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Empower Clinics expanding its health-care network and advancing coronavirus testing in North America

Stock Markets Aug 05, 2022 09:45
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© Reuters. Empower Clinics expanding its health-care network and advancing coronavirus testing in North America
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  • Provides body and mind wellness for more than 200,000 patients through its North American clinics and telemedicine platform
  • Advancing coronavirus national testing programs after acquiring Texas-based lab
  • Developed proprietary line of CBD products formulated by scientists and field experts
What Empower Clinics does:

Empower Clinics Inc (OTCMKTS:EPWCF) (CSE:CBDT) is a diversified wellness company that is dedicated to keeping people healthy on several fronts.

The Vancouver-based company owns a network of physician-staffed health clinics in Oregon and Arizona that serve more than 200,000 patients and provides telemedicine options in Arizona, Oregon, Washington State, Nevada, and California. Empower is also in the planning process to open clinics in Ontario.

Its franchise model allows for easy and fast scalability, increasing the distribution of its CBD-based product, Sollievo (which means ‘relief’ in Italian). Sollievo’s offerings include CBD lotion, tinctures, spectrum oils, capsules, lozenges, patches, topical lotions, gel caps, e-drinks, hemp extract drops, and pet elixir hemp extract drops.

Empower also supports remote patients using its telemedicine portal, enabling patients who do not live near one of its clinics and can’t get to a location, to still benefit from a doctor consultation.

In an effort to combat coronavirus (COVID-19), the company re-purposed its pre-existing diagnostic testing to serve the massive demand for COVID-19 testing. Empower in 2020 acquired Texas-based Kai Medical Laboratory LLC to help the company advance its testing capabilities, which includes saliva-based tests. It is also working with other companies to support their COVID-19 mitigation solutions (venue bubbles and tracing).

The company is as well expanding into the psychedelic space through its Dosed Wellness Ltd subsidiary.

How is it doing:

Empower’s strategic decisions to purchase KAI Medical Laboratory and expand its network of health clinics in North America are starting to pay off in 2021.

And flush with C$12 million from a warrant exercise in March that, when combined with revenue from its KAI Lab, means Empower has a healthy runway to continue advancing each of its two business divisions.

The Dallas-based lab in February reached the milestone of 1,000 COVID-19 tests processed in one day and is now generating an annual revenue run rate of more than C$10 million. The lab test can accurately detect the UK and South African variants of the virus.

Additionally, the debut of Empower’s KAI Saliva PCR Test achieved an initial soft launch of 5,000 units, leading to an order of 25,000 additional units with a sales value of around C$5.5 million. The company now anticipates placing an order for 50,000 additional KAI Saliva units with a retail sales value of around C$11 million to build inventory sufficient for the current demand in North America.

In April, the company received an order worth more the C$750,000 to supply COVID-19 tests to two new film and television productions. In 2020, Empower had received an initial order for 1,000 tests from a major entertainment production firm shortly after acquiring KAI in October and a follow-up order for 9,000 tests with more than C$1 million.

The self-administered test -- which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as Canadian and EU health authorities -- provides travelers (as well as airlines, cruise line, and the tourism sector) with a simple method to obtain an RT-PCR test result prior to arriving or coming back into North America or arriving in other countries.

For its next milestone, Empower is gearing up plans to sell and distribute an at-home saliva test.

The platform will enable individuals and businesses to order the test kit online, have it shipped to them for simple specimen collection, then returned to KAI Lab for processing. Users merely spit into a funnel, then close the funnel with a lid containing a liquid to be mixed with the saliva by simply shaking it for five seconds. KAI will then analyze and provide a response within 24 hours.

The company recently submitted bids on five US federal government Requests For Proposal (RFPs) to test more than 50,000 federal employees using its KAI Saliva test. More than 10,000 of those employees will require ongoing testing, which represents the potential for significant recurring test revenues. The RPFs stem from President Biden's administration’s move to invest more than $12 billion to expand coronavirus testing.

As for its network of healthcare clinics, the number of patients served jumped 460% year-over-year to 26,317 during the three months ended March 31.2021. For the month of March specifically, patient numbers increased by 388% to 8,379 from 2,160.

Meanwhile, Empower has launched its first three integrated health centers in Ontario, with each location expected to generate C$2.5 million to C$3.6 million in annual revenue. The company will also be opening primary care, plus para-medical healthcare services in each of the locations, with a target of four to six medical doctors and the same number of paramedical practitioners per location. Empower is now advancing to the build-out phase with first completions and openings anticipated for 2Q 2021.

The company has inked a partnership with Rexall Pharmacy Group to launch the first of multiple integrated healthcare centers within the group's pharmacies starting in Ontario. Empower also has formed major partnerships with several Canadian firms.

Empower and MedX Health Corp recently announced a Memorandum of Understanding to pilot MedX's DermSecure Screening Platform (teledermatology and high-quality image capture) at two select Empower clinics in Ontario. The pilot program will be in place for four months, reaching an estimated 13,500 patients. Pending the pilot's successful completion, the MedX platform will become more widely available to Empower's network.

Empower also has a tie-up with Loop Insights Inc. which provides end-to-end COVID-19 mitigation solutions such as venue tracing and real-time automated guest exposure notifications. Empower’s role is to do the testing. Both companies have established the Re-open Vancouver coalition to present a solution to local, provincial, and federal government authorities to get the city’s travel and tourism industry running again. They are also working together on the Paiute Las Vegas Championship, a golf tournament scheduled for April 12-18.

Also, in a travel-bubble initiative, Empower and Loop have teamed up with SimpliFlying Inc to help resorts, tourism boards, airlines, airports, cruise ships, and ports make travel safer in the pandemic era.

Inflection points:

  • Significant potential in the diagnostics/COVID-19 testing market
  • Gearing up plans to sell and distribute an at-home COVID-19 saliva test
  • Awaiting possible US government contracts for KAI Saliva test
  • Expects integrated health center openings in Ontario in 2Q 2021
What the boss says:

"The delivery of world-class patient care is the number one priority for our team in all the markets we serve," said Empower CEO Steven McAuley recently. "I am so proud of our members' daily effort and dedication to patients even in such uncertain times.”

He added: “For our team to achieve such significant year-over-year growth numbers is a testament to our ability to execute on our business plan to acquire patients and drive long-term shareholder value. I'm especially proud of the strong growth in the last month of Q1, which sets us up for continued growth in Q2 2021."

Contact the author:

Follow him on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) @PatrickMGraham

Read more on Proactive Investors CA


Empower Clinics expanding its health-care network and advancing coronavirus testing in North America

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