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ChromaDex Corporation (NASDAQ:CDXC)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Aug 3, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to ChromaDex Corporation's Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. May name is Ashley and I'll be the conference operator today. [Operator Instructions] This afternoon, ChromaDex issued a news release announcing the company's financial results for the second quarter of 2021. If you've not reviewed this information, both are available within the Investor Relations section of ChromaDex's website at www.chromadex.com. I would now like to turn the conference call over to Brianna Gerber, Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. Please go ahead, Ms. Gerber.

Brianna Gerber -- Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations

Thank you. Good afternoon and welcome to ChromaDex Corporation's Second Quarter 2021 Results Investor Call. With us today are ChromaDex's Chief Executive Officer, Rob Fried; Founder and Executive Chairman, Frank Jaksch; and Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Farr. Today's conference call may include forward-looking statements, including statements related to ChromaDex's research and development and clinical trial plans and the timing and results of such trials, the timing of future regulatory filings, the expansion of the sale of TRU NIAGEN in new markets, business development opportunities, future financial results, cash needs, operating performance, investor interest, and business prospects and opportunities as well as anticipated results of operation. Forward-looking statements represent only the company's estimates on the date of this conference call and are not intended to give any assurance as to actual future results. Because forward-looking statements relate to matters that have not yet occurred, these statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause ChromaDex's actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These risk factors include those contained in ChromaDex's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q most recently filed with the SEC, including the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Please note that the company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this conference call to conform with the forward-looking statements, actual results or to changes in its expectations. In addition, certain of the financial information presented in this call references non-GAAP financial measures. The company's earnings presentation and earnings press release, which were issued this afternoon and are available on the company's website present reconciliations to the appropriate GAAP measures. Finally, this conference call is being recorded via webcast. The webcast will be available at the Investor Relations section of our website at www.chromadex.com. With that. It's now my pleasure to turn the call over to our Chief Executive Officer, Rob Fried. Rob?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. Brianna. Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining our second quarter 2021 Investor Call. It was yet another strong quarter for ChromaDex including $17.7 million of total net sales and $640,000 in positive adjusted EBITDA which excludes total legal expense. Overall sales were up 21% sequentially, with continued growth in our existing direct to consumer and B2B TRU NIAGEN business [Phonetic]. We launched Tru Niagen in Walmart in June, our first mass retail launch in the US and a significant accomplishment for the company. And we had a small shipment of Niagen ingredient to our new partner Ro, whom we expect to be a strategic long term Niagen ingredient partner along with H&H Group, Nestle Health Science, and Life Extension. As I mentioned, total company net sales for the quarter were $17.7 million. E-commerce sales continue to grow 11% sequentially, and they were up 31% over the second quarter of 2020. We benefited from strong Amazon Prime Day sales this quarter as well as an easier comparison as a result of the impact of COVID on our business in the second quarter last year. We also delivered higher sales to Watsons of $2.9 million following last quarter's temporary supply chain disruption. In total, our sales to existing partners including Watsons increased year-to-date compared to 2020. We added sales to new partners Walmart and Ro in the second quarter.

Gross margins were approximately 61%. And the second quarter adjusted EBITDA which we define as EBITDA excluding legal expense was as I mentioned, the profit of $600,000, a $1.3 million improvement from the prior quarter. Total legal expense was down compared to last quarter, but remains high as we prepare for three trials this year. As I have repeatedly said, we will continue to protect our intellectual property against infringers, companies who try to build their brands on the back of our science and our regulatory accomplishments. Speaking of our science, the science behind Niagen has never been stronger. We now have 13 completed clinical trials and nearly 40 more clinical trials in progress. In July, the results of ScandiBio Therapeutics Phase 3 COVID 19 study were published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Science. Researchers showed with statistical significance the supplementation with the nutritional protocol, including our ingredient, nicotinamide riboside reduced time to recovery in symptomatic patients in Turkey by 38% compared to a placebo, 38%. Frank will provide additional updates on the science momentarily. ChromaDex remains committed to expanding our knowledge of and patent portfolio around nicotinamide riboside as well as other NAD precursors and is increasing R&D investments in 2021 to maintain that leadership position in this rapidly growing market. While direct to consumer remains the core engine of the business, we are excited about the opportunity to reach new consumers for TRU NIAGEN at 3800 Walmart stores and to work with Walmart to build the NAD supplements category. Our new lower priced, lower dose introductory product should be available in approximately 3800 locations. And our standard 300 milligram product should be available in approximately 2800 locations. Sales to Walmart were strong this quarter due to initial sell-in for the launch with product delivered on time to all Walmart locations. Both SKUs are also available on walmart.com. We have a new Head of Marketing at ChromaDex who is working on a more aggressive campaign targeting Walmart consumers. In the short term, we continue to expect that sales will build slowly at Walmart. The growth should accelerate upon rollout of this campaign. Overall, it's still early in the launch and we look forward to sharing more information in [Indecipherable] Our growing group of true believers for your continued support, I have never been as optimistic about our future as I am today. Now I will pass the call over to our Chairman, Frank Jacksch and update on scientific research. Frank?

