"We bring to the market a first-in-the-world technology for modified hyaluronic acid (HA) used in aesthetics, oral care and osteoarthritis."
Could you start with a brief overview of BMG Pharma and what led to its creation?
I come from a family with a great legacy that always stayed at the forefront of innovation, but I wanted to become an entrepreneur on my own. After selling my share of the family business, I worked for an American CRO learning the ropes; my first business was Sinclair Pharma, a company that reached a peak value of US$200 million. I sold my interest in Sinclair in early 2010 and, after a period of self-reflection, I started paying attention to the aesthetic dermatology boom. Together with a partner, I created a package of 32 formulations in dermatology, which we later sold to Menarini under the brand Relife. BMG Pharma was born from the lessons of these past experiences: We bring to the market a first-in-the-world technology for modified hyaluronic acid (HA) used in aesthetics, oral care and osteoarthritis.
About three years ago, BMG Pharma bought Sigea. Can you tell us how has the company’s direction changed since?
Today, I speak of an old BMG and a new one. Since 2011, BMG began commercializing products to pharma companies in different therapies, including oral care, dermatology and women’s health. These products include solutions for mouth ulcers and infections, dermatitis, skin scars, anaemia or pregnancy-associated anaemia among others that are part of the old BMG and they continue to bring stable revenue to the business. After acquiring Sigea with its portfolio of modified HA, our focus has fallen onto gradually replacing our current ingredients with the new ones, applicable for either topical, where we are substituting the regular HA with the modified one, or injectables (filler and mini-filler).
Can you tell us more about your proprietary technology and why is this different?
The patented Hyaluromimethic® technology allows us to develop topical and injectable products used in dermatology, oral care, ophthalmology, osteoarthritis and gynaecology, overcoming the traditional limitations of typical HA. The HA is divided into two parts – the carboxylic bonds and the hydroxylic bonds. Rather than intervening on the carbon chain at a chemical level, we worked on the molecule itself, which allowed us to modify and enhance the properties of HA. Our technology allows the HA to persist more in the body because the body takes longer to recognize it and dissolve it; BMG’s modified HA lasts up to five times longer than regular HA. In addition, lipoic acid present in some formulations based on our technology stimulates collagen and elastin, enhancing a natural biological effect.
What are the main market opportunities you find for HA?
The modified HA will be used in aesthetics and osteoarthritis, in both injection and topical form. Aesthetics is a US$20 billion market registering double-digit growth, so this is where we see the greatest opportunity for escalated growth. We will work with distributors in Italy and globally, rather than commercializing directly to materialize this opportunity.
What are the advantages of your current business model?
In our B2B model, we own the asset, but we use a third party to produce it and distributors to market the products in their territories. We only produce the raw material, the modified HA, and invest in the chemical production plant. Our business model enables us to grow without restrictions posed by asset management or sales bottlenecks. Without a manufacturing plant or a sales force, but owning the IP, and licensing to about 70 countries, we are set up for fast growth.
Could you tell us more about your financing strategy?
We received 2 million euros from Friulia and another 500,000 euros from a family office. In the next three years, we are looking to invest about 9 million euros into development, especially in growing our capabilities in injectables used in both aesthetics and osteoarthritis. We keep all options on the table for our next round of funding, including the potential of an IPO.
Do you have a final message?
BMG Pharma is an incomparably unique biotech company with one-of-a-kind technology; we have the plant for modified HA, we manufacture our own raw materials, and we have a flexible business model. We look forward to the upcoming launches of products based on our Hyaluromimethic® technology either topical and injectable between 2023 and 2024.