Why the Medical Developments International Ltd share price is climbing today

Credit: Keoni Cabral

Shares in healthcare business Medical Developments International Ltd (ASX: MVP) climbed 2.7% to $6.12 in morning trade after the firm announced it has received marketing authorisation in France for its Penthrox pain management product.

Penthrox is more commonly known as the ‘green whistle’ in its use as an inhalation medical device by emergency response teams to provide pain relief to accident and emergency or trauma victims.

It is currently sold in 15 countries worldwide including Australia, the UK, South Africa and Singapore with company estimates that the global market could be worth more than $2 billion.

The approval in France means the company can reportedly begin to sell the product in France and Belgium, with a milestone payment of US$3 million also triggered from its French pharmaceutical partner Mundipharma.

The company also stated that French approval is significant as it may open the door to a “Decentralised Approval process” across the 28 other countries in the European Union.

The stock has gained 157% over the course of the past year as its international expansion plans progress impressively, with potential approval in the giant US healthcare market another milestone on investors’ minds.

However, the US tends to be more of a cash cow for drugs like Botox, Viagra or anti-depressants where people are prepared to privately fork out large sums for popular but non-essential drugs. Success in the US is not crucial to Medical Developments International though, as Penthrox is an emergency services drug with genuine global potential both inside and outside the US.

Other ASX-listed junior medical device businesses commonly target the lucrative US private healthcare market before trying to grow internationally. Examples include sleep treatment specialist Somonmed Limited (ASX: SOM) and hospital disinfectant specialist Nanonsonics Ltd (ASX: NAN).

Overall, Medical Developments has an exciting outlook, although it’s no secret with the company now valued at around $345 million despite it delivering EBIT of just $318,000 on revenues of $5.9 million for the six-month period ending December 31 2015.

The company will need to deliver on its growth prospects in Europe and elsewhere to justify this valuation and investors should be sure not to pay too much if they are keen to grab a slice of this globally growing healthcare business.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson has no position in any stocks mentioned.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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