The opioid crisis began in the United States in the late 1990s. Opioids are a class of drugs which includes prescription painkillers, as well as illegal heroin. The potency of such drugs has made them highly popular for both medicinal and recreational uses, and their addictive nature has fueled the epidemic. Deaths due to drug overdose rose to more than 50,000 in 2015, and almost half of those were from prescription drugs. Such high numbers are more than sufficient for the problem to be categorized as an epidemic by several governmental agencies. The epidemic has cost the United States economy over $500 billion in 2015 alone.
In an attempt to curb this continuing threat, a company in Anaheim, California has developed a radically new treatment that is aimed at stopping addiction in its tracks. Originally set up to manage clinics that treated only alcoholism, the company decided to branch out to fight the opioid epidemic in 2014 when the opioid crisis began to escalate and get out of control.
One of the Products That Got the Ball Rolling
BioCorRx®offers naltrexone in the form of a biodegradable implant that dissolves over months, thereby releasing naltrexone into the bloodstream in a sustained manner. The opioid antagonist medication reduces cravings for alcohol and opioids and blocks many of the effects of such substances. With the widespread problem of addiction due to prescription drugs, this treatment has the potential to make a real difference to society. The implant can work well to remove cravings and protect from relapse while the implant is releasing therapeutic levels of naltrexone, but once the cravings are reduced or eliminated, the underlying reasons for the addiction must be addressed. This can be challenging, as each situation is different. To address this, BioCorRx® developed a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and peer recovery support program around the naltrexone implant to aid in addressing the psycho-social aspects of the addiction and provide ongoing recovery support. The combination of the medication, CBT and peer support is called the BioCorRx® Recovery Program.
Challenges along the Road
One of the biggest problems facing the United States healthcare industry is cost. It is a well-known fact that Americans pay the highest costs for healthcare per capita. Individuals without insurance often go bankrupt trying to pay their medical bills. Even with insurance, high deductibles and premiums can cripple family expenses.
Additionally, with the lack of evidence-based results from traditional treatment methods, many insurers are cutting back on substance use disorder reimbursement. However, they are beginning to give medication-assisted treatment (MAT) a closer look. MAT is the use of medications, like naltrexone, in combination with therapy. For now, according to independent treatment centers using the BioCorRx Recovery Program, most patients are paying with cash or financing the one-year program.
BioCorRx® is also pilot testing a mobile app for their CBT program in order to gather more data and boost the engagement with the program. Due to the challenges with payers, the company’s primary focus has shifted to getting FDA approval for BICX102, the company’s naltrexone implant. In their January 24, 2018 meeting, the FDA deemed the 505(b)(2) as an acceptable route for approval. Once approved through this abbreviated route and more widely accepted by the medical community and payers, this product could have a significant impact on the crippling opioid and alcohol epidemics.
The Cornerstones of BioCorRx®’s Popularity
The CEO of the company, Brady Granier, has an academic background in Nursing and a career that includes various managerial and director roles in media corporations where he dealt with many popular brands. Granier attributes the company’s successful progression to the sincerity and dedication of his fellow Director and COO/CFO, Lourdes Felix, and the rest of their team, as well as investors who believe in the company’s vision. He is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside his team in this rapidly evolving segment of the healthcare industry.
Most of the development work done by the company is outsourced. BioCorRx® is set up very efficiently with only four full-time employees, three members of the board, one VP of Operations and one VP of Drug Development. Granier feels that the reason for the growing popularity of his company is the prospect for BICX102 to help more families suffering from the horrid effects of addiction once FDA approved.
The company is confident of getting its flagship product approved and has additional products in the pipeline.
Meet the Stalwart behind BioCorRx®
During the 12 years prior to joining BioCorRx® in June of 2013, Brady Granier had been involved in sales management, media sales, and business development. Granier was employed at Clear Channel Media & Entertainment (“CCME”), where he had served in several positions from Account Executive to Director of Business Development and Local Sales Manager. He has also served as the Healthcare Category Manager for the Los Angeles division of CCME, the largest media company in the United States. During his tenure at CCME and other media companies, he worked on marketing campaigns for local businesses and physicians, as well as for national brands such as Neutrogena, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Samsung, AT&T, Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Hansen’s, Honda, MGM, Universal Studios and more. He also managed endorsements on the radio for Ryan Seacrest. In 2006, he received the coveted Pinnacle Award from CCME for being the top sales executive in the Western region. While serving as Director of Business Development, Granier grew new business by 49% in his first year in that role.
Granier was born and raised in the heart of Cajun Country in Southeast Louisiana where he started working at the age of 11 to help support his single mother and younger brother. After graduating with honors from high school, he attended college at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1995 and was a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society and Phi Kappa Theta. During his nursing career, he specialized in the critical care areas of ER/ICU/CCU and CICU. He also moonlighted as a home health nurse, critical care air transport nurse and TV studio set medic. In 1996, he moved to California as a travel nurse and spent most of his remaining years in healthcare as the charge nurse in the emergency room at White Memorial Hospital in downtown Los Angeles. Granier continues to reside in the Los Angeles area with his family. He has also been a volunteer with Big Brothers of America.