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

Thank you, Rob. In the second quarter, there were several pre-clinical publications on nicotinamide riboside or NR including studies on bone health, alcohol induced inflammation and neuro inflammation. In addition, in June, an article was published demonstrating that systematic treatment with NR is protective in acute chronic mouse models of retinal ganglion cell damage, which often proceeds glaucoma. This is the first preclinical study of its kind and has implications for clinical research on an area of human health that affects a broad population, specifically vision health. Two new clinical studies also registered since our last update, both in May. Both studies are part of our ChromaDex External Research Program. First, Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands registered a randomized double-blinded placebo controlled clinical study to explore whether combined treatment within NR in exercise imposes greater improvements in skeletal muscle mitochondrial metabolism in older adults compared to exercise treatment alone. Exploratory outcomes of the study include muscle NAD metabolites, energy metabolism, and physical performance. 34 participants will be given 500 milligrams of NR twice daily for 40 days. Participants will engage in supervised exercise over a three-week period, which consist of four approximately 30-minute sessions, including two endurance sessions on a bike and two high intensity interval training sessions. We have recently seen more studies registered examining the combined effects of NR and exercise. This is an important area of research given the opportunity for TRU NIAGEN in the professional sports and fitness community, many of whom are early adopters of our product. In addition, a two year clinical study entitled NAD supplementation to prevent progressive neurological disease in the ataxia telangiectasia or AT was registered in Norway. Researchers will investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of NR in children with this rare disease that affects the nervous system, immune system and other body movements. The primary focus of the study will be on neurological symptoms. We are proud to support important research on the growing list of rare orphan diseases like AT, Friedrichs ataxia and others like Cockayne Syndrome, Warner syndrome, sytron disease and ALS. In addition, there were two newly published clinical studies since our last update. First, in June, the results of a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled Phase 3 clinical study on patients with mild to moderate COVID 19 in Turkey were published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Science. Researcher showed a statistically significant 38% reduction in average time to recovery in the group receiving the nutritional protocol that included NR compared to placebo. The placebo group recovered in 9.2 days, whereas the group receiving the nutritional protocol recovered in 5.7 days. The results were statistically significant with a p-value less than 0.0001. We had previously announced the pre-print results of the study but shared the update in a blog post on aboutnad.com with the subscribers as well as the medical community through our network of healthcare practitioners. In addition, a study entitled combined metabolic activators improves cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease, was published in the pre-print server mid archive. The study was led by Dr. Adil Mardinoglu from the Royal Institute of Technology and King's College London. This is the first study to investigate the effects of combined metabolic activator supplementation in Alzheimer's patients. This study demonstrated that supplementation with the same combination of metabolic activators used in the COVID 19 study including NR significantly improve cognitive function in markers of liver and kidney health and moderate to severe Alzheimer's patients suggesting this may be an effective therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease. Further studies are needed to build on and validate these initial findings and we are waiting for a study to be peer-reviewed before sharing these results more broadly.

Finally, I wanted to highlight ChromaDex's participation at our Virtual Conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition or ASN. ChromaDex had a large presence during the session entitled optimizing NAD status, a call to action from Nutrition Research. Featuring speakers from our Scientific Advisory Board, our ChromaDex External Research Program partners as well as our internal team members. This session was attended by 160 members of the scientific community with high engagement during the Q&A session. The ASN event was an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of NAD on human health as well as the extensive body of safety and efficacy data on our proprietary ingredient NR. Our Head of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Dr. Andrew Shao also discussed the importance of the dietary supplement database for the industry, a topic I previously explored on a panel hosted by the American conference Institute in the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Finally Dr. Yasmeen Nkrumah-Elie, Director of the ChromaDex External Research Program participated in a panel session entitled ASN sustaining partner Forum, your Nutrition industry who we are and what we do. This is a testament to ChromaDex's continued position as a thought leader in the industry.

