Investors: Press Release
Avita Medical’s COVID-19 Response
To our valued stakeholders,
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is challenging us all on a daily basis, and we wanted to communicate how we are diligently addressing the needs of our patients, healthcare providers, employees, and broader stakeholders.
Foremost on our minds is managing our business to deal with the challenges as we understand them today, and to be flexible as events unfold over the ensuing weeks and months. In this regard, we are deeply committed to our patients and their treating physicians and facilities. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and loss of skin through a burn creates immediate and serious health complications that must be dealt with when the patient presents to the hospital; that is, the treatment of serious burns is not elective and cannot be deferred.
Given this dynamic, it is important that burn care providers have sufficient quantities of RECELL® on- hand to ensure uninterrupted access to the unique benefits of our Spray-On Skin™ Cells. For this reason, the majority of our customers already carry on-hand inventory to treat new patients. In addition, we are fortunate not to have any material exposure to foreign-sourced materials, and believe we have sufficient access to direct material to support patients’ needs well into calendar 2021.
With this background, we are confident in our ability to supply our partner hospitals. However, we are also exploring avenues to house “localized RECELL inventory” external to our facilities in California to protect against potential disruptions and to ensure that if, for example, there are broader air transportation limitations, we will be able to continue timely delivery of RECELL. In short, we are not anticipating interruptions to either our supply chain or distribution network, but we are looking to safeguard our future distribution as well.
In these uncertain times, we are also very concerned with the health and well-being of our employees, and with limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Accordingly, we have limited travel by our employees as guided by the CDC and local governments. At present, we expect to continue to support cases and training in the field although, unsurprisingly, we are seeing examples of increasing restrictions on access within hospitals, and a preference for digital or distance communication modes. Further, we have seen the cancellation of some professional meetings and, while understandable, this is disappointing as we lose some ability to educate burn care providers on the benefits of the RECELL System. As an example, the recent cancellation of the Annual Meeting of the American Burn Association (ABA) meant that the burn care community did not have the opportunity to see presentations, posters and podium appearances featuring RECELL.
We have also recently fielded some questions asking how the outbreak of the coronavirus is expected to impact the incidence of burns, and the use of RECELL. As we have noted, the incidence of burns is
“lumpy” and the coronavirus is not expected to change that dynamic, and thus it is difficult for us to determine at this juncture how the number of burns will be impacted. We do, however, expect our field force to have reduced access to hospitals and caregivers and thus we are leveraging digital means to support RECELL usage and enable peer-to-peer education and proctoring. We have been experiencing utilization of RECELL consistent with the trajectory that we established in the second half of 2019 but, at
this time, it is difficult to predict how the coronavirus may impact our commercial opportunities over coming months.
In closing, the coronavirus is creating new and unusual challenges for us all. The non-elective and urgent need of our burn patients, together with a supply and distribution structure that has only limited exposure to the implications of coronavirus, means that we feel AVITA Medical is well-positioned to manage our business in the months ahead. We remain committed to our patients, employees, and, indeed, all stakeholders, and to providing continuity of service to the burn community during this trying time. We will update you as appropriate and appreciate your continued support.
Dr. Michael S. Perry, CEO March 19th, 2020