Drug developer Alchemia expects profits from its anti-coagulant drug, generic fondaparinux, to gain momentum as the company seeks to increase its share of the market for the drug in the United States.
Alchemia's fondaparinux is a generic copy of GlaxoSmithKline's drug Arixtra, which is used to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Alchemia chief executive Pete Smith said sales of Alchemia's fondaparinux were slightly profitable in the US in the June quarter.
In September, the company had said US sales of its fondaparinux for the three months to June 30 had generated an inaugural profit of $US125,535.
Generic fondaparinux was launched in the US in July 2011 by Alchemia's worldwide marketing partner, Dr Reddy's Laboratories.
"In the September quarter and certainly the quarters beyond that, we are going to see an increasing share of profits coming from the sales of our first drug to get onto the market which is generic fondaparinux," Dr Smith told reporters on Wednesday.
Dr Smith said Dr Reddy's had achieved sales of $US33 million for fondaparinux in the first six months of calendar 2012.
"So that product is going very well," Dr Smith said.
Alchemia shareholders will vote on Friday in Brisbane on a proposal to demerge Alchemia's oncology (cancer) business to form a new company to be listed on the US market: Audeo Oncology Inc.
Audeo Oncology intends to undertake an initial public offering of shares in the US to raise up to $US60 million.
Alchemia will retain fondaparinux. Dr Smith said Alchemia would basically become a vehicle to distribute the proceeds from fondaparinux to shareholders.
He said the worldwide market for fondaparinux was worth about $US500 million and about $340 million in the US.
Alchemia was seeking regulatory approval to sell its generic fondaparinux in Europe.
"Hopefully that will be coming through at some point in the next six to 12 months," Dr Smith said.
Dr Smith said there were three players in the fondaparinux market: GlaxoSmithKline, Apotex and Dr Reddy's.
Alchemia had a market share of about 40 per cent in the retail market for fondaparinux in the US but only six per cent of the market for the drug among hospitals.
Dr Smith said Alchemia's generic fondaparinux was not promoted on the basis of being a superior drug, and its market share was based on being sold cheaply.
Dr Smith described the market for fondaparinux as stable.
"We will be able to see growth because we are getting the cost of manufacturing the drug down all the time, and we're going to be getting more share of the hospital sector," he said.
Shares in Alchemia were three cents lower at 49 cents on Wednesday.