I continue to believe that 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for ChromaDex based on completed and ongoing clinical studies. Furthermore, the robust preclinical research pipeline and recent publications showing the benefit of NR in mouse models represents the seeds for future clinical trials in 2022 and beyond. ChromaDex maintains a deep and growing relationship with the scientific community as well as regulatory bodies around the world and is committed to remaining a leader in the growing NAD market. With that, I'll pass the call to Kevin Farr. Kevin?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Frank. ChromaDex delivered a strong quarter with total net sales of $17.7 million, up 16% year over year or above 30% excluding the $1.6 million Horizon Ventures purchased last year, and up 21% sequentially. In the underlying business as measured by adjusted EBITDA excluding legal expense, a non-GAAP metric posted a profit of $640,000, $1.3 million improvement sequentially and up slightly versus the prior year. We believe adjusted EBITDA excluding legal expense remains an important metric to gauge our progress toward cash flow breakeven and we've included a reconciliation to the appropriate GAAP measures in our earnings release slides. I'll begin by reviewing the sequential P&L results and will then discuss the year-over-year trends. For the three months ended June 30, 2021 ChromaDex reported net sales of $17.7 million, up 21% compared to $14.7 million in the first quarter of 2021. TRU NIAGEN net sales were up 24% sequentially. This growth was driven by Watsons with sales of $2.9 million this quarter compared to $1.6 million in the first quarter. w

We benefited from a catch-up shipment in the second quarter, following a $1 million shortfall last quarter. We expect a smaller benefit in the third quarter compared to the baseline demand for Watsons. But we have some recent improvements in sell through as the Hong Kong economy recovers from the impact of COVID 19. Watson store traffic is still down year-over-year, and sales from Chinese tourism and local resident traffic have yet to return to pre-COVID levels. We believe this is due to social distancing measures, travel restrictions and concerns over the COVID 19 Delta variant that may remain a headwind through 2021. Our e-commerce business was up 11% sequentially including a boost from Amazon Prime Day sales this quarter. Finally, we successfully shipped to Walmart in the second quarter. There was a large initial shipping to stock the shelves at the 3800 stores as well as build safety stock at their distribution centers. Our NIAGEN ingredients sales were up 7% versus the prior quarter including ongoing sales to Life Extension and a small shipment to our new partner Ro. Our gross margins was down sequentially by 180 basis points from 62.9% in the first quarter of 2021 to 61.1% in the second quarter of 2021. We had a higher mix of business to business sales in the second quarter, which carried a lower gross margin than e-commerce. This includes sales to Watsons and Wal-Mart among other partners. At the same time, we continue to deliver on our supply chain and product cost savings initiatives and are benefiting from our overall scale. As a result we're tracking well to our full-year goal of slightly better than 60% gross margins. Total operating expense for the second quarter of 2021 was $16.4 million down $0.2 million compared to the first quarter of 2021. Selling and marketing expenses were down slightly to $6.2 million in the second quarter of 2021 compared to $6.3 million dollars in the first quarter of 2021. As a percentage of net sales, this expenditure was down 740 basis points in the second quarter of 2021 versus the first quarter of 2021 due to higher net sales, the business to business partners with minimal advertising by ChromaDex. As I previously said this ratio will generally decline over time as sales ramp, but the quarterly investments may fluctuate as a result of our marketing campaigns.

As reported, G&A expense was down $0.4 million to $9.1 million in the second quarter of 2021 versus $9.6 million in the first quarter of 2021. Legal expense was down $0.9 million compared to the first quarter of $2021 to $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2021. As expected, activity declined in the second quarter, and we saw a corresponding decline in legal expense. It is difficult to predict the timing and magnitude of pre-trial litigation expenses with three cases potentially going to trial in the second half of this year. We have refined our trial budgets and now expect that the third quarter total legal expense may be higher than the first quarter of 2021. We'll continue to look for ways to optimize these budgets while vigorously protecting our intellectual property. Excluding legal fees severance restructuring and equity compensation expense, second quarter 2021 G&A expense was higher by $0.2 million versus first quarter 2021 comparable G&A expense. For the second quarter of 2021, our operating loss was $5.6 million versus $7.4 million in the first quarter of 2021. The net loss attributable to common stockholders for the second quarter of 2021 was $5.6 million or a loss of $0.08 per share as compared to a net loss of $7.4 million or a loss of $0.12 per share for the first quarter of 2021. Total net sales were up 16% year-over-year compared to the second quarter of 2020, with 31% growth in TRU NIAGEN including 31% growth in e-commerce and 32% growth in combined Watsons and other business to business sales. Our NIAGEN ingredient net sales were down 36% and other ingredient net sales were down 74% year-over-year. We are no longer selling to one of our NIAGEN ingredient customers, which remains a short-term headwind as we replaced this business with new strategic partners like H&H and Ro. In other ingredients we're comping strong sales [Inaudible] and the ingredient with immune boosting properties last year during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic. Gross margin increased by 170 basis points to 61.1% compared to 5.49% in the second quarter of 2020. Selling and marketing expense as a percentage of net sales increased 280 basis points to 35.2% compared to 32.4% in the second quarter of 2020. We benefit from the sales to Horizon Ventures in the second quarter of 2020 without any associated marketing investments. As reported, general and administrative expense was higher by $2.2 million, primarily due to higher legal expense of $2.3 million. Finally, our operating loss increased by $1.9 million year-over-year and higher sales and gross margins and cost savings across the organization were more than offset by higher legal expense and investments in selling and marketing.

