Shediac company hopes new deal will create jobs, expand reach of its female incontinence product.
A New Brunswick company that makes a medical device to reduce bladder leakage in women recently inked a co-distribution deal with pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare Canada.
Stephen Goddard, the chief executive officer of Resilia Medical Solutions of Shediac, said the new deal should bring exponential sales growth and spur local hiring.
“This is an off-the-chart change for what it will do to our sales,” said Goddard.
Goddard said while business has been steady, it’s nothing like what it will be with the co-distribution deal.
“We’d been chugging along. In a given month, we might sell several dozen,” said Goddard.
“This will take us into the hundreds … if not 1,000 to 2,000 units per month.”
Compared to rubber tampon
The product, sold under the brand name Uresta, has been compared to a rubber tampon.
It’s a thumb-length plug that’s inserted into the vagina and pinches closed the urethra to stop urine from escaping when a woman is exercising or when she laughs or coughs.
Resilia bought the design from urogynaecologist Dr. Scott Farrell, a professor at Dalhousie University’s faculty of medicine.
Currently, it’s manufactured in Barrie, Ont., by a company called Southmedic.
Goddard said there may come a day when production can move into New Brunswick but that’s probably in the distant future.
Meanwhile, he said he expects to hire closer to home to get more people in sales and marketing support.
“Right now, we’re a three-person company,” said Goddard.
“By the end of next year, I hope to be 10 to 15.”
Goddard said he’s hoping for a payroll as large as 50 people, possibly within three years.
Founded in 2014, Aspen Pharmacare Canada is expected to help Resilia get its product in front of doctors and pharmacies.
“It gives us nation-wide access to a group of individuals that we essentially had no way to get to,” said Goddard.
It’s a relatively new branch of a global pharmaceutical giant that got its start in South Africa, making generic antiviral medications to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the parent company (APN) said it has 10,000 employees around the globe.
The Uresta Bladder Support device is licensed by Health Canada.
A starter kit of three sizes costs about $300.
The Canadian Continence Foundation estimated in 2014 that 14,000 women in New Brunswick experienced some form of female incontinence, sometimes aggravated by factors such as vaginal childbirth, ageing and obesity.
When the whole country is taken into account, the number rose to 714,000.