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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
26 January, 2006 - 09:06 By Staff Reporter

Bespak shares rise almost 7 per cent on good returns

Bespak, the speciality medical devices company, has flagged up the possibility of more “selective acquisitions” during 2006.Mark Throdahl, Bespak’s chief executive, said the cherry picking of business interests that were a good fit with the growth strategy would stay on the radar.

Good interim results sent Bespak’s share price 36.5 pence (6.89 per cent) higher to 566.5p.

Revenue for the 26 weeks to October 29 were 6 per cent ahead to £41.2m while pre-tax profit incr-eased 3 per cent to £5.8m and earnings per share before exceptional items rose 7 per cent to 16.5p.

Sales in the respiratory business, which designs, makes and sells metered dose inhaler (MDI) valves, actuators and accessories to deliver respiratory drugs to the lung and nasal mucosa, grew 10 per cent to £21.3m.

As a result of the Montreal Protocol ozone depletion agreement, the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellant gas used in aerosol asthma formulations is being converted to hydrofluoroalkane (HFA).

Over the past eight years, HFA valves have grown from 10 per cent to 35 per cent of the aerosol asthma market and the transition to these new formulations has enabled Bespak to become the MDI market leader by value.

While Europe is largely converted to HFA systems, the US is not – offering huge growth potential for Bespak across that territory.

The FDA has also outlawed aerosol albuterol formulations containing CFC with effect from December 31, 2008, providing further opportunities for Bespak as market leader.

Great things are also anticipated from an inhaler device – for which Bespak is developing the manufacturing process with Nektar Therapeutics – that will deliver the world’s first inhaled insulin, Exubera®.

Nektar is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc to develop the device and the formulation process for Exubera.

Throdahl said Bespak was “increasingly confident in the prospects for growth from Exubera and awaits regulatory approval on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Pfizer believes that Exubera “will be the most important advance in ins-ulin administration since injections were introduced 80 years ago.

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