Friday, January 23, 2009

Baxter Q4 edited highlights re. Hemostasis

...........Also in the area of hemophilia, we’ve made progress in the development of a recombinant form of von Willebrand Factor, another protein critical to clotting for people with von Willebrand disease. Von Willebrand disease is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder involving men and women. And recently, we announced the initiation of a phase one clinical program.......
In regenerative medicine, we continue to augment our biosurgery portfolio with the launch of ARTISS, the first and only slow setting fibrin sealant indicated for use in adhering skin grafts in burn patients, and with the launch of the GELFOAM Plus, a hemostatic device for use in surgical procedures. We also advanced several programs with our partner, Kuros Biosurgery AG, focused on the development and commercialization of a portfolio of hard and soft tissue repair products, which if successful, will allow us to enter the fast growing Orthobiologics market.......
Recombinant sales in the quarter of $506 million increased 9% on a reported basis, and are up 14%, excluding the impact of foreign currency...........
Turning to the plasma business, in the quarter, plasma protein sales of $330 million increased 10%. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, plasma protein sales increased 12%. Performance continues to be driven by strong demand for plasma derived factor VIII, albumin, and ARALAST as well as improved pricing. US plasma protein sales increased 18%, while international sales increased 5% on a reported basis, or 9% on a constant currency basis.......

And from the Q&A

Bruce Nudell – UBS
Thank you. Lots of clients have expressed concerns to us regarding the fact that the economy is bringing more people into the plasma collection centers. Clearly, your ability to take price in plasma products, and whereas some any – almost 10% this year suggest to us that the supply-demand balances is just fine for IVIG in particular. Could you comment on that phenomena with regards to drawing people in the collection centers, and what the kind of relative rates of intrinsic demand versus supply might be for IVIG globally. Thank you.
Bob Parkinson
Bruce, this is Bob. Let me start, and then maybe Rob or Mary Kay could support my comments. First of all, I don’t believe that the number of people coming forward willing to donate plasma necessarily has any impact relative to the overall supply. I think the supply is a function of installed capacity which is, you pointed out, and we continue to believe this is well-balance with demand. And anything, I suppose, it might imply over time, cost of collecting plasma may go down, although we haven’t experienced that to date. But I don’t see that phenomenal which more people, presenting at the plasma centers to donate plasma and get paid for doing that as a really relevant variable in terms of the supply equation. Rob or Mary Kay?
Rob Davis
I would just add that it’s important that – we got this question a lot – it is important to understand that the bottle neck today in the supply side of the equation is the collection capacity in the industry. So you’re running your center at capacity, which we largely are, we’ve been able over 2008 to do a great job. Frankly, our bioscience seems to have done a great job squeezing additional yields from our existing footprints. But once you reach capacity in the center, the number of people presenting doesn’t change the capacity of the people you can live through. So that’s why we continue to believe this has not had any meaningful impact on total collections. I think to Bob’s point, it continues to cause you to rethink how you price the collections, how you market for collections. The other thing I would know to where you have seen some is there are at least anecdotally, report that there is a reduction and people donating plasma, free plasma, if you will full blood to the American Red Cross and some other organizations in hopes of trying to do it to a free base center. But then, if the capacity is limited, that won’t change the total numbers.
On the second part of your question, we continue long term to believe we’re going to see or promote total market perspective, growth, and volume of the highest single digits and growth in price of low to mid-single digits longer term. We did better than that in both categories in 2008. And we will see how it turns out in 2009. I think the important thing here, and we’ve talked a lot about this externally, is really to understand the demand side of this picture. We are increasingly confident in the robustness and sustainability of the demand. As you heard, we’re driving new indications; we’re seeing clear for demographics.
So all the factors are really driving the demand stronger. And to us, that’s the real key that gives us the confidence of sustainability. Now all we have to do as an industry is to make sure we keep supply up with demand, keep it in balance, and we’re confident we can do that. So no change in our view of stability, no change in what we see as collection growth. It’s (inaudible) gross.

Source: Seeking Alpha

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