ASX-listed drug company, AFT Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: AFP) is focused on developing innovative medical products with over 130 prescription and non-prescription products floating across 109 countries.
The company founded by the duo of husband and wife Hartley and Marree Atkinson has covered a journey of about 22 years since its establishment in 1997. Its success outlines the global presence and innovation in medical products ranging from cold and flu products to pain relief and eye care.
Headquartered in Auckland, AFT Pharmaceuticals has recently announced the extension of its partnership with the Mexican company, Laboratories Expanscience Mexico SA, to out-license its patented combination painkiller, Maxigesic IV®, to Mexico.
Managing Director, Dr Hartley Atkinson, stated that the extension of AFT’s partnership with Expanscience Mexico would see the commercialisation of the oral product range of Maxigesic including oral liquid, tablets, and dry powder sachets in Mexico.
Research and Development remain at the heart of AFT Pharmaceuticals to develop and license new drugs and devices while constantly improving the existing ones. It uses licenses to get its products into the international market by partnering with other pharmaceutical companies for distribution of products.
The company has also announced the finalisation of two more agreements in the European market- Switzerland and Cyprus. In Switzerland where the analgesic market size is ~US$176 million, AFT Pharmaceuticals secured a new licensee partner who will reportedly drive the launch and registration of Maxigesic® tablets in this market.
Maxigesic IV® is the company’s flagship product that includes a patented combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen for use post-operatively in hospitals where patients cannot take oral medicine. The first launches of Maxigesic IV® are anticipated to begin from the end of the calendar year while the company is currently progressing Maxigesic tablet new launches in a further 13 countries.
AFT Pharmaceuticals further intends to expand into medical cannabis product should New Zealand vote in favour of a referendum on cannabis use at the 2020 general election.
In a media interview, Chief Executive Officer Dr Hartley Atkinson expressed the company’s interest in medical cannabis, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. However, this plan remains subject to the legalisation of cannabis use in the regions.
Mr Atkinson also commented that AFT is expected to return to EBITDA profitability for Fiscal 2019, which is likely to be confirmed on the release of annual results for FY19 on 22 May 2019.
The company’s 1HFY19 operating revenue stood at NZ$38.05 million compared to NZ$36.56 million in 1HFY18. It targets to achieve breakeven in FY2019 on the back of increased higher margin product sales in home markets; increased licensing income from existing and new agreements; increased Maxigesic sales and overall cost controls.
Operating Revenue by Channel by Region, H1 FY2019 (Source: Company’s Investor Presentation)
AFT Pharmaceuticals is dually listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and New Zealand Stock Exchange with offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and Auckland. On ASX, the stock last traded at $2.400 with the market capitalisation of $233.54 million as at 20 May 2019.
AFP has returned an attractive return of 21.52% over the past six months including an upside of 26.32% recorded in the past one month.
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