Kamada Ltd., a maker of treatments for hereditary lung diseases, is in talks with potential partners to help sell an inhaled version of its AAT medicine in Europe, said Chief Executive Officer David Tsur.
“We have been approached by several companies and we want to identify a partner this year,” Tsur said in an interview at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. “There are a handful of players we are talking to right now.”
Kamada of Nes Ziona, Israel, is testing the medicine on patients with a genetic condition called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency that can lead to liver and lung damage. The market for the drug is worth at least $500 million in Europe and the company seeks to win approval from European regulators next year, according to Tsur.
“The kind of strategic partner we are looking for will be able to cover most of the European geography and have respiratory expertise,” the executive said.
Kamada’s shares rose for the first time in four days, adding 2.4 percent to 26.60 shekels as of the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv.
The company already sells an intravenous version of the compound, which brought in U.S. sales of 93 million shekels ($24.5 million) for Kamada last year, with Baxter International Inc. An inhaled version would have no rival and be easier to administer, according to Tsur.
Kamada expects 2012 sales to rise to about 257 million shekels from 213 million shekels last year, the company said in an April 1 statement. The stock has gained 30 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 735 million shekels.
“The potential of the inhaled medicine is huge,” said Nir Zonenberg, head of research at Meitav Investment House, which holds about 5 percent of Kamada. “The IV treatment in the U.S. already justifies the company’s current market cap. The inhalatory treatment is the major upside.”
Kamada has been approached by investment banks to list shares on the Nasdaq and other exchanges, according to Tsur. The company will probably sell shares on another exchange at some point, though he declined to say when.
“We consider this from time to time,” he said. “The value of the company in Tel Aviv does not reflect, in our opinion, the true value of the company. We have sales of nearly $70 million, two products in phase III, and one product in phase II. We have the infrastructure to produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sales.”