Aroa Biosurgery is a soft tissue regeneration company whose proprietary Aroa ECM™ platform technology is derived from sheep forestomach. Their products have been used in more than four million procedures to date.
Aroa Biosurgery ranks No 94 amongst the TIN200, steadily climbing the ranks since entering the TIN Report in 2018. The company listed on the ASX in July 2020 and raised A$45 million. A steady stream of regulatory approvals in markets around the world promises a bright future for further global expansion.
We sat down with Brian Ward, Founder and CEO of Aroa to find out more about the company’s priorities in 2021 and beyond.
Following our successful listing on the ASX last year we are very focused on scaling our business in the United States and broadening our product portfolio. In line with this, our first priority is getting our newly expanded sales team, which now numbers 31 people in the US, fully up to speed as the US health system opens up again after COVID-19.
Secondly, we want to build market awareness and uptake of our new product – Myriad Morcells™. As its name suggests this is a ‘morcellised’ format of Myriad™ able to be ‘poured’ into the wound site and easily conformed to the surrounding tissue.
Thirdly, we are developing a completely new category of negative pressure wound therapy for managing surgical wounds in deep tissues.
We’ve focused on succeeding in the United States from day 1 because of the market size and sophistication. The US FDA clearance regulatory requirements set a high standard for our new products, and their rigorous regulatory review processes provide confidence in our products which sets us up for more rapid clearance into other markets.
Establishing a US office became necessary as we have expanded sales operations and distribution. Initially we sold through Appulse, a J.V. with Hydrofera. With a recent shift to a fully dedicated US sales team we have strengthened our overall sales team to now have 31 sales professionals supported by two medical science liaisons. This provides a sharper focus on Aroa’s products, a higher level of specialised product knowledge and deeper relationships in the hospitals, health systems and group purchase organisations.
We will continue to be headquartered in New Zealand. Our R&D and manufacturing, regulatory, quality and corporate business functions are based here and we’ve established a very strong base of knowledge and capability here which is difficult to relocate. We are proud of our New Zealand roots and it’s no coincidence that our products are produced from Ovine tissue sourced in New Zealand. Our decision to start selling into the New Zealand market was tied back to our wish to make our products as accessible as possible and we see it as important that our products are available at ‘home’ as well as abroad.
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