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An Easier Path For Colonoscopy


BusinessWeek Investor -- Inside Wall Street

An Easier Path for Colonoscopy

Tablet, or four liters of polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution? Those will be the choices if InKine Pharmaceutical (INKP) gets to market its patented product, Diacol. This tablet is an alternative to the liquid that is taken by patients the night before undergoing colonoscopy, a procedure to detect colon cancer.

The fate of Diacol is in the hands of the Food & Drug Administration, which is reviewing results of the completed clinical trials on the colon cleanser. "The expectation is that the FDA will approve Diacol for marketing before yearend," says Gary Davis of Jesup & Lamont Securities, who rates InKine, trading at 4 3/4, a buy. Clinical tests have shown Diacol to be as effective as its liquid competitor. InKine Chairman and CEO Leonard Jacob says he doesn't see any reason why the FDA wouldn't clear the product. He expects about 10.5 million people to undergo colonoscopies in the U.S. this year, up from 1999's 8.7 million.

Jesup's Davis expects Diacol to get 12.5% of the market in 2001 and 20% in 2002. Sales are projected at $25 million in 2001 and $40 million in 2002. One money manager says that gross margins on Diacol would be 60% to 65%. So he figures InKine, which has yet to make money, could earn 13 cents to 20 cents a share in 2001 if Diacol gets FDA approval this year.By Gene G. MarcialReturn to top

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