Moving to the balance sheet and cash flow. Our balance sheet remains strong. We ended the quarter with $38.8 million in cash, including $1.9 million raised from our $50 million ATM. This further strengthens our balance sheet and we have not accessed our $7 million committed line of credit. In the second quarter of 2021, our net cash used in operations was $7.9 million versus a $5.4 million use of cash in the first quarter of 2021. The difference this quarter was primarily driven by a decrease in accounts payable due to the timing of payments to our vendors and the payout of a bonus to employees related to prior year company performance.

As it relates to our 2021 full-year outlook we provided details on key P&L metrics in our earnings press release, along with the slide presentation. Consistent with our previous outlook, we expect to invest more in marketing and brand awareness, customer acquisition and R&D to maintain our position as the leader in the growing NAD+ market. The underlying business is essentially breakeven on a quarterly basis today and for year-to-date 2021 as measured by adjusted EBITDA, excluding total legal expense. This remains a key metric for the organization, but we will focus on achieving similar performance for the second half of 2021. But there may be quarterly volatility due to the timing of investments. As it relates to the full year net sales, we continue to expect steady revenue growth consistent with our previous financial outlook. However, we expect that our third quarter total net sales will be flat to slightly down from the second quarter. While the e-commerce business should continue to grow sequentially, a growing portion of our sales are coming from new partners, including Walmart, H&H, and Ro, which may cause quarterly volatility until they ramped to more steady consistent growth. We expect to benefit from growing sales to Ro and H&H in the fourth quarter based upon the respective launches of Roman and Swiss products with TRU NIAGEN planned for later this year. And we remain bullish about full-year 2021 and the 2022 outlook.

We expect that our third quarter year-over-year growth rate will accelerate from 16% reported year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter and that it will further accelerate in the fourth quarter. In summary, I'm very proud of how the company continues to execute balancing the long-term market opportunity with near-term profitability objectives. I believe our strategic pipeline including business development and R&D is much more robust and our internal team is the strongest I have worked with during my time at ChromaDex. We have successfully transformed the company over the last four years and I remain very optimistic about our future. Operator, we are now ready to take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instruction] Your first question comes from Brian Nagel with Oppenheimer. Your line is now open.

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Hi, good afternoon. Nice quarter. A couple of questions. I guess first, with regard to sales. And I think Kevin. I think you mentioned the COVID crisis that you are referring primarily to the Hong Kong market. So the question is we start to see and it's obviously very fool [Phonetic] at this point, but maybe obviously more reopening generally versus a few months ago. And are you seeing any type of impact or reaction in your TRU NIAGEN sales?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

A reaction to COVID?

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Well, just from consumer's perspective. Is there some indication that as the economy start to open, you're seeing improving underlying demand trends.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Going been down. Brian? Yeah, it's been up and down. There have been times when we see the stores reopening and foot traffic returns. And then a few months later COVID picks up and we see a retraction, one thing we know is that tourism from Mainland China into Hong Kong has still yet to open up and that's always been a significant portion of Watson's traffic so we were impacted by that. We also know that there is a very loyal core customer base of TRU NIAGEN in Hong Kong, but the overall foot traffic in Hong Kong has, especially in the last few months declined.

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Okay. Got it. Then the second question I have is on marketing. I think it was a comment, I think, Kevin, you made a comment about it, the financial outlook about marketing spend and it sounded to me like talking about the higher spend. So the question is -- A is that am I hearing that correctly? But then B and more importantly, is this just more of the same or will there be some type of -- is there some, Kevin, newer campaign, pressure campaign that you're looking at?

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

Were you asking Kevin or Rob?

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Whoever.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I would say in the prepared remarks, we indicated we're going to be spending a little bit more than what we've said previously. It's small for brand building and supporting Walmart. Last quarter we said it would be slightly up and now we're saying it's a larger increase, but it's not huge. I don't know Rob, do you want to comment on where we're going to be?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

In terms of the marketing plans in general, Brian?

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Yeah, that sounds great, Rob?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Well, as you know, we recently brought in just four months ago a new CMO at the company and we also just launched on Walmart. And so we have indicated that we expect to increase our overall brand awareness marketing, and we are formulating those plans now. We understand that the Walmart customer is slightly different than our existing customer who is basically an e-commerce based customer. So that means the type of advertising, even to a certain extent the messaging and the distribution, the advertising channels, I'm going to shift a bit toward traditional media like television. So, it's our expectation that you're going to see an increase in TV based advertising in the coming months. But we haven't yet begun that.

