Portland-based ImmuCell Corp. achieved record sales of $3.5 million in the first quarter, the company said Thursday.

Quarterly sales were up 19 percent from $3 million in the first quarter of 2016, it said. Net income for the first quarter was $584,000, or 12 cents per share, up slightly from $452,000, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said that as of the first quarter it has achieved a positive net operating income for 11 consecutive quarters.

ImmuCell develops all-natural products to prevent and treat diseases among dairy and beef cattle. Its flagship product, First Defense, contains antibody-rich colostrum – milk produced in late pregnancy – in capsule form. It can be fed to newborn calves to help prevent scours, which causes diarrhea and dehydration. First Defense is a natural product made from cow’s milk that is approved for organic farming.

In early 2015, ImmuCell’s sales and profits exploded after harsh environmental conditions faced by cattle ranchers in places like California and Texas significantly increased the value of cattle.

ImmuCell also continues to build a new production facility in Portland for nisin, the active ingredient in a product it has developed called Mast Out, for which it is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Construction on the $20 million pharmaceutical-grade facility began in fall 2016 with the help of tax increment financing from the city of Portland.

Mast Out is a natural treatment for mastitis, inflammation of breast tissue that can afflict lactating dairy cows. Existing antibiotic treatments render the milk unsalable temporarily, causing a loss of revenue to the farmers. However, with the FDA’s approval, milk from cows treated with Mast Out could be sold immediately, giving the product a competitive edge.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

canderson@pressherald.com

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