Napo amps up sales force for AIDS anti-diarrheal
- Napo Pharmaceuticals said Feb. 28 it has joined forces with Alamo Pharma Services to set up and manage a national sales team for Mytesi (crofelemer), formerly known as Fulyzaq. Mytesi, which Napo launched in October 2016, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to relieve symptoms of non-infectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS who are on anti-retroviral therapy.
- Under the commercialization agreement, Alamo will provide a team of shared sales representatives to supplement Napo’s dedicated representatives in promoting and providing samples of Mytesi in key metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. Sales reps will reach out to doctors who have large populations of HIV patients and thus are high-volume prescribers of anti-retroviral therapies.
- BexR Logistix, which together with Alamo is part of the Mission Family of Companies , will continue telesales support for Mytesi, as it has done since October 2016, in areas not covered by sales representatives.
San Francisco-based Napo and Jaguar Animal Health said Feb. 8 they have entered into a merger agreement expected to give Jaguar an important prescription revenue stream from sales of Mytesi. Napo, which develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace from plants traditionally used in rainforest areas, will operate as Jaguar’s wholly owned subsidiary.
In fact, the two companies are rejoining since Jaguar spun out of Napo in May 2015 and struggled on its own. Both companies use the same active pharmaceutical ingredient, crofelemer: it’s the API in Napo’s Mytesi, and also the API in Canalevia, Jaguar’s lead prescription-drug product candidate for treating diarrhea in dogs.
Napo and Jaguar estimate the potential U.S. market for Mytesi is roughly $100 million in gross annual sales. Mytesi is expected to generate about $7 million in net sales in 2017, mostly from prescription growth through use of the Napo/Alamo sales force and sampling program.
Lisa Conte, Napo’s interim CEO and Jaguar's president and CEO, described the medical need for Mytesi as "significant, compelling, and unmet."
"Patients are looking for something that works differently than the options currently available, and clinical trials demonstrated that nearly 80% of Mytesi users experienced an improvement in their diarrhea over a four-week period," Conte said. Once the merger is finalized, she said, Jaguar and Napo anticipate having an expanded pipeline of important human and animal follow-on indications for Mytesi upon which to build global partnerships.
Setting up an experienced pharmaceutical field sales team for Mytesi, supported by a telesales team, "will allow us to reach many high-potential prescribers," added Katie MacFarlane, Napo’s SVP of commercial operations. She said the sampling program for Mytesi will allow patients to start therapy immediately.
"Based on our market research findings, we believe the key difference between current Mytesi prescribers and non-prescribers is awareness—most have simply never heard about the product," MacFarlane said. She noted that patient and prescriber surveys show one in five HIV-positive patients have diarrhea.
- Business Wire Statement