Immco currently sells its products through a network of distributors, mainly outside the USA. In Europe, Immco's main distribution partner is Menarini, a company with which Trinity already has deep distribution ties. The broadening of the relationship between Menarini and Trinity through the additional distribution of the Immco product is viewed very positively by all parties. To date Immco has had very low product sales in the USA due to a lack of FDA product approvals and sales force. However, over the past 24 months, Immco has been successful in harmonizing its complete IFA and EIA product ranges, virtually all of which have now been FDA 510K cleared. Through Trinity Biotech's existing US based sales force (which already sells approximately $2m of Trinity's own autoimmune products) and installed base of EIA instrumentation, Trinity expects to immediately launch Immco's products in the USA. Moreover, as the Immco autoimmune product range complements Trinity's existing infectious disease EIA range, we intend that our large range of installed DSX and DS2 instruments which currently run our infectious disease product line will now also run the entire Immco autoimmune EIA range. We believe that this in turn will help drive growth in both ranges of products due to the synergistic effect of a broader menu offering.
Immco is further driving expansion with the development of a number of new diagnostic kits, such as the ImmuLisa™ Enhanced Cardiolipin Antibody ELISAs recently cleared by the FDA, and there is a robust pipeline of novel assays in development. Meanwhile, the Immco reference laboratory is in the process of launching exclusive panels of tests for SjÖgren's Syndrome and Chronic Rhinosinusitus, both of which are significantly underdiagnosed conditions with high incidence.
In summary, Trinity expects to grow Immco's revenues by
harnessing the breadth, quality and uniqueness of Immco's product range, in the context of only recently having obtained FDA approval;•
leveraging Trinity's sales force and in particular, installed instrument base in the USA;•
leveraging Trinity's international distributor network;•
introducing new innovative autoimmune products which are now beginning to emerge from the development phase; and•
exploiting the synergies that exist between Trinity's existing infectious diseases and Immco's autoimmune product ranges.
Based on these factors it is believed that this business can grow at a rate in excess of 20% per annum.
Commenting on the results, Kevin Tansley, Chief Financial Officer, said "On a like for like basis, profits for this quarter increased from $4.3m to $4.4m. This equates to an increase in EPS from 20 cents to 20.5 cents. This was achieved despite significantly lower sales of Lyme test kits in the USA due to weather related conditions."