Australia’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world, but like many other countries, it also has to combat the challenges of an ageing population, rising chronic diseases, and an ever-increasing demand for availing new treatments and getting more hospital beds.
The Australian, state and territory, and local governments all three of them come together in sharing the responsibility for running the health system. There are responsibilities like Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS), to underpin and regulate the private health insurance, and monitor the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of primary health care services, to subsidise the aged care services, such as residential care and home care, and regulate the aged care sector, to collect and publish the important & upcoming health and welfare information and statistics through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, to fund for health and medical research through the Medical Research Future Fund and the National Health and Medical Research Council etc.
Moreover, there are more than 31 PHN or primary health networks to help the community health centres, GPs, specialists and other health professionals for enhancing the care provided to the patients. Additionally, there are two kinds of private health insurance cover, that covers hospital for partial or all of the costs of hospital treatment as a private patient and also covers general treatment for some non-medical health services that are not covered by Medicare, like dental, physiotherapy and optical services.
Let us now go through the 3 ASX listed stocks in the healthcare space to get a better insight on them.
Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: PAR)
Gearing to get various approvals & to commence treatments:
Australian pharma company Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: PAR) caters the healthcare segment in which the company uses the drug PPS or pentosan polysulphate sodium (PPS) for treating inflammation. The Company is involved in researching and develop the therapeutic products that can be used for humans.
PAR in November 2019 met the TGA or Therapeutic Goods Administration for securing the provisional nod of Zilosul® required for treating the knee osteoarthritis with subchondral BMLs or Bone Marrow Lesions.
As per TGA’s guidance, the company is proceeding with the provisional determination assessment process. Further, PAR is scheduled to meet US FDA in Feb 2020 for its osteoarthritis program in OA knee pain with subchondral BMLs, to get the regulatory approval for its phase 3 clinical program.
The company in order to get regulatory approvals for Europe region will be presenting a scientific advice application to the EMA (Europe) to talk about the knee OA development program in the first quarter of calendar year 2020. Moreover, the treatment program under the EAP or Expanded Access Program of ten knee OA with patients suffering from BML was expected to begin in January this year.
On 29 January 2020, PAR last traded at $4.21, moving up by 2.683 percent from its prior closing price. Also, PAR stock has risen 31.41% in the past three months period, as on January 28th, 2020. PAR has market capitalisation of $810.91 million and around 197.78 million shares outstanding.
Opthea Ltd (ASX: OPT)
Completed Recruitment in Phase 2a Clinical Trial of OPT-302:
Opthea Ltd (ASX: OPT), formerly known as Circadian Technologies, is an Australian clinical stage biotechnology company that is into the development of novel biologic therapies meant for the treating the eye diseases.
The company has concluded recruiting patients for the Phase 2a trial purpose in order to assess the security and effectiveness of OPT-302 to be given to the patients in combination with aflibercept (Eylea®). This is essential for treating DME or diabetic macular edema.
The company is now focusing on corporate activities in order to develop OPT-302 into Phase 3 studies for wet AMD and then prepare the report on topline data from the Phase 2a DME trial, scheduled to be done in the second quarter of calendar year 2020 after OPT conclude with the patient dosing, study visits, data collection etc.
On 29 January 2020, OPT last traded at $3.5, moving down by 2.778 percent from its prior closing price. OPT stock has risen 3.45% in three months as on January 28th, 2020. OPT has a market capitalisation of $968.97 million and ~269.16 million shares outstanding.
Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV)
Has received its first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of SCENESSE (afamelanotide 16mg):
Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) a global biopharmaceutical company, that develops range of drugs for the treatments on patients that have severe genetic and skin disorders. The company’s SCENESSE (afamelanotide 16 mg), which is also its lead compound is utilised in averting phototoxicity (anaphylactoid reactions and burns) in grown up patients with EPP or erythropoietic protoporphyria condition.
The Company helps in controlling the skin issues by preventing the symptoms that occurs due to the exposure towards damaging UV ultraviolet radiation and at repigmentation of the skin on the back of several depigmentation disorders. SCENESSE has its operations in Europe, along with the United States and Singapore regions.
CUV has received its first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of SCENESSE (afamelanotide 16mg) and is now focusing for expanding its R&D program to expand the usage of melanocortins, which is a part of the melanocortin puzzle – ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced DNA-repair.
CUV’s Planned Events (Source: Company’s Report)
On 29 January 2020, CUV last traded at $28.140, moving up by 0.036 percent from its prior closing price. Meanwhile, CUV stock has fallen 11.96% in three months as on January 28th, 2020. CUV has a market capitalisation of $1.39 billion with approximately 49.41 million shares outstanding.