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Got it.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

And getting back to your question on Hong Kong, I think for the first half of 2021 shipping is up versus the first half of 2020 and we have seen some recent improvements in sell through as Hong Kong economy recovers from the impact of COVID 19. Although we and Watsons believe underlying consumer demand remains strong. As Rob said store traffic is down year-over-year. But Watsons is investing in new marketing campaigns this year and we expect to see sell through trends return to normal post the pandemic.

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much again.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure.

Operator

Your next question comes from Jeffrey Cohen you with Ladenburg. Your line is open.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Hello, Rob, Frank, and Kevin, how are you?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Great [Indecipherable] Jeff.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

So I've got a few -- sorry to bounce around [Indecipherable] like 2800s Walmart you're getting 100 milligrams, like 20 bucks and another in addition. [Indecipherable] getting the 300 milligrams [Indecipherable]

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

So first let me just say, it's the other way around. It's the larger numbers with 100 milligrams and the smaller numbers with 300 milligrams.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Okay, and distribution centers, how many approximately?

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

We've got 42 distribution centers. So basically what we're doing is we're shipping them to distribution centers and then they ship them to -- in June to the stores that are setting more or less the planograms -- product on the planograms in June and July and continues in August.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Okay. So you are most of the way through that as far as [Indecipherable] with the two SKUs.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, we're not 100% certain it's set in all stores, but I think in the next few weeks. It should continue to be put on shelf. And then it's early to tell where we stand with regard to consumer takeaway but our expectation for the third quarter is we will have tough comps against the second quarter because we're shipping in for the 3800 and 2800 stores. And then they also have more in their 42 distribution centers about a 4 to 6 weeks supply so that they can replenish. And basically what our orders will be for the third quarter and fourth quarter is based upon POS which we have low expectations for out of the gate, but we expect it to build over time as we do more marketing.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Okay, got it. And then Kevin, it looked like you did more with less in the second quarter, meaning your revenue is up $2.7 million over Q1 sequentially while your spend went down sequentially. I imagine there's some nice [Indecipherable] that, but as you pointed out, you've got some -- you got big order in the Watsons and Walmart. So that's part of I guess your [Indecipherable] commentary where you talked about sequential flat to down in Q3 and anything further on Q4 of the year as you may play out in the 17.7 second quarter?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think the thing we said in my prepared remarks is that we expect the year-over-year growth to be greater than the third quarter, or second quarter growth of 16%. So we expect that to be higher than 16% in the third quarter and the fourth quarter, accelerating.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Got it. Okay. Should see. And can you repeat what you said about -- I heard something about [Indecipherable] channel later this year.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think that's our business development opportunity with Ro and H&H. We are selling them the ingredient and they are mixing that ingredient with some of their primary products. And we saw a shipment to Ro, a small shipment in the second quarter. We don't expect to shift either of them in the third quarter because they're in the process of manufacturing their product and their intent is to actually sell it in the fourth quarter and bring it to the market.

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Perfect. Okay. That's it for me. Thanks for taking the questions.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Your next question comes from Raghuram Selvaraju with HC Wainwright, your line is open.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Hi, thanks very much for taking my questions and congrats on a very solid quarter. Firstly, I was wondering if you could comment on potential expansion of the Walmart store presence to all of the US Walmart stores because based on the June announcement, it looks like there probably are still some Walmart stores where product placement has not yet occurred. Just wanted to get some update on the potential timing of that, when it might be and kind of full Walmart footprint store wide.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

We're in the vast majority of their stores at this point. We don't yet know exactly how many of the 3800 stores have actually placed the product on the shelves at this point, we just only have begun to -- begin to receive reports from the stores. We know that we successfully shipped to the distribution centers and most of the stores have received from the distribution centers and have placed them on the shelves. So until we see how -- which stores are performing better than others, which we do not yet know, we're not going to have additional conversations with Walmart about expanding into the remaining stores.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

But suffice it to say, I think there is about over 5000 Walmart stores in the US. The original arrangement was for TRU NIAGEN to be placed in 3800 of them. In principle, there is nothing excluding TRU NIAGEN from eventually reaching [Phonetic] in every Walmart store. Right?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

That is correct. The initial idea was 1,000 stores then they suggested going into 2008, further suggested going even further. So -- and there is nothing in our arrangement with Walmart that would preclude going into all of the Walmart stores.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think the first opportunity is, if we get good philosophy behind the 300 milligram 30 count you would expect that to expand from the 2800 stores that they've selected to at least 3800 stores. So again I think this part of their launch strategy of having customers probably sample the 100 milligram and then hopefully move up to the 300 milligram product.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Got it. And then with respect to the Ro arrangement, can you just provide us with some additional background on the specific Roman products or product line that are likely to incorporate TRU NIAGEN and what specific market segments those might be targeting?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

At this point, there is only one product that they're going to release, it's there -- well, they have a name, they haven't yet released the name it, but it's a -- sort of a life extension product and they're combining TRU NIAGEN with a couple of other ingredients, but obviously the hero ingredient is NIAGEN. I expect them to launch the product in the fourth quarter. We haven't had discussions with them yet about any subsequent products, but any additional product that they would propose obviously we would have to approve.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Okay. And how many enrollment products are there right now.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

I don't know. I don't know how many products they have, obviously the core of their business is -- and also, this is only because they have a male division and a female Division. This is initially just targeting the male division, the Roman division.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Got it. And then with respect to the H&H collaboration, can you confirm whether -- because this is going to be primarily positioned within the context of the Swiss product lineup, if regionally speaking Australia is likely to be the most substantial driver of pull-through demand or if you expect broader regional demand than Australia, which is where I think the Swiss product lineup enjoys the most favorable positioning from a market ranking standpoint.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

We don't know if they expect their cross border business into China to be bigger than their Australia business. But those are clearly the top two markets that they're going to pursue, and they are the leading brand in supplements in China and cross border.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Okay. Any notable additional initiatives with respect to increasing the e-commerce contribution to your overall revenue mix that you expect to take root over the course of the second half of this year?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

The way we view e-commerce is steady and consistent growth. There is a very large and growing and extremely loyal consumer base that purchases online either on Amazon or on our website. The retention rates are very, very strong and we expect that to continue to grow. You've seen over the last four years steady consistent growth. We expect that to continue. But I also anticipate that as we launch a brand campaign which has a television as a major component of it, not only do we think that that will be helpful for the Walmart sales, we also think that will have an impact on our e-commerce sales as well.

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Great, thank you very much.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure.

Operator

Your next question comes from Jeff Van Sinderen with B. Riley, your line is open.

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for taking my questions. Multipart question first. I know you spoke about development in science around TRU NIAGEN and then you plan to spend more on R&D, so I guess I'm wondering where the R&D dollars are going, maybe what you -- maybe you could just touch on which studies that are underway right now or maybe leading you to think about where you want to invest new R&D dollars. If you had to pick a couple of those. And then I guess, just give us a better sense of where it makes more sense to spend R&D and what the potential impact is for the business.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Of course there is a wide range of investments that include R&D, some of which are studies, some of which are just development of new products. There are various NAD related molecules that we have strong intellectual property around in which we intend to develop or/and commercialize and build into products. There is also a growing and burgeoning NAD IV market as well as a global NMN market and of course most people who are on this call and are very familiar with ChromaDex knows that the science is pretty clear that nicotinamide riboside is significantly superior to both of those molecules. Both of them are nucleotides meaning that there is phosphorylated, meaning they don't have any mechanism for entering the cell, whereas nicotinamide riboside not only has a clean mechanism for entering the cell. But what we've proven is that when the cell is under stress it actually opens up the pathway specifically looking for nicotinamide riboside. So from a scientific standpoint neither of those molecules stand up to nicotinamide riboside in terms of their ability to improve the health of the cell and elevate NAD. So part of the investment is to just sort of do -- invest in studies that further support that thesis. That idea which is already fairly proven in the scientific literature, but we can support further. So you've got the addition -- the development of additional molecules, the comparison of our molecule to others, bioequivalence of certain molecules, proof of the superiority of nicotinamide riboside as well as the investment in certain studies for nicotinamide riboside to further extend our understanding of the molecule as well as the ability to make additional health claims. But as you know, there are many clinical studies ongoing recently published or soon to be published on a whole host of health claims and they've been fairly consistent yielding pretty positive results, not just the recent peer-reviewed published doubled placebo blinded COVID study that was -- that came out recently of Tru Niagen as part of a cocktail of ingredients, but several others that Frank, Jack, mentioned recently. But there is some additional studies, as you know we -- Harvard is doing the long hauler study on COVID. We may make some investments in some of these studies, we won't pay for them outright but we may support and contribute to some of those studies. But as our understanding of nicotinamide riboside extends and grows, our investment in some of those studies will increase. I'd also like to point out that we have a very deep and strong patent portfolio that extends well beyond even the ones that for which we have been protecting against infringers but we are making further investments and even extending the patent portfolios even further. So all of those investments ladder up to R&D. They are not just studies per se.

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Okay, and then just as kind of a follow-up to that, I know you mentioned the study in Turkey around COVID. Is there anything that's been done recently in terms of study that will allow you -- I know it's subject to various laws in different markets, but is there anything that will allow you to make different claims or new plans that you haven't been able to make up until now [Indecipherable] growing there, and they sort of unleash new clients for you.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. There are studies that may enable us to extend our claim portfolio, not necessarily related to COVID, but there are studies that are being done and looked at and we are anticipating there are some on cognition, there are some on liver health, there are some on muscle health, heart health, inflammation studies, there's a whole range of studies that are listed on clinicaltrials.gov, some of whom could yield expansion of our claim portfolio. But with regard to COVID, it's a very difficult issue as you know, even though we have this peer-reviewed published study that shows the cocktail reduced time to recovery by 38%, the regulatory authorities are hypersensitive to non-drugs making claims about COVID and disease states in general. So it's a challenge to communicate to consumers the efficacy of a dietary supplement for a disease state, but specifically and especially of COVID.

