The 875-percent rally that propelled NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: NBY) shares from under 50 cents to over $3 Monday came on news of the micro-cap biotech making its Avenova eyecare product available through Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) without prescription.
Is the product valuable enough to trigger such a strong upward move?
An Antibiotic For The Eye
Avenova is formulated with NovaBay’s proprietary, stable and pure form of 0.1-percent hypochlorous acid used for the removal of microorganisms and debris that could lead to conditions such as meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye and blepharitis.
Bacterial eye infections account for about 85 percent of the dry eye market, according to NovaBay.
The company claims the lid and lash spray is free from bleach, surfactants and other impurities.
Avenova was launched in 2015 following FDA clearance through the 501(k) pathway.
A New Marketing Paradigm
Avenova is available with prescription through retail pharmacies and direct in-office sales by certain eye care specialists.
Due to heightened demand and request for easy accessibility by patients and physicians, NovaBay said it has launched a U.S. direct-to-consumer channel. The new marketing channel offers twin advantages: ease of access and affordability, the company said.
NovaBay said the product is available from Amazon in the U.S. in a 20 ml size for $29.99. Apart from leveraging existing brand awareness, the company said it is also conducting a comprehensive online promotional strategy that includes search engine optimization, email campaigns, Google Ads and Amazon promotions and the like.
In March, NovaBay announced a change in its strategy for commercializing Avenova: reducing the U.S. commercial sales force from 45 to 15; focusing only on high-performing territories and territories with promising potential; and contracting with additional specialty pharmacies. The company said the changed strategy is aimed at reinvigorating growth and reducing costs.
After ending Monday’s session up 874.84 percent at $3.10 on roughly 34 times its average volume, the stock was last seen losing more than 19 percent to $2.51 at the time of publication Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of NovaBay.
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