Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
OPERATOR: Thank you for standing by and welcome to the Vernalis Plc preliminary results for year ended December 31, 2006 conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session. [OPERATOR INSTRUCTIONS] I must advise you that this conference is being recorded today, Monday March 12, 2007.
I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Simon Sturge. Please go ahead sir.
SIMON STURGE, CEO, VERNALIS GROUP PLC: Thank you very much everybody for coming to the presentation on Vernalis prelims for 2006. We've got a number of people who've joined us through the webcast. At the end first of all we'll take questions here in the room and then move on to take questions from people who have dialed in. I apologize if I keep falling over, but having this Madonna like thing in my ear, I assure it's rather off putting.
Let's start off with the first forward-looking statement and hopefully -- now I've switched it off. What I want to do is to obviously talk a little bit about the financial results for the year, but then go on and talk about some of the key drivers for 2007. And I think the bottom line there, as a number of you will have picked up from the numbers, 2006 was a year of some quite substantial investment for Vernalis. Along that line of building a portfolio, but as importantly, building the franchise that we have in the US, which ultimately we believe is what's going to drive the top line of the business. So that investment in 2006, we certainly see the opportunity, as I'm sure most of you are aware of, of some quite substantial news flow in 2007.
This is the key highlight numbers from the financials, and if we have more detailed questions of that then we'll take you through those at the end of the presentation. But revenues were up GBP16.3 million compared to GBP14.1 in 2005. Our overall cash burn, the company was down. Obviously there are a number of exceptional items so the gross numbers, net numbers that you would have looked at are quite different from that, but we're happy to talk through the number of no- cash transactions that have gone through there. But the bottom line there is the cash burn of the company has gone down and our cash position at just under GBP40 million I think it's in line with the majority of analysts' forecasts. And obviously the potential of altering that quite substantially with the $40 million milestone, due from Endo in the event we get Menstrual Migraine approval. As I said, we're quite happy to come back and go through those numbers in some detail at the end.
What I wanted to move on to was what I call the key five drivers for the business over the next six months and take you through Apokyn sales. But then obviously, with respect to the main milestone, is the PDUFA date and give you an update of that. And then three of the other key programs behind that.
So just spend a little of time just talking about Frova -- sorry about Apokyn. I want to talk a little bit about what we've done and our objectives in 2006 around Apokyn. You have to remember that this was a relaunch of a product and so a lot of the activities were evolved in re-establishing the brand around Apokyn, identifying those barriers that had caused literally new business to drop off to zero, and put in place a number of programs to overcome those barriers.
So we started promoting the product at the beginning of last year. Undertook some quite significant market research particularly with key opinion leaders. One of the main issues around the launch of Apokyn was that there was no key opinion leader involvement. And often whilst these essential physicians don't necessarily have a high prescribing rate, they're highly influential in terms of attitudes in the community around prescribing of products. Introducing a number of initiatives where we identified key barriers for the growth of the product, not only to physicians who are prescribing, but also for patients who are using the product. And you'll recall when we put out our half year results we went through a number of those barriers in some detail.
So the initiatives that we launched was -- one of the key ones was a sampling program such that patients could actually be titrated onto the product on a sample rather than having to go through the lengthy process of getting the first product and the reimbursement mechanisms of that. All of this was incorporated with the changeover into Medicare Part D in which a number of these patients, in fact the vast majority had moved from paying 100% to product over to a Medicare Part D system.
A number of supportive campaigns both to physician and patient that we encompass within this Circle of Care program, where physicians and patients could ring in into a hotline and receive support from nurses who would come and visit in the community and also undertake the titration. And that culminated in a totally new promotional launch. This is actually quite significant because up to this date we were using the historical Mylan promotional material, but a new promotional launch of the product in October of last year. And then the establishment of quite significant involvement with the different …