2005 Winner: Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million)
Natural Cold Medication Achieves Remarkable Success
Don Cherry and Margaret Atwood likely don’t have much in common. But one thing for sure: at the first sign of a cold or flu, both reach for a remedy developed in Alberta called COLD-fX. So do countless other Canadians, judging from the latest financial results of Edmonton-based CV Technologies (CVT), developers and manufacturers of the breakthrough natural cold preparation.
Under the leadership of co-founder Dr. Jacqueline Shan, the company boosted sales from $1.5 million in 2003 to $21 million in just the first six months of 2005. The company jumped from a loss of $1.79 million in 2003 to a profit of $7.2 million already this year, and from seven employees to a staff of 27. Market penetration for COLD-fX has exploded from 1,200 outlets mainly in Alberta to 6,000 outlets covering every province and major city in Canada.
COLD-fX is now the number one selling over-the-counter cold and flu medication in Canada. It is also the first natural health product in the world to have successfully completed a Phase II clinical trial regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The trial demonstrated that COLD-fX reduced the chance of getting a cold or flu by 89 per cent.
Revolutionizing the Industry
CVT has another blockbuster technology in its arsenal – an analytical process that can precisely identify the chemical ingredients and biological activity of natural health products. CVT’s patented ChemBioPrint technology could revolutionize the natural health industry by making it possible to assure efficacy and standardization, two qualities necessary to certify over-the-counter health products and allow them to make medical claims.
Dr. Shan started CVT with a colleague in 1992 as a University of Alberta spin-off company with the goal to combine western medical research and traditional herbal medicine. The company’s success caps a decade of R&D at a cost of roughly $20 million. The transformation from a company that burns money into a company that makes money came when Dr. Shan, who had been Chief Scientific Officer, took over the reins as CEO in 2003. CVT was recently ranked 16th on Alberta Venture’s list of the top 100 performing public companies in Alberta.
Currently CVT markets six products. Its number two lead remedy, REMEMBER-fX, treats memory loss. Other products – CELL-fX, MENTA-fX, and PRESSURE-fX – deal with conditions such as cardiovascular and joint disorders. The company is significantly increasing its scientific capabilities to further support its products through clinical trials.