Mayne Pharma bolsters U.S. sales ops to revive acne-fighter Doryx

Stefan Cross, president of Mayne Pharma U.S.

Mayne Pharma ($MYX) has played a few rounds of musical chairs with acne brand Doryx, but the company is now the only player standing--and it's readying U.S. sales troops for action.

Mayne had relied on marketing partners to handle Doryx, first Warner Chilcott, and then Warner's buyer Actavis ($ACT). But as Actavis prepared to close on its Allergan buyout earlier this year, it sold Doryx rights back to Mayne in a $50 million deal.

Mayne will send more than 60 reps into the field to promote Doryx, hoping to step up the brand's profile among dermatologists and patients, Mayne Pharma U.S. president Stefan Cross told FiercePharmaMarketing.

Doryx is already an established brand, but the company hopes dialing up sales efforts will reawaken interest. "We've seen the performance of Doryx. It's a reasonably mature product that still has a lot of clinical benefit," Cross said. "We feel confident in bringing back awareness of Doryx."

Mayne is setting up a U.S. specialty brands division as part of its Doryx push. But the company plans to focus on the acne drug before integrating other brands into its portfolio. Mayne wants to expand its Doryx franchise with other dosing options as well, including a 50-mg version it will launch "in due course," Cross said.

"Our short term focus is on Doryx and building out as much awareness as possible. Once we've done that, there are development projects we're working on to bring specialty products to the U.S. There are other activities to further expand our branded business, but they're still confidential," he added.

The marketing efforts come at a critical moment. Stateside sales of Doryx jumped 60% to $21 million in fiscal 2014, after the company launched a 200-mg version--accounting for 16% of the company's revenue that period. But after Actavis took over marketing for the drug, prescriptions from dermatologists started to decline, The Australian Business Review reported.

Still, Mayne remains optimistic that it can re-establish the brand. The company sees Doryx adding $2.7 million to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) per month starting in July, Mayne said earlier this year. And the company is open to new Doryx partnerships.

"While we have internal productivity, there are companies looking for a nimble, agile commercial partner," Cross said. "We're not exclusively focused on internal development. We're open to licensing the product as well."

- read Mayne Pharma's statement
- here's The Australian Business Review story