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Investors finally getting the point

Needle-free drug delivery, while of obvious interest to patients, hasn't exactly lit a fire under investors. But last week's £52.4 million ($81.2 million) IPO by Weston Medical(LSE:WMG) gave it a market cap of £210 million ($325.5 million). This is far ahead of similar needleless companies like Bioject (BJCT) and Medi-Ject(MEDJ) in the U.S., which have market caps of $43.5 million and $7.5 million respectively.

The companies have slightly different technologies for delivering liquid drugs, which lead to alternative commercialization strategies. WMG's Intraject is a pre-filled, needle-free, liquid injection system. According to CEO Christopher Samler, being pre-filled is the primary distinction between WMG and other needle-free systems. He said a partner can license WMG's system, fill it with therapeutic, and market the whole system, rather than the physician having to add drug. "Our corporate partners want to have the complete system," he said.

WMG has partnerships with Roche for interferon alpha, Glaxo Wellcome for sumatriptan, Pharmacia for its Fragmin low molecular weight heparin, Medeva for a flu vaccine, and one other undisclosed collaboration.

The business model is

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