ChromaDex keeps foot on sales & research pedal even as stubborn losses persist

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - takasukuu
©Getty Images - takasukuu

Related tags Nicotinamide riboside Chromadex Nad Niagen Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide

Branded ingredient supplier ChromaDex announced an 18% sales gain in a recent earrings report. A continued push to increase the science behind its TruNiagen brand is part of the reason, the company’s co-founder said.

ChromaDex reported net sales of $17.8 million in the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. The favorable results were driven partly by the company’s new partnership with practitioner brand Designs for Health.

Commitment to science remains strong

One of the things that made TruNiagen, the consumer brand name for  a supplement based on ChromaDex’s ingredient Niagen—a branded form of nicotinamide riboside—attractive to Designs for Health was the strong science portfolio for the ingredient. During an earnings call with stock analysts, ChromaDex chairman and co-founder Frank Jaksch said the company remains committed to its award-winning science program.

“As we recently announced, [the ChromaDex External Research Program] has amassed over 250 collaborative agreements with over 235 researchers globally. This includes over a 185 institutions in 33 countries representing over $85 million in estimated total research value. This is a remarkable milestone for any ingredient. Our CERP program was recently awarded the 2022 European NutraIngredients award in the Nutrition Research project category for pioneering research behind Niagen and NAD,”​ Jaksch said.  His remarks were part of a transcript of the call posted on the site​.

CEO Rob Fried said lockdowns in China have affected the company’s sales to Watsons, one Asia’s largest health and beauty retailers, which has been featuring TruNiagen in Hong Kong.  Fried said Watsons had chosen to move some of its purchases into future quarters to account for a lower pace of sales activity because of the ongoing disruptions.   Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing has been one of the major investors in ChromaDex​.  Watsons is part of Li’s CK Hutchinson Holdings group.  Watsons has endured some dislocations of its own when it chose to close all of its stores in Russia earlier this year.

Stock price shows downward trend

Despite the positive news on the earnings, science and IP fronts that company officials relayed during the call, ChromaDex has faced significant challenges over the past year.  The company has endured several sharp setbacks in its legal wrangle with former customer Elysium, which is now sourcing nicotinamide riboside from another supplier.  Fried said during the call that ChromaDex expects to spend more than $6 million on legal fees in its fiscal 2022.

That, combined with earnings that, while positive, have come in slightly below projections have conspired to drive down the value of the company’s stock. In addition, the company has continued to generate significant losses. ChromaDex reported $7.7 million in losses in the first quarter, compared to a loss of $7.4 million in the same period a year previously. ChromaDex’s stock price peaked more than a year ago at almost $14 a share.  The company’s stock is trading today at about $1.63 a share.

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