Undoubtedly, Healthcare sector is gaining traction amid health emergency induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several companies tapping the market opportunity to look into the prevention and treatment of this fatal virus.
Countries are in lockdown because of coronavirus spread, but this lockdown may not be enough to contain virus spread.
Companies across the world are conducting clinical trials for vaccine development and obtaining US FDA approval for the studies. Besides, demand for ventilators, masks, sanitizers, and other medical equipment/drugs has given a boost to the opportunities.
Although bringing challenges in travel, entertainment, airline and other industries, Coronavirus has provided impetus to few sectors across the globe, including the healthcare space.
In recent weeks share markets have been observed to be unstable, observing sharp movements in both directions (red and green) as agencies all over the globe disclosed immense amounts of stimulus to stem the impact of the COVID-19 on economy.
As the number of cases of coronavirus infection have escalated, numerous organisations have shut down their businesses, sending their employees home to help slow the spread. Despite, there are some healthcare sector companies that managed to sustain well by dodging the crisis, and turned out to be eye catching for investors amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Two ASX listed healthcare stocks specialised in the treatment of burns: PolyNovo and AVITA Medical have reported a strong quarter.
Let us delve deep and discuss-
PolyNovo Limited (ASX:PNV)
An ASX listed healthcare sector player PolyNovo Limited is in the business of NovoSorb® Biodegradable Temporizing Matrix (BTM)- a dermal regeneration solution.
PolyNovo is engaged in development, designingand manufactureof NovoSorb® BTM by employing its patented NovoSorb technology which as biodegradable polymer based technology, and it offers solutions for Hernia, Breast Sling, along with Orthopaedic applications. PolyNovo’ BTM is a dermal platform for the regeneration of the dermis layer if it is lost during extensive burn or surgery.
It has been granted four new Australian patents within the NovoSorb polymer family earlier this week.
Results of NovoSorb® BTM CE Mark Burn Trial
PolyNovo revealed the results of the CE Mark Burn trial to evaluate the safety and performance of NovoSorb® BTM for treating the patients with deep burn injuries. This trial was a prospective, single-arm, open label, a multicentre, pre-market study conducted in France and Australia where NovoSorb® BTM was used as the investigational device.
PolyNovo mentioned that this trial is distinct to the BARDA funded feasibility trial, which was announced on 16 March 2020.
Although, PNV has an ARTG and CE burn indication, the study is still useful as a means of demonstrating and reinforcing, scientifically, the advantages that NovoSorb BTM offers. The trial provides strong clinical evidence supporting the use of NovoSorb® BTM in full-thickness burns and provides supporting evidence for reimbursement where required outside of the US like in South Africa.
The twelve-month clinical consequences study recruited 30 patients with burns across five study sites in Australia and France-
- The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
- Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
- Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
- Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia and
- St Anne’s Hospital, Toulon, France.
The study assessed the integration of BTM into the wound bed after application, wound healing after skin grafting and healing of wounds over time. Moreover, throughout the study the safety of patients was also monitored.
Wound closure was assessed at seven to 10 days after skin grafting and 3, 6 and 12 months after BTM application with mean values of 90.4%, 99.9%, 99.8% and 100.0%, respectively. BTM was considerably more than 77% (p=0.031) thereby demonstrating superiority.
Moreover, