bear in mind though that with the decline of the euro, and the overwhelming majority of their sales are in euros, sales were not lower in q4 but about the same as q3. So that would indicate that sales are steady. If there were large distributor orders in q4 that came about as a result of some year end incentive (a common practice in the industry) then those distributors might not need more inventory in q1 which would make the sales lower for that quarter.
Having seen what I've seen in my last job where 80% of the sales force was let go 4 months after I started and sales for the first 2 years before I started were tepid at best (even though the technology was just an upgrade of already existing technology) I am not put off by what has happened here. The company I worked for finally got it up and going in year 3 (the year I started with them) and shortly after that the 33 cent stock company got bought out for 30 bucks a share.
I'm not sure everyone is aware of what the ultimate goal of the company is with the cytosorbents product. If you listen carefully to what Chan is saying, what they are attempting to do is to obtain enough proof of safety and efficacy so that hospitals will use it prophylactically. What that means is that any patient in the ICU that is at risk for sepsis will get the treatment and that all complex cardiac surgery patients will get the treatment. The focus will be on not just cure but PREVENTION. There is huge bucks to be had if the hospitals buy into this.
Lots of patient agony and expense can be avoided. But this is a big undertaking and takes time to get adoption at this level of magnitude. BUT, that is why the big boys like Fresenius and Biocon are interested. Even if every hospital doesn't do it, even if only some of the large hospitals adopt the product like this, there is huge money in it. See the forest through the trees!
They didn't lost the entire sales team. Of the 10 they let 4 go and the other two probably quit due to not making enough money. It was specifically mentioned during the call that the remaining sales reps were outstanding. You need to listen better.
Well, having almost 30 years healthcare device sales experience I can tell you that nothing sells itself no matter how revolutionary. In fact, the more revolutionary, the more of a new way of doing things it is, the greater the difficulty of acceptance by the very conservative medical community. Converting the market is a long slow process. Every hospital wants to "try it" first and they want free goods to do that. Trials can last for months and require a lot of diligence to monitor. Since distributor orders tend to be much larger than hospital orders one large distributor order can skew the sales numbers for any given quarter. This is also a product that has to be sold doctor by doctor--a very time consuming process. Then, if enough doctors like it and are using it, it has to go before a special committee to become part of the regular hospital inventory instead of just special order. All of this takes time. Last year they had 10 reps. Looks like at the beginning of 2015 they only had 4. Chan said they let 4 go. That means the other two probably quit because they weren't making enough money. Chan did say the remaining reps were outstanding though and that the ones that left or got let go would be replaced. It was also mentioned that since the German economy is doing well, it's tough to get new reps for a startup like this because the best reps are probably already making a lot of money from their existing job. This might be true but with the right incentives it can be overcome.
You probably shouldn't invest in a company like this if you don't know anything about the market which it seems you don't.
I do think that the reason this stock is so volatile has to do with two things: 1) that there are many many folks owning this stock that really have no clue about the product or the industry or what it takes to bring to market a product such as this that represents an entirely new way of doing things to the medical community. 2) there are many folks that are in it only for short term gain. they are momentum stock followers and day traders. i would guess those people lose almost as much as they make operating like that. they are looking to drive the stock up and down for short term gains or losses if they shorted it. You shouldn't let the extreme volatility dissuade you here. It's part of the game with early stage companies and that's that.
I think we all need to be clear on the purpose of the dosing study as I have read a number of posts that show an obvious misunderstanding about it. The purpose of that study is just to determine what the optimum way to use the product is for a variety of applications. What that means is that the purpose is to find out how many hours a filter is best used for and over how many days the therapy is most effective. This can differ for different applications and patient populations. That is why is takes a while to complete. There isn't going to be a breakthrough from this study relative to whether or not the product works. I think that sales, participation from fresenius, biocon and others already indicates that. Again, this study is to determine the best, most effective way to use the product. That's it.
bear in mind that fresenius has a lot of contacts already in the ICU as well a lot of built in credibility. This will help tremendously for the sales force to get appointments and generate sales. Also, by the time their sales force gets going there will be more clinical data to support the process. All bodes well.
Did you hear the same call i was on? They are only doing a small study with the secret partner with one very busy surgeon. They stated it would be completed in q2 and from there they would renegotiate with that partner. Apparently the partner was in agreement that if that surgeon sees a lot of value they should get behind the product. Also, the addition of cardiac surgery to the mix was not a change of strategy but an added big opportunity they chose to take advantage of. The one thing i do agree with is that the sales people were probably not able to overcome the lack of clinical data and terefore it was not worth paying all of them. But again, they didn't let them all go so apparently some of them were up to the task. I do think the strategy is that by the time the new sales people are up to speed more clinical data will be available to support them. They also did say the dosing study results would be available in a few months. It's not a doomsday scenario by any means. And that's why the smart money is not bailing.
You are going to find that that product does not get wide acceptance. It's been available in japan for many years with hardly any sales. There's a good reason for that.