Australia has a well-regulated and high-quality health sector, while its medical research and healthcare infrastructure is of world class. Over the years, the health and medical industry in the country has grown at a rapid pace in terms of both size and reputation across the world. Presence of a robust health system, innovation, medical technologies, as well as leading scientists, physicians and healthcare professionals places the Australian health and medical industry amongst the best in the world.
In this article, we would have a look at the recent updates on five ASX-listed companies that are directly or indirectly catering to the health-related space.
MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd
‘Seed to Pharmacy’ bio-pharma company, MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) announced on 13 August 2019, the key highlights concerning its pharmaceutical operations in the Australian market. The company reported to have achieved a 100-patient milestone for its pharmaceutical products, CannEpilTM or MXP100 (100mg/mL cannabidiol). Owing to its products’ consistent high-quality and affordable price, MXC expects further increase in the number of patients being prescribed or processed to receive its products in the near future.
Source: Company’s Report
Additionally, the company unveiled a new agreement with medical cannabis provider Tetra Pty Ltd (Tetra Health), which is an organisation engaged in helping medical professionals as well as patients in securing safe access to medicinal cannabis products. As part of the agreement, which was entered via the company’s wholesaler and distributor, Health House International, MXC will supply its pharmaceutical products to Tetra Health. The products will then be distributed to the organisation’s network of pharmacies, prescribing physicians and partnered clinics.
Stock Information: The stock of MXC last traded at A$ 0.052 on 13 August 2019, down by 1.887% from its previous closing price. It has a market cap of A$64.31 million and ~ 1.21 billion outstanding shares. Over the past one month and three months, the stock has provided negative returns of 11.67% and 10.17%, respectively.
Novita Healthcare Limited
On 13 August 2019, medical technology company Novita Healthcare Limited (ASX: NHL) released its entitlement offer booklet. The company had announced plans on 7 August 2019 regarding the entitlement offer to secure up to $ 2 million (before costs) via a 5 for 11 non-renounceable pro rata entitlement offer of new fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of $ 0.01 per new share to existing eligible shareholders, who have a registered address in Australia and New Zealand. The entitlement offer is due to close at 5:00 PM (Melbourne time) on 22 August 2019.
Effect on Capital Structure (Source: Company’s Report)
PAC Partners Securities Pty Limited is managing as well as leading the offer, which is not underwritten. The offer doesn’t require shareholder approval. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund its Tali Detect and Tali Train business model, in addition to associated capital expenditures, operating costs and working capital.
Stock Information: The stock of NHL last traded at A$0.010 on 13 August 2019, down 9.091% from its previous closing price. It has a market cap of A$ 4.94 million and ~ 449.31 million outstanding shares. Over the past one month and three months, the stock has provided negative returns of 15.38% and 42.11%, respectively.
Kazia Therapeutics Limited
Oncology-focused biotechnology company, Kazia Therapeutics Limited (ASX: KZA), on 13 August 2019, made an announcement, unveiling the completion of recruitment of patients into Part B of the first phase clinical trial of its drug candidate – Cantrixil – for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Under the 12-patient part B study, Cantrixil at a dose of 5 mg/kg would be administered to the patients, aimed at seeking preliminary signals of potential efficacy for the drug. The company expects to get initial data from Part B in Q419. However, the study is expected to be concluded by 2020.
Source: Company’s Website
Data from the part B study is expected to boost the company’s understanding of the drug, with data scheduled to be presented at the ESMO conference at the end of September. Data from the 14-patient Part A of the study had demonstrated some very promising signals (nine patients evaluable for efficacy) and was presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) on 1 April 2019. The company plans to present final data from these nine patients in Part A at the European Society of Medical Oncology Annual Meeting during 27 September – 1 October 2020.
Stock Information: The stock of KZA, by the end of the trading session, was unchanged at A$0.380 on 13 August 2019, with a market cap of A$23.62 million and ~ 62.17 million outstanding shares. Over the past one month and three months, the stock has provided negative returns of 6.17% and 19.15%, respectively.
Impression Healthcare Limited
Medicinal cannabis products and oral devices manufacturer, Impression Healthcare Limited (ASX: IHL) updated the market on 13 August 2019 regarding the successful registration of its second clinical trial, concerning the IHL-42X medicinal cannabis formulation, with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.
The company would now focus on securing a thumbs up for the trial from the Human Research Ethics Committee. Additionally, it would seek approvals required to start patient recruitment and dosing. IHL expects to start patient recruitment in late-September 2019 or early October 2019.
Under the trial, the company would test the efficacy of the formulation in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. The 6-week, 30-participant trial is considered as a phase 2a randomised controlled clinical study. This study would focus on the evaluation of the effects of ‘nocturnal’ IHL-42X on the apnoea hypopnea index. Moreover, a total of 36 secondary outcome measures would focus on sleep quality, using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Insomnia Severity Index, and patient mood, using the long-established Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory.
Stock Information: The stock of IHL, by the end of the trading session, was at A$0.087 on 13 August 2019. It has a market cap of A$56.66 million and approximately 615.88 million outstanding shares. Over the past one month and three months, the stock has provided positive returns of 33.33% and 318.18%, respectively.
ASF Group Limited
Investment and trading house, ASF Group Limited (ASX: AFA) updated the market on 13 August 2019 regarding a new biotech investment in the United Kingdom. The company injected funds into an exciting new biotech opportunity, which is being commercialised from a ground-breaking biotech intellectual property (IP).
The IP was developed by Professor Che Connon from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and received the 2018 London Medical Design Gold Award. The IP includes a method wherein stem cell derived corneal collagen production through 3D printed constructs create improved corneal function in human cornea transplants.
ASF along with other investors (Newcastle University and Professor Connon) would create a company, which would be named 3D Bio-Tissues Ltd (3DBT). The new company would focus on In Vivo Phases & animal trials of the IP. AFA plans to increase its equity interest to up to 49% by making further investments in 3DBT over time.
In the quarter ended 30 June 2019, the company reported A$2.57 million in net cash used in operating activities.
Source: Company’s Report
Stock Information: The stock of AFA last traded on 15 July 2019 at a price of A$0.100, with a market cap of A$79.29 million and approximately 792.95 million outstanding shares. Over the past one month and three months, the stock has provided positive returns of 38.89% and 11.11%, respectively.
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