Botox is the miracle wrinkle-remover but if many were expecting that its approval to treat overactive bladder would cause wrinkles on the foreheads of senior management at Minnesota incontinence treatment company Uroplasty, they were mistaken.
At least for now.
In a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s third fiscal quarter earnings Thursday, Uroplasty CEO Dave Kaysen said the company had been expecting an approval and wasn’t surprised that it came in early 2013. Kaysen went on to paint broad picture of “a high tide lifts all boats” scenario.
We know today that fully two-thirds of the people in the US with OAB do not currently seek treatments for their symptoms. The more patients that visit the doctor seeking improvement, the better for all of the solutions, including Urgent PC. Botox is clearly not for every patient, especially when you consider the published potential side effects, which include urinary tract infections and urinary retention. We believe this will open opportunities for Urgent PC as an effective treatment with few, if any, side effects. So in summary, we anticipate that Botox and Allergan will expand the market, and that we will benefit from that growth, with what we believe is an outstanding product for treating overactive bladder, that being our Urgent PC.
Sales of the company’s Urgent PC neuromodulation have been going from strength to strength as the company has been successful in overcoming reimbursement challenges. In the third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, sales of Urgent PC jumped 37 percent in the U.S. Total sales of the company was $5.6 million, up 5 percent from the same quarter in 2011.
But analysts, while in general agreeing with Kaysen that Botox’s approval will help expand the market for Urgent PC, wanted to probe a bit more.
“Can you just talk about—do you expect any disruption in the trajectory of your business as they come, you know, more aggressively into the OAB market, or is this something that’s all additive in your mind?” queried Matt Dolan, an analyst with Roth Capital.
Kaysen responded that he does believe that Botox’s entrance benefits Urgent PC overall because doctors will realize that Botox is not suited to all overactive bladder patients and there are potential side effects like urinary tract infection and urinary retention. There is also a certain amount of training that doctors will have to undergo to perform the procedure, Kaysen noted. But still, he wasn’t able to say definitively whether Botox’s entry int o the market will hurt sales of Urgent PC.
“I think bringing more patients into the practice and getting doctors to recognize that they have another alternative will be positive. Because not all of those patients are going to be candidates for Botox, just as not all patients are candidates for InterStim or drugs or Urgent PC. So, are we going to see disruption? You know, I don’t know,” he said.
Meanwhile, competition may also come from a different source, although not from a procedure done at a doctor’s office. On Friday, The FDA approved a drug named Oxytrol, which is the first over-the-counter medication to treat overactive bladder from women who are 18 and older.