NZ start-up launches world-first anti-acne product in Mexico
Epiology is a clinically-proven anti-acne cream; the only one globally with a patented active ingredient derived from New Zealand cow's milk.
The product was first launched into New Zealand pharmacies in May. And its success nationally has spurred Quantec to take the product global.
"Epiology sales in New Zealand have exceeded our expectations. We're now in 60 percent of New Zealand pharmacies and have shipped online orders to customers from as far away as the US, Philippines and China," said Quantec founder and managing director Dr Rod Claycomb.
Quantec has partnered with Mexican distribution partner; Fenrir Business Development SA de CV (FBD), in a bid to gain market share in Mexico.
"With the help of FBD, Epiology will first be launched into Guadalajara, Mexico - Mexico's second largest city with a population of over four million. We're initially launching the cream through a specialist channel by working with around 25 of the city's top dermatologists," Dr Claycomb said.
According to FBD general manager Fernando Alvarez, acne product category sales in Mexico total around $69million USD ($83million NZD).
"Clearly, there is huge opportunity for Quantec's Epiology skincare range in Mexico. What's more, in Mexico, 80 to 90 percent of the population has been affected by acne before the age of 21.
"Studies have shown around 44 percent of Mexicans with acne contact a dermatologist. That's why this channel is so important for us to work with initially," he said.
Mr Alvarez also said Mexico's heterogeneous population provides a great opportunity for Quantec to prove that Epiology anti-acne cream is effective regardless of skin-type.
"In Mexico, skin types vary from region to region and we are looking to prove that all Epiology users – regardless of skin type - can experience relief from acne symptoms," he said.
By early next year, the product will have launched to dermatologists in five of Mexico's largest cities.
"The idea at each launch is that dermatologists are provided with product which they then use to conduct small trials on their patients to study the product's effectiveness.
"Following our own clinical studies which we performed in the US in 2012, we are confident the dermatologists will see similar positive results whereby they will have confidence to recommend the product to customers with acne issues," Dr Claycomb said.
Eventually, Epiology products will also be sold in pharmacies across Mexico.
Dr Claycomb said the most significant of the five Mexico launches will occur in Mexico City in January, where Quantec will be supported by representatives from the Mexico City-based New Zealand Trade and Enterprise office.
Dr Claycomb said Quantec is excited about the potential that international markets hold.
"As a small start-up company from Hamilton, we have developed a clinically-proven anti-acne cream whose active, patented ingredient is derived from New Zealand cow's milk.
"And now our product has the potential to make an impact in the global market. We're looking forward to five successful launches in Mexico, and can't wait to see what other international opportunities await us in the near future," he said.
The Epiology range of products is being sold in pharmacies throughout New Zealand and online at www.epiology.co.nz.
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