ImmuCell Corp. posted sales during the second quarter that were higher than a year earlier but down from its record-setting performance during the first quarter of this year, the Portland-based animal health products maker reported Thursday.

The company, which trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol ICCC, reported sales of $2 million for the second quarter, up 27 percent from the same period of 2014. ImmuCell develops products to prevent and treat diseases among dairy and beef cattle.

It reported net income of $94,000, or 3 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $295,000, or 10 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2014.

Still, sales dropped off considerably from the first quarter, during which the company reported completing its most profitable quarter in 12 years. Its sales jumped so significantly – to more than $3 million – in the first quarter that purchase orders outstripped the company’s production capacity, a problem it is working to resolve through equipment upgrades and an expansion.

The second quarter was ImmuCell’s 12th consecutive quarter during which it achieved positive year-over-year sales growth.

ImmuCell also reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved its research demonstrating the disease-fighting capabilities of a product under development to combat bovine rotavirus infections in newborn calves.

“This confirms the positive study results that were first announced in February 2015 and is a significant step forward in the company’s effort to bring the first passive antibody product to market with disease claims against the three leading causes of calf scours, E. coli, coronavirus and rotavirus,” the company said in a news release.

ImmuCell said its product sales are normally seasonal, with higher sales expected during the first quarter. Total product sales during the three-month period ending June 30 increased to $1.96 million from $1.54 million during the same period of 2014. Total product sales during the six-month period ending June 30 increased by 40 percent to $5.06 million, it said. The company still had a backlog of unfulfilled orders totaling $1.45 million as of June 30.

Widespread drought in the U.S. that has boosted the price of cattle and the elimination of a major competitor have contributed to the company’s recent, explosive growth, ImmuCell President and CEO Michael Brigham has said.

ImmuCell’s primary 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, which costs $6 for a one-time dose, is a natural product made from cow’s milk that is approved for organic farming.

For a dairy farmer, the decision to spend $6 on preventive medicine changes significantly when the calf suddenly becomes more valuable.

In the beef and dairy industries combined, the price of a calf increased 40 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to the USDA. Now that herds are expanding again in some states, prices should begin to normalize. However, it is a long process that could take four or five years.

The company is hoping for even bigger sales in the future. It is in the final stages of developing another all-natural product that will help prevent and treat mastitis – an inflammatory disease of the breast that affects lactating cows.

Bringing that product, called Mast Out, to market requires approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, because it would come into direct contact with milk sold for human consumption.

“Work is underway to complete the two remaining technical sections required for approval of the new animal drug application for Mast Out by the (FDA),” Brigham said in the release. “Completion of the human food safety technical section is currently anticipated around the middle of 2016.”

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