School: University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
Team members: Steven Fausch, David Martinelli, and Murray Propes
Concept: Etoh Pharmaceuticals hopes to shake up the anti-alcohol dependency drug market with Aidinase, a proprietary cocktail of existing drugs that the company claims will be the most effective on the market. Unlike existing medication, the product will purportedly prevent relapses and treat withdrawal symptoms while also containing safeguards to reduce the likelihood of overdose.
The main distribution channel will be physician-supervised, outpatient rehabilitation clinics and medical centers. The marketing plan aims to persuade influential physicians at medical schools, clinics and hospitals to champion Aidinase. The company hopes to supply 50-plus treatment centers after the initial product release, double that in the subsequent year, and then expand to 10 new clinics annually thereafter. Etoh believes it can produce pills for less than $0.50 per capsule and realize an 80% margin on commercial sales.
Market size may be an issue. The alcoholism medical treatment industry generated an anemic $86 million in 2006 revenues, according to Datamonitor. That number will grow to $304 million by 2016, the research firm estimates. However, the small market also presents an opportunity for new, more effective products to break in.
Etoh projects zero revenues for the first four years, but plans to gross $9.5 million in the fifth year. The founders forecast annual U.S. sales of more than $100 million by year ten.
Timeline: Clinical trials will take five years to complete. The drug is currently scheduled to reach the market in the second half of 2012. - Herman Wong
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