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And then just anything new to add on the partnership with Nestle?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

There is nothing new to add other than the fact that I can further confirm that Nestle has a deep understanding of the value of nicotinamide riboside, a deep interest in nicotinamide riboside. They've recently acquired some companies in the dietary supplement space. So it's a much higher priority today than it was even a couple of years ago and they understand the value of nicotinamide riboside throughout the Nestle Health Science portfolio of companies, and there is a very strong and positive relationship there. I don't know how it will evolve. But we're interested in working with them more and they are as well.

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Okay, great. And if I could squeeze one more and I know this is a big topic, but I know you said you have three cases that could go to trial in second half. Anything -- any new development I guess to speak to on litigation at this point versus last quarter or is it pretty much status quo?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Not really. I mean it's fairly quiet right now, in anticipation of the trials I think both, both companies have done their homework and are prepped and ready and we're just waiting for the trial to begin.

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks for taking my questions and best of luck.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jeff, as always.

Operator

Your next question comes from Mitchell Pinheiro with Sturdivant. Your line is open.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

[Indecipherable] Just a couple of ordinary questions here. So with regards to the e-commerce, great. I always ask, but I'm just curious new customer growth versus recurring revenue? Was it evenly split part of the growth. Did one drive more of the growth this quarter than the other?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Well, I think you've asked that question before. Am I wrong? Like, I'm having a flashback.

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

You should be prepared.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

We did see some acceleration in new customer growth this past quarter. But as always retention is very strong here at the company. We have fairly low cancellation rates. So people who start to take it, certainly those that take it for two or three months seem to retain. I mean they begin -- if they pay attention they begin to notice the improvement in their physical performance. But yes, we are seeing improvements in new customer acquisition.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

And then related to that, why would the Watsons who you're slower store traffic. But you have, you know, a fair amount of people that have been taken TRU NIAGEN. Why would they become recurring customers online through Watsons e-commerce? Why would they have to go to the store to get up? If I were out of like TRU NIAGEN, I would -- and I'm not going to the store, I would quarter online. I guess is their issue there or some bottleneck or something -- a gating factor that wouldn't allow recurring revenue losses?

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

No, I think that that is a good question and subscription is an important part of their business. But I think Watsons' strategy has been to use TRU NIAGEN to attract people to the stores. So they are not very interested in selling it online as much as they are selling in the stores, because it has been a draw for them in Hong Kong to get people into the stores. And I think that continues to be the case.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

And another question is just around the studies. The most recent study that Alzheimer's disease, the conclusions there were relatively meaningful and I think impactful to some people that those that we get a chance to read it. And so that study seem to me to halve -- you can't make claims of that I don't think. But it seems more -- it seems to bigger in usefulness to you. And are there -- are you designing this studies to have more impact rather than on the nitty-gritty science studies where they're looking at a particular aspect of something. It seemed like the Alzheimer's disease is something more that you looking at, not the disease by itself [Phonetic] but others. Are you able to formulate better study so you can use them more effectively in your messaging?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

So remember we have this program that we call the CERP program where we work with researchers to design their study and we supply the ingredient, but we do not finance the study. And then as part of that program, there is a life-- if there is any intellectual property that comes from it it's licensed back to ChromaDex. And with that program, we've been able to get perhaps $75 million, maybe $100 million worth of research to the Company without us putting up that money. But the downside is it's their study. We can influence it but we can't design it. So mostly for studies that we're not financing it's not our call. But it is conceivable on the future that we might design some studies that specifically lead to claims or areas that we think are opportunistic.For example we think inflammation is a particularly interesting area for nicotinamide riboside. We think that we're seeing a fairly consistent level of studies that show results indicating a reduction of certain important inflammation markers. So we can see designing studies around that knowing that that is a likely expected outcome that might enable us to strengthen our marketing claims and target a specific audience.

As -- with regard to Alzheimer's, we agree with you. We think that Alzheimer's, there are many related diseases, autoimmune diseases or neurological conditions that we think are relevant when you elevate NAD or elevate parked [Phonetic] functionality to improve mitochondrial function. Many disease states obviously, you know, the obvious complications when you're marketing specifically to a disease but cognition in general we think is a very, very important area for this product. We think we understand mechanistically why it would improve cognition levels not just reduction of inflammation, but there are other things we've shown that it breaks the blood-brain barrier and elevates NAD. So yes, we do see -- we are opportunistic about pursuing specific studies and perhaps applying dollars for specific research that we think will yield the result and enable us to explain -- expand our claims. But before I get off that question, lt me give Frank Jacksch if you're -- would you like a chance to take a shot at that question too?

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

Well, you've done such a good job in answering it already, but. But yeah just to layer in on it, I mean the one positive at least from this Alzheimer's study, and you're right, I mean Alzheimer's is good in the sense that it does go to cognition like Robert said. I mean, in reality in order to make a claim or use the study to support a claim would have to be something more along the lines of mild cognitive impairment is as the primary outcome, whether we're looking for enrolling people with that rather than Alzheimer's, but you need to look at -- do these studies in things like Alzheimer's to really root out those mechanisms. In this case, their primary focus was around improving mitochondrial function. That mitochondrial function seems to play a central role in Alzheimer's and progression of Alzheimer's. And then we can utilize that to build awareness around the importance of it there as we go after other studies which are underway. If you look at clinical trials [Indecipherable] you'll find the mile cognitive impairment types studies that are out there.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

Okay. One more question. Can you -- you had a steady growth in your e-commerce business, it's 30% type of growth rate plus or minus. And it's -- which is true with the growth. I'm curious -- so if you're looking to accelerate the growth, is it going to come in the form of just better digital marketing? Is it going to be TV? Is it going to be a true believer or spokesperson, credible spokesperson? Obviously it's probably a cocktail of all of them, but is there one that really is going to be in your view the real -- the one that does unlock perhaps an acceleration of this strong growth?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, as you know, we have a new Head of marketing, he's formulating his strategy and his plan, and it's very methodical in the way he is going about it. So -- but my guess is based on the work that I've seen being done is that you're going to see more TV. And in seeing more TV, we anticipate that will increase Walmart sales as well as e-commerce sales just by increasing awareness. Although the conversion rates are strong and the retention rates are excellence -- excellent, we still think the overall awareness of TRU NIAGEN is not that high. So the opportunity is terrific here in the US and frankly globally. But we just don't think that many people know about it yet.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

Right. And we can expect, did you say, is that a second half perhaps, the [Indecipherable] that you said in the coming months? Is that second half? Is it...

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

That was my -- that would be my expectation.

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

Okay, thank you for your time.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Your last question comes from JP Mark with Farmhouse Equity. Your line is open.

JP Mark -- Farmhouse Equity Research -- Analyst

Hi, thanks for [Indecipherable] my call and congratulations also on a great quarter. And so most of my questions have been asked and answered, but I do want to ask a little bit about the Pro market which I think is something you talked about on the last call but on tangentially and wondered if there is any update on whether that's your growth opportunity or where you see that going.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes, we very much think that the TRU NIAGEN PRO market is a significant growth opportunity. If or no, the reason and this is one of the Kevin's favorite topics because we have these fantastic studies that are coming out, some of them are preclinical, but some of them are clinical that address disease states but were a dietary supplement. But the rules around marketing to healthcare practitioners are different than the rules around marketing to general consumers. So there is more flexibility in marketing to healthcare practitioners and letting them know that the great research on nicotinamide riboside and NIAGEN specifically. So what we sell to healthcare practitioners is TRU NIAGEN PRO. So yes, I do see that as a growth opportunity for us.

JP Mark -- Farmhouse Equity Research -- Analyst

And you would never actually have the 500 milligram from your -- on your own site then right? It's always going to be just for that [Indecipherable] 500 channel? Is that right?

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

No, I would not say never.

JP Mark -- Farmhouse Equity Research -- Analyst

Okay.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

How long -- but it is important to distinguish between the two.

JP Mark -- Farmhouse Equity Research -- Analyst

Got it. Okay, thank you very much. Again, congratulations.

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

This concludes the Q&A session. I will now turn the call back to Brianna Gerber for closing remarks.

Brianna Gerber -- Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations

Thank you, Ashley. There will be a replay of this call, beginning at 4:30 PM Pacific Time today. The replay number is 1800 5858367 and the conference ID is 997 Q2 29. Thank you everyone for joining us today and for your continued support of ChromaDex.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 58 minutes

Call participants:

Brianna Gerber -- Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations

Robert Fried -- Chief Executive Officer

Frank L. Jaksch Jr. -- Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

Kevin Farr -- Chief Financial Officer

Brian Nagel -- Oppenheimer -- Analyst

Jeffrey Cohen -- Ladenburg Thalmann -- Analyst

Raghuram Selvaraju -- HC Wainwright -- Analyst

Jeff Van Sinderen -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Mitchell Pinheiro -- Sturdivant -- Analyst

JP Mark -- Farmhouse Equity Research -- Analyst

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