Anika Therapeutics Terminates Contract with U.S. Distribution Partner for ELEVESS

BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 25, 2008 - Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANIK), a leader in products for tissue protection, healing and repair based on hyaluronic acid (“HA”) technology, has terminated its U.S. distribution contract with Artes Medical for ELEVESS®, its injectable dermal filler that reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the face. This follows Artes Medical's disclosure that it has initiated a significant workforce reduction, and that it has not been able to address its anticipated liquidity issues. Anika values the customers for the product and will continue efforts on its own to service these customers while actively seeking a new partner for the U.S. distribution of ELEVESS, which was the first HA-based dermal filler approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to incorporate the anesthetic lidocaine to improve patient comfort.

As a result of the termination of the U.S. distribution agreement, Anika expects that it will not be able to achieve between $1 million and $1.5 million in ELEVESS revenue for 2008 as previously anticipated.

“While this development with Artes is disappointing, there remain enthusiastic supporters of the product and we will continue to develop this market support. It should also be kept in mind that the other elements of our business, including the joint health area which we have stated is our primary growth driver, are performing well,” commented CEO Charles Sherwood, PhD.

In addition, Anika continues to focus on signing international distributors for ELEVESS. In the third quarter, the Company announced exclusive agreements with three new dermatology-focused distributors to market ELEVESS in Mexico, Chile, Peru and South Korea. The agreements provide exclusive distribution rights for ELEVESS in each of these growing markets.

About Anika Therapeutics, Inc.

Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., Anika Therapeutics, Inc. develops, manufactures and commercializes therapeutic products for tissue protection, healing and repair. These products are based on hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring, biocompatible polymer found throughout the body. Anika's products include ORTHOVISC®, a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee available internationally and marketed in the U.S. by DePuy Mitek; HYVISC®, a treatment for equine osteoarthritis marketed in the U.S. by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; the ELEVESS™ family of aesthetic dermatology products for facial wrinkles, scar remediation and lip augmentation; AMVISC®, AMVISC® Plus, STAARVISC™-II and Shellgel™ injectable viscoelastic HA products for ophthalmic surgery; INCERT®, an HA-based anti-adhesive for surgical applications; ORTHOVISC® mini a treatment for osteoarthritis targeting small joints and available in Europe; MONOVISC™ a single-injection osteoarthritis product based on our proprietary cross-linking technology and also available in Europe; and next generation products for joint health and aesthetic dermatology based on the Company's proprietary, chemically modified HA.

The statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, statements that may be identified by words such as "expectations," "remains," "focus," "expected," "prospective," "expanded," "building," "continued," "progress," “plan(s),” "efforts," "hope," "believe," "objectives," "opportunities," "will," "seek," “expect,” “invest,” “signing,” “on track” and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events and trends and which do not constitute historical matters identify forward-looking statements. These statements also include: (i) the company's expectations regarding its cosmetic dermatology product, ELEVESS®, (ii) Anika's expectations for ELEVESS sales in 2008, (iii) the Company's expectations for its recently signed international distributors, (iv) Anika's efforts to sign new international distributors, and (v) the Company's focus on signing a new U.S. distributor. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks, uncertainties and other factors. The company's actual results could differ materially from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements described in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors. Certain other factors that might cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include those set forth under the headings "Business," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in each of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2008 as well as those described in the company's other press releases and SEC filings.

 

Contact: Anika Therapeutics, Inc.
Charles H. Sherwood, Ph.D., 781-457-9000
CEO
or
Kevin W. Quinlan, 781-457-9000
CFO

 

Posted: November 2008


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