Axonics increases battery life, sales and market capitalization

device manufacturer Axonics Inc. claims that its new system designed to treat incontinence has demonstrated that the product’s battery can last more than two decades inside a body.

The University of Alberta implanted four patients earlier this month with the Axonics F15 and stimulation showed “expected in-body battery longevity ranging from 18 years to over 22 years,” the Irvine-based company reported (Nasdaq :AXNX) in a September 8 announcement.

The company’s Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) system sends electrical signals to nerves in the spinal cord to help regulate the bladder and bowels. Axonics’ typical patient is a 55-year-old woman with urinary incontinence.

The previous version of its main product had a battery life of around 15 years.

“I am thrilled to now offer patients a no-recharge option that dramatically increases the longevity of the device in the body alongside the Axonics Rechargeable SNM System that has helped so many of my patients,” said Dr. Gary Graya urologist from the Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta, said in the Axonics statement.

been busy

The latest device news isn’t all that charging Axonics or its stock.

This summer, the shares nearly doubled to $76 from a 52-week low of $38.41 in May, giving it a market value approaching $4 billion.

It is close to its highest valuation ever; Axonics went public in November 2018 at $15 per share, raising $120 million.

In the past two months, the company also announced:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted eight patents and authorized four patent applications related to the company’s SNM technology in the last 12 months.

It raised $128.5 million in gross proceeds from an offering of 2 million shares priced at $63.85 each. Axonics said it would use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes, including a potential $35 million milestone payment in connection with its earlier acquisition of Contura Ltd.the manufacturer of a hydrogel used to treat incontinence.

Second-quarter revenue rose 50% to $69 million, beating analyst consensus estimates. Its gross margin jumped to 72.8% from 62.6% in the same quarter a year ago.

“Axonics’ second quarter was a great quarter and things kind of broke our road,” the chief executive said. Raymond Cohen told analysts on a conference call.

“We’re just thrilled to be able to help so many people who were suffering from this very annoying problem and to cut these women dry.”

Ad success

Cohen attributed the better-than-expected earnings to an advertising campaign titled “Find true reliefwhich was aimed at women suffering from any form of urinary incontinence.

“Our direct-to-consumer television advertising campaign, which we launched in April, achieves our goal of increasing awareness of Axonics therapies, reducing stigma and encouraging women to see doctors who specialize in bladder dysfunction. and intestines,” Cohen said.

Overactive bladders affect approximately 87 million adults in the United States and Europe, Axonics said. An estimated 40 million more adults suffer from faecal incontinence and accidental leaky bowel, which the company’s product also treats.

Increase in annual forecasts

Cohen, who co-founded Axonics in 2013, has a long history in medical devices. Honors include winning a Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Business Journal in 2002, for his work with a predecessor company, Cardiac Science Inc., a manufacturer of defibrillators in Irvine.

He previously told the Business Journal that Axonics’ launch of an implant to treat overactive bladders had one of the three most successful debuts in US medical device history.

The company, which only started generating revenue in 2018, last month raised its annual revenue forecast to $253 million, an increase of about 40% from 2021 and from a previous forecast of $238 million.

Axonics today employs approximately 530 people, including 230 in Irvine. It is the 16th-largest medical device maker in Orange County by local workforce, according to Business Journal data.

It’s all in the timing

While the new F15 product should work for decades, Axonics said a bigger rival’s system Medtronic has a battery that only lasts three to five years and must be surgically explanted for replacement.

The Axonics F15 system, which was introduced earlier this year, uses a no-refill implantable neurostimulator that is relatively small and thin at just 10 cubic centimeters in volume; it is 20% smaller than its previous version, which ran about the size of a quarter.

The F15 “took off like a rocket, there’s no doubt about it,” Cohen told analysts. “The attractiveness of the F15 product where, with a good implant, doctors can stay in a patient’s body for over 20 years, I think that’s something no one anticipated.”

Sallie R. Loera