Avivagen Inc. (TSXV:VIV, OTCQB: VIVXF) (“Avivagen”) announces its CEO update to shareholders.
To our Shareholders:
The past twelve months have been a period of exceptional accomplishment and achievement for Avivagen. As a Company, we have taken tremendous strides in the development and commercialization of our unique OxC-beta™ technology, an antibiotic-free alternative that promotes health in animals and humans. We believe that both the timing and the value proposition of adopting our technology has never been better.
We believe that our many successes in 2019 have positioned Avivagen strongly for 2020 and beyond. Our continued dedication to improving human and animal health through our proprietary technology aligns well with an increased desire globally for safe and effective alternatives to antibiotics – an issue growing in importance each year with a rise in antibiotic resistance.
We expect 2020 to create new revenue opportunities for the Company and even greater value for our shareholders.
Only one year ago, our OxC-beta™ Livestock product was approved for sale in just four countries, with actual sales in only two markets: the Philippines and Thailand. As we enter 2020, we are now approved for sale in eight countries worldwide and have secured sales in four of those jurisdictions. This rapid growth in our global market footprint provides us with a great deal of confidence that additional sales in new markets, along with further new country approvals, will be secured during the course of 2020.
Our recently announced third repeat order from Philippines-based UNAHCO was accompanied by the company’s intent to expand into poultry as well as sows, demonstrating a forward-thinking application of OxC-beta™ Livestock as an ingredient to premixes. 2019 also saw Avivagen begin working with a new distribution partner in the Philippines market, with a definitive distribution agreement expected to be entered into in the first part of 2020, working towards expanded use of the product. In our view, this is further validation that both new markets and applications of OxC-betaTM are not just being explored, but are actively being adopted by commercial end users, where the most impact will be delivered.
In 2019 we expanded our footprint in the Asia Pacific region with first-time sales in both Taiwan and Malaysia and received approval to sell our product in Australia and New Zealand. In China, the world’s largest feed market, we signed an agreement with COFCO BIOTECH, a government owned, multi-billion-dollar corporation to help Avivagen with the registration of our OxC-beta™ Livestock for use in feed for poultry. This follows the decision by the Chinese government to ban all AGPs (Antibiotics as Growth Promoters) by July 2020i.
With annual production of nearly 400 million metric tons of feed, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to be a very important growth market for Avivagen and is one where our successes thus far give us great confidence for future market approvals and sales growthii.
In North America, we achieved Self-Affirmed GRAS status and secured a partnership with CSA Animal Services in the U.S., resulting in Avivagen gaining access to 20% of the world’s livestock feed marketiii. This was followed by our approval for OxC-beta™ Livestock in Mexico. Numerous ongoing confirmatory trials continue throughout the U.S. and Mexico to drive commercial orders and usage, and other markets are expected to grant approvals for our product in 2020iv.
We’re continuing to see rising consumer demand for safer food as antibiotic resistance worldwide continues to gain ground – a risk to humankind that cannot be understated – and will continue to grow. These demands mean that restaurant chains, consumer packed goods manufacturers and others are already moving swiftly into offering antibiotic-free, organic, sustainable, vegan and other options. At major international gatherings like the recently concluded World Economic Forum 2020, there was an increased focus on the risks that antibiotic-resistant infections are having on modern medicine, resulting in initiatives like Future Food Wednesday, designed to promote sustainable food habits. Governments worldwide are calling on producers to find alternatives to antibiotics, and producers are heeding those warnings.
The opportunity for a safe and effective alternative like OxC-betaTM Livestock to become a foundational aspect of a wide variety of feeds has never been greater, and we expect to capitalize on these growing demands in the months and years to come.
Companion Animal Market
In 2019 we signed a joint venture for Vivamune, our companion animal product, with Mimi’s Rock (MIMI-TSXV), an expert online marketer of brands for the human dietary supplement and wellness market. The joint venture includes a proprietary e-commerce site and anticipates sales via Amazon.com.
Through the joint venture company, Center Beach, Vivamune has been rebranded under the Dr. TobiasTM name, and recently announced that Dr. Tobias Dog Chews are now available for sale in North America on Amazon and Drtobias.com.
We recently listed our shares on the OTCQB® Venture Market in the U.S. under the symbol VIVXF, increasing our exposure to the investment community in the U.S. and providing potential investors with greater financial access to participate in Avivagen’s future.
The wide-ranging successes we achieved in 2019 position Avivagen very strongly as we head into this new decade. These new and recurring orders, new applications of our technology and a quickly expanding geographical footprint are a growing cache of proof that our OxC-betaTM technology is making significant inroads into the world’s biggest markets. As we continue to move forward, we expect to grow our sales with existing partnerships while continuing to pursue additional country regulatory approvals.
All of this momentum comes at a time when the consumer, scientific and regulatory climates continue to embrace the opportunity for Avivagen’s unique and proprietary technology in the mission for sustainable and safer food. Our antibiotic free alternative is important to a food industry seeking solutions and we are committed to continuing to drive its adoption.
We are continuing to deliver on our stated strategy of securing additional country regulatory approvals, new distribution deals and growing sales.
We are ideally positioned to capitalize on each of our targets over the coming years, and I am excited to share more news and updates with you as we continue our journey.
Avivagen is a life sciences corporation focused on developing and commercializing products for livestock, companion animal and human applications that, by safely supporting immune function, promote general health and performance. It is a public corporation traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol VIV and is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, based in partnership facilities of the National Research Council of Canada and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. For more information, visit www.avivagen.com. The contents of the website are expressly not incorporated by reference in this press release.
About OxC-beta™ Technology and OxC-beta™ Livestock
Avivagen’s OxC-beta™ technology is derived from Avivagen discoveries about carotenoids, compounds that give certain fruits and vegetables their bright colours, and is a non-antibiotic means of maintaining optimal health and growth. OxC-beta™ Livestock is a proprietary product shown to be effective and economic in replacing the antibiotics commonly added to livestock feeds. OxC-beta™ Livestock is currently available for sale in the United States, Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, Mexico and Malaysia.
Avivagen’s OxC-beta™ Livestock product is safe, effective and could fulfill the global mandate to remove all in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters. Numerous international livestock trials with poultry and swine using OxC-beta™ Livestock have proven that the product performs as well as, and, sometimes, in some aspects, better than in-feed antibiotics.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements that are based upon the current expectations of management. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties associated with the business of Avivagen Inc. and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions “aim”, “anticipate”, “appear”, “believe”, “consider”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “if”, “intend”, “goal”, “hope”, “likely”, “may”, “plan”, “possibly”, “potentially”, “pursue”, “seem”, “should”, “whether”, “will”, “would” and similar expressions. Statements about the possibility for OxC-beta™ Livestock to replace antibiotics in livestock feeds as growth promoters, expected future expanded adoption of the Company’s products, new markets, regulatory approvals or sales growth, expectations for increased revenues and shareholder value, UNAHCO’s intention to expand into poultry and sows, anticipated new distribution agreements and the effects of such agreements, the Chinese governments banning of antibiotics as growth promoters, the Company’s ability to capitalize on market trends and the potential outcomes and impacts of the Vivamune joint venture are all forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. For instance, Avivagen’s products may not gain market acceptance or regulatory approval in new jurisdictions or for new applications and may not be adopted or widely accepted as a replacement for antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock feeds, prior sales growth may not lead to future orders or additional growth in sales which would mean that revenues will not increase and shareholder value will not be created, UNAHCO is under no obligation to buy product from the Company, new distribution partners may not be identified or may not be successful, governments around the world may not move forward with banning of antibiotics as growth promoters, the Company may not be able to capitalize on trends or demand as anticipated and the Vivamune joint venture may not have the anticipated impacts, all due to many factors, many of which are outside of Avivagen’s control. Readers are referred to the risk factors associated with the business of Avivagen set out in Avivagen’s most recent management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition available at www.SEDAR.com. Except as required by law, Avivagen assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
i COFCO BIOTECH Management, December 2019
ii 2019 Alltech Global Feed Survey, https://www.alltechlienert.com.au/2019/03/07/2019-alltech-global-feed-survey-estimates-world-feed-production-increased-by-3-percent-to-1-103-billion-metric-tons/
iii COFCO BIOTECH Management, December 2019
iv 2020 World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/sustainability-davos-menu-food/
Copyright © 2020 Avivagen Inc. OxC-beta™ is a trademark of Avivagen Inc.
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Director of Investor Relations
100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0R6 Phone: 416-540-0733
Chief Executive Officer
100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0R6 Head Office Phone: 613-949-8164