Waxy Buildup

Eosera, a Fort Worth biotech startup, gets ready to roll out its earwax dissolver Earwax MD and launches an Indiegogo charity campaign.

Earwax MD, the earwax-dissolving, over-the-counter product developed by Fort Worth’s startup Eosera biotech company, is preparing to go to market in April. And with that, the company has developed a strategy for giving back to the community in line with the Conscious Capitalism strategy that founders Elyse Dickerson and Joe Griffin want to imbue in Eosera.

Eosera launched an Indiegogo campaign online with a $50,000 flexible goal and a video by Dickerson, the CEO. Give $30, and Eosera promises to send you one bottle of Earwax MD and donate one bottle to a charity that assists elderly, the population most likely to suffer from impacted earwax. Give $50, you get two bottles, and the company will give two bottles. Give $100, you get three bottles, and the company gives six bottles.

The company will distribute the free bottles through a foundation and by donations to nursing homes, Dickerson says. The company is interviewing foundations. “Our primary goal would be to work with a foundation and make it a sustainable thing,” she says.

Dickerson and Griffin, former Alcon vets, launched Eosera with Earwax MD as its first product. The company raised $1.2 million in capital from investors, structured as convertible debt. In 2015, it raised notice when it won a $50,000 Comerica Bank pitch competition. Recently, it won the Mary Kay-sponsored Pink Tank Business Pitch contest at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit in Dallas.

Eosera has priced Earwax MD at $19 to the consumer for a kit that contains a 15-milliliter bottle and rinsing bulb. The recommended dosage, as the company developed through a clinical trial and recommendations by physicians, will be a one-time usage for most patients, Dickerson says. Fifteen minutes after treatment, patients are instructed to rinse. “If they have more impaction, they’re going to need to use it twice,” she says.

She, Griffin and their distributors will roll out the product to audiologists and ear-nose-throat specialists at the American Academy of Audiology Conference in April. Physicians will be able to keep Earwax MD at their offices and sell it to patients. Eosera is also promoting the product through trade and academic publications and email blasts.

One large retailer, not yet identified by Eosera, has committed to taking Earwax MD. “It will be on the shelf in August,” she says. A second major retailer also is considering selling Earwax MD, she says.
Earwax MD will also be available direct to consumers beginning in April at Amazon.com, Dickerson says.

She and Griffin have taken on a full-time marketing manager, full-time employee handled manufacturing and logistics, and a TCU intern blogger.

A third-party contract manufacturer is making Earwax MD, and Eosera is also building its own small plant in Fort Worth that will make some of the product. The short-term goal is to have the third-party maker produce the product for retail sales, and Eosera’s plant will make Earwax MD for the physicians and Amazon markets, Dickerson says. “Our ultimate goal is to control the entire supply chain and do it ourselves.”