By Kerstin Neuber
LONDON (Reuters) - British condom maker Futura Medical Plc said on Thursday that results of a study showed its new condom helped men have firmer and bigger erections, as well as a longer-lasting sexual experience.
Shares in the company, which specializes in sexual healthcare and pain relief, rose 14.5 percent to 59.25 pence on hopes the condom, which will be marketed by Durex condom-maker SSL International, could go on sale next year.
Futura said the study of 108 healthy couples showed its CSD500 condom helped men to get a firmer erection compared with a standard condom, increased penis size and made the sexual experience last longer, delivering statistically significant results.
The condom has a small amount of gel in its peak that dilates the arteries and increases blood flow to the penis.
Chief Executive James Barder said the study results underpinned hopes the contraceptive will start generating revenues in 2008.
"We expect to get regulatory EU approval later this year and then it is a question of launching the product soon after, so the revenues are really going to hit us in 2008," he told Reuters.
Market research has shown so far that interest in the condom is enormous, Barder said.
"Up to 80 percent of existing condom users would be interested in trying the product and, more importantly, 49 percent of non-condom users would be interested in using it as it will help them maintain an erection," he said.
Barder said global consumption of condoms was around 14 billion per year, of which half are branded condoms that are actually sold, with the rest being condoms distributed to promote safer sex and in developing countries.