The Quebec-based company announced a definitive agreement for the distribution of its whey-derived ingredient in Canada with Jamieson Laboratories last week, following the conclusion of a market test in pharmacies in Toronto and Quebec City.
"The market test has demonstrated the definitive interest of patients in Dermylex," said Advitech president and CEO Renaud Beauchesne.
More than 6 million adults in North America suffer from psoriasis, an immune system disorder, but until now those with mild to medium forms of the condition have had to resort to topical therapies or aggressive drug treatments with significant side effects.
Beauchesne did not reveal precise sales figures, but said that the results of the market test were "above Advitech's and Jamieson's expectations".
The exclusive, three-year deal with Jamieson was announced around the beginning of this year; product introduction has already begun, and it being supported by promotional activities and advertising.
The confirmation for Canada came just two weeks after Advitech announced that it had finalised its deal for France with Cothera.
At that time the company said it had raised C$350,000 in interim financing to fund the on-on-going commercialisation effort, in the form of a $200,000 participative non-guaranteed loan from the Centre Québécois de Valorisation des Biotechnologies (CQVB) and convertible debentures totalling $150,000 from private investors.
It has now increased this to $550,000 with the issue of a new block of $100,000 convertible debentures with a private investor, and a $100,000 loan (refundable contribution) from a government agency earmarked for overseas commercialisation.
Deals are also in the works to take Dermylex into the US, with PhotoMedex, and Taiwan with Enbio-Life Biotechnology & Medical Co.
Christian Brouillette is also joining Advitech this week as director of sales and marketing, an appointment that coincides with the departure of VP Jean-Luc Martre, who has overseen the pre-commercialisation phase.
Beauchesne said Brouilllette's experience will "make it possible to develop the full potential of the different Dermylex commercialisation agreements and to initiate new partnerships in our target markets."
Kim Cantin also becomes quality control/assurance director - an important function in the current implementation phase. Part of her responsibility is regulatory restrictions in different markets.
The company's strategy has been to ensure there is strong scientific support behind the ingredient (initially known as XP-828L), which intended first and foremost to help alleviate mild to moderate psoriasis but which may also lead to the develop natural health products to target chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and arthritis.
This was in order to build credibility with pharmacists and health professionals such as dermatologists, who may recommend the supplement to patients.