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CITA Biomedical Inc., a supplier of neural recovery and detoxification solutions for the chemically dependent, reported in July that the first patient in the U.S. to go through its Detoxification and NeuroAdaptation (DNA) for Alcohol program continues to be craving-free one month after treatment — something Joseph Dunn, president and CEO of the Beverly Hills, California-based firm, says will bring CITA out of the development stage and toward profitability.
CITA (Nasdaq: DTOX.OB) trades over-the-counter and services the $4 billion U.S. chemical dependence-addiction market. The company’s main products are a line of treatments called DNA for Addictions, which includes DNA for Cocaine, Alcohol and Cocaine, and Crack Cocaine. CITA has patents pending for the family of DNA treatments. Dunn, who has been at the firm since 1997, says CITA reports a more than 80% success rate with its treatments, compared with a less than 25% success rate reported by traditional 12-step programs.
Here’s how it works: According to Dunn, certain people have faulty neuron transmitters (the parts of the brain that transmit messages to the rest of the body) and as a result are more susceptible to abusing alcohol or drugs than others. “We’re able to go in and recover these neurons by using proprietary pharmaceuticals that target the brain’s pleasure centers,” he says. “With the DNA protocol, the patients are no longer having cravings.”
The treatment isn’t cheap, however. CITA’s business model calls for private payment at a rate of $8,000 per process. CITA generated $412,157 in 2001 vs. $319,613 in 2000, mostly from the sale of its opiate-addiction treatment program. The company is running in the red with a 2001 operating loss of $2.2 million. “We’re not profitable but we’re coming out of the development stage as we launch the new protocol,” says Dunn, who predicts profitability by the end of the second quarter of 2003.
To increase revenues and generate profits, the challenge for Dunn is creating distribution channels for CITA’s products and services. “The hospital setting is our distribution channel and the vertical markets (such as the court systems, employee assistance programs, insurance companies, and trade unions) would fill the channels.”