CAESAREA, Israel (Reuters) - One of Israel's best performing stocks in the last year isn't a cybersecurity start-up or a high-tech chipmaker but a firm whose products promise to reduce wrinkles and treat acne.
Shares in EndyMed, which makes devices that use radio waves to rejuvenate skin, have surged 90 percent in the past year, with demand soaring following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its latest product.
So far in 2015, the shares are up 49 percent, against a 5.7 percent rise in Tel Aviv's biomedical index, which includes biotech, medical device and life sciences companies.
While the company's annual sales currently stand at only around $10 million, they are growing by 50 percent a year, with consumers' desire for home-based treatments underpinning growth.
The global dermatology devices market is expected to double in the coming years, according to researchers MarketsandMarkets, expanding to $11.3 billion by 2019 from $6.6 billion in 2014.
Within the sector, home beauty devices are a growing component and one in which many cosmetics companies, including giants like L'Oreal, are trying to secure a stake.
EndyMed, which until recently focused on larger professional systems to treat wrinkles or acne in specialist medical clinics and spas, has now developed a home-use device called Newa.
The technology involves injecting heat into the skin's middle layer to help rebuild collagen.
Critical to EndyMed's growth was the 2013 approval by the FDA for the sale of its home device with a doctor's prescription. It is now seeking approval to sell them over the counter. It already has European Union approval to sell direct to consumers.
As well as Europe and the United States, Asia is a key market, especially China. A distributor of EndyMed's professional devices in China, OHMK Medical Technology, has now bought 29 percent of the firm.
"The potential is huge," EndyMed Chief Executive Elad Magal said of the sector. "We are not L'Oreal, but if we do it right, the potential is there."
Editing by Susan Thomas