Anti-venom Drug Boosts Kamada in Second Quarter

Company navigates FDA hurdles to produce plasma-based serums for English-speaking countries.

Yoram Gabison
Yoram Gabison
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Yoram Gabison
Yoram Gabison

Drug development company Kamada continued to rack up significant losses in the second quarter of 2010, despite its regulatory and technological advances. These include obtaining U.S. Food and Drugs Administration approval for Glassia, an intravenously administered treatment for congenital emphysema, and an agreement signed just last week with Baxter to distribute Glassia in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Snake living in Israel.Credit: Guy Haimovich

Kamada, which is developing life-saving drugs based on plasma, posted a net loss of NIS 16 million for the quarter, compared with losing NIS 20 million in the comparable quarter of 2009. Its revenues grew 58% year-over-year to NIS 19 million, thanks to recognition of income from a project to make snakebite anti-venom for Israel's Health Ministry.

Kamada had announced in March 2009 that it is the exclusive maker in Israel of anti-venom to combat bites from "Vipera palastinae" and "Echis coloratus," or in English, two local species of vipers. The second one is also known as the painted saw-scaled viper.

Also, Kamada's revenues were boosted by rising sales of its rabies antiserum and a 138% leap in sales of "other drugs and medical products," as a representative of foreign companies, which brought in NIS 9 million during the quarter.

Kamada's gross loss grew 206% to NIS 1.9 million because its manufacturing plant shut down for two weeks in April ahead of an inspection by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration. That lifted the company's costs. However, Kamada kept the increase in its operating loss to 6% against the parallel quarter, or NIS 13.3 million.