Supplement manufacturer seeks to up game in COVID-19 testing

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images Anton_Petrus
©Getty Images Anton_Petrus

Related tags: COVID-19, Dietary supplement companies

ProPhase Labs, a dietary supplement manufacturer and medical testing company, has announced a plan to better market a COVID-19 test and to move into the genomic testing sphere.

Garden City, NY-based ProPhase Labs, once known for making the Cold EEZE OTC remedy, moved into the manufacture of dietary supplements​ prior to the sale of that business.  ProPhase sold the Cold EEZE line to a subsidiary of Mylan NV in 2017 for a reported $50 million.

Pivoting to supplements

The company subsequently focused on the manufacture of its own line of supplements, branded as TK Supplements, as well as on its contract manufacturing capability, branded as Pharmaloz Manufacturing.

TK Supplements focuses on men’s health, with a sexual wellness product, a testosterone support product and another that aimed at prostate health.  Pharmaloz advertises the capability of manufacturing cold lozenges, pharmaceuticals as well as a broad array of dietary supplement.

Recently the company formed a third pillar, based on diagnostic testing, that saw ProPhase acquire two CLIA labs. In the news announced today, ProPhase CEO Ted Karkus said the company is forming two new subsidiaries.  One, ProPhase Precision Medicine, Inc., will focus on genomics testing technologies, while the other, ProPhase Global Healthcare, Inc., was formed to seek to expand the Company’s SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing into other countries and to pursue additional healthcare-related initiatives.

Opportunity for testing in ongoing pandemic

While some other companies in and around the dietary supplement industry are seeking survive the pandemic induced market dislocations and to manage the fallout effects, Karkus said ProPhase’s testing capability can be put to good advantage.  This is especially true as the global pandemic wears on with new spikes of infections in places like the Indian subcontinent and South America.

“With the onset of the global pandemic, testing demand has increased dramatically around the world, and we are well positioned to leverage our knowledge and efficiencies to capture additional share in the global testing market. As we continue to seek new laboratory acquisition targets, we are now open to opportunities that are outside the United States,”​ Karkus said.

Karkus said in a recent earning conference call with analysts that the company had hired more than 100 new employees to staff the company’s testing arm.   Stock analysts reacted positively to the news, sending the company’s stock price up more than 23% today.  The company’s share price has had a tumultuous ride, going from about $1.50 in mid 2020 to a high of $16 in January of this year before sliding back to the $5 per share range.  The stock is trading at $6.62 per share today.

Related topics: Markets, Manufacturers, Coronavirus

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