HEALTH

Matrixx launches Xcid exclusively at Wal-Mart

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX Matrixx entered the digestives space exclusively with Wal-Mart last week with its launch of Xcid, Carl Johnson, president and chief executive officer, told analysts attending the Roth Capital Partners 20th Annual OC Growth Stock Conference on Wednesday.

The product contains two active ingredients—calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide—and is formulated as a rich and creamy formula that’s similar to a dessert-like mousse, Johnson said. “Consumer research has [found] there’s a five-to-one preference for our product versus existing tablets like Tums or existing liquids like Maloxx.”

Wal-Mart will have the brand exclusively for the first several months as Matrixx better gauges the potential for the product, Johnson said. “We probably are thinking today it’s somewhere between a $5 million and $10 million opportunity for the company, but we’ll know better after we have a few months of sales data with Wal-Mart. But obviously when you get the No. 1 retailer in the United States excited about it, that gets us excited and optimistic that this will be a good addition to the company.”

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Noninvasive electromagnetic glucose monitor in development

BY Michael Johnsen

WACO, Texas A Baylor University researcher is currently developing an electromagnetic sensor that could provide diabetics a noninvasive alternative to reading their blood glucose levels, and new research shows the sensor works and is effective, Baylor University announced Monday.

“We are definitely excited,” stated Randall Jean, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Baylor. “This is a relatively new area the market is exploring and we’ve demonstrated that using microwave energy can work.”

The sensor uses electromagnetic waves to measure blood glucose levels in the body. As the energy goes from the sensor through the skin and back to the sensor, the glucose level is measured through the transference of energy. Jean said the microwave frequency range is wide enough to isolate the effect of sugar in the blood and minimize the characteristics of other things like body fat and bone, which could alter accurate readings. Jean also said using electromagnetic waves is relatively safe because they do not ionize the body’s molecules like x-rays can do.

To measure glucose levels, users must press their thumb against the sensor, and a new study by the Baylor researchers shows that the sensor is accurate. Researchers took samples of nearly 20 people and compared those samples to levels measured by an over-the-counter commercial sensor. The researchers found Baylor’s noninvasive sensor has the potential of achieving the same or even better accuracy than current commercial sensors, many of which prick the finger to sample blood.

“The sensor passed its first simple quantitative test,” Jean said. “It can provide useful information to help the user decide what course of action they should take.”

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Sergeant’s Pet Care acquires Virbac Corp.

BY Michael Johnsen

OMAHA, Neb. Sergeant’s Pet Care Products last week acquired Virbac Corporation, a veterinary pharmaceutical company with brands that include WormXPlus and WormX.

“WormXPlus is the first generic version of the No. 1 broad-spectrum wormer in the veterinary channel,” stated Bob Scharf, president and chief executive officer of Sergeant’s Pet Care Products. “With this product we are able to provide a veterinary quality product that treats and prevents round, hook and tapeworms while saving pet owners valuable time and money.”

WormXPlus is comparable to the veterinary brand Drontal, a well-known broad spectrum wormer marketed by Bayer to the veterinary channel, he said.

Additional acquired products include Petrodex, home dental care products proven to help reduce plaque and tartar accumulation in dogs and cats; Zema, pesticides used to treat the home, pets, house and yard for fleas and ticks; and Mardel, a brand of medications for fish, water treatments and conditioners as well as a variety of test kits.

Retailers in the grocery, mass, drug and dollar channels, can look forward to seeing many of these formulations being marketed under the Sergeant’s and Vetscriptions brands, Scharf said. 

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