PETALUMA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Oculus Innovative Sciences ( OCLS) has turned to one of the company's directors and largest shareholders to help peddle its wound-cleaning product made from common diluted bleach and water to retail customers. Oculus announced Sept. 16 the "strategic partnership" with V&M Industries, in which V&M will sell Microcyn through over-the-counter retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada in exchange for an undisclosed percentage of the revenues flowing back to Oculus. What Oculus failed to disclose, however, is that V&M is a brand-new company founded this year by Robert Burlingame, the owner of a privately held roofing tile company and an Oculus director since 2006. Burlingame is also one of Oculus' largest shareholders -- a stake he's acquired in part through a series of loan and consulting agreements with Oculus that paid him stock and warrants at below market prices. Oculus' communications chief Dan McFadden did not respond to emails asking to comment on why Oculus didn't disclose the insider connection with V&M. I also wanted to know from McFadden more about V&M, including its current revenue and experience selling retail healthcare products. Oculus claims the company was founded in 2009, yet V&M has no Web site and a search of Secretary of State corporation filings in California (where Burlingame's other business is located) shows the company has a suspended business license. "The management team at V&M has proven its ability to champion a wide variety of products from concept to profitability in relatively short order," said Oculus CEO Hoji Alimi, in a statement announced the partnership. "They have built a seasoned marketing team that understands the dynamics of the U.S. over-the-counter space and are prepared to fully invest so as to generate meaningful sales for the Microcyn OTC products."
Really? So, what products might those be? If Burlingame can sell roof tiles, maybe he can sell diluted bleach water. But then, maybe he can't and this deal is just another Oculus smokescreen designed to convince investors that diluted bleach water is a miracle treatment for diabetic foot ulcers.
To raise more cash, Elan also said it plans to sell $600 million in new debt due 2016. Regarding the SEC issue, U.S. stock regulators have asked Elan to provide records related to the July 31, 2008 announcement of two Tysabri-related progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) cases as well as records relating to the presentation of phase 2 trial data for bapineuzumab at the International Conference of Alzheimer's Diseaseon the July 29, 2008