEO is right – we’ve turned an interesting corner as we continue to ramp revenues around the globe.
Thank you to everyone who continues to read our posts for your continued support.