Excerpt from The Wall Street Transcript's 4/17/06 interview with Hemosense (AMEX: HEM) CEO James Merselis:
TWST: We'd like to begin with a brief historical sketch of HemoSense and a picture of the things you are doing at the present time.
Mr. Merselis: HemoSense was founded in 1997 and in the time between then and now we have designed, manufactured, and have begun marketing a small handheld system for blood diagnostics to be used by both patients and healthcare professionals for the management of the very common blood anticoagulant warfarin, sometimes known as Coumadin.
TWST: Would you describe the conditions needed to take warfarin?
Mr. Merselis: There are 4 million people in the US and 7 million people worldwide taking warfarin every day. It results in more than 21 million prescriptions annually in the US alone, and these are people who, for some cardiac-related indication or another, require that their blood not clot as fast as the normal individual. Patients with installed mechanical heart valves are typically on warfarin for the rest of their lives. Another indication is atrial fibrillation. A majority of cardiac patients with atrial fibrillation tend to be on warfarin for the rest of their lives. Then there are short-term uses such as deep vein thrombosis and post-stroke uses for warfarin. All of these patients need to have this particular therapeutic monitored. It's very much like controlling a diabetic's insulin. You need frequent testing to control and optimize
the warfarin dosage for these cardiac patients.
TWST: What two or three reasons should compel long-term investors to consider HemoSense?
Mr. Merselis: First of all, I would say that we have been very fortunate to have attracted a number of blue ribbon institutional investors through the work that we did on our IPO and on our private placement. I think that those investors see the opportunity for tremendous growth and we are delivering. In our most recent financial reporting period, ended December 31, 2005, we reported our fiscal 2006 first quarter revenues were up an impressive 112% to $3.4 million, compared with the same period in the prior year. Also for the fiscal 2006 first quarter we achieved a gross profit of $1.1 million or 32% of total revenue.
Additional growth opportunity can also be seen as the new catalyst of reimbursement for home testing both in the US and overseas, which opens up a phenomenal market opportunity that a lot of these same investors saw during the late 1980s and 1990s with diabetic home monitoring of blood sugar. I think we all see the same cycle happening once again helping patients manage warfarin at home and helping physicians manage those patients.
I think our shareholders recognize that we are focused on this area and on getting patients on warfarin the simplest and most accurate way of managing their own health. Our global distribution network is also a key factor in helping us promote the overall awareness of our INRatio system among healthcare professionals and in making them aware of the extent of reimbursement for patient self-testing.
We currently have partnerships in place with six national and five regional domestic distributors including McKesson, NDC, Raytel, QAS, Cardinal Health and Medline. Our international agreements include 14 distributors covering 20 countries, and we have an exclusive co-promotion for mechanical heart valve patients in Europe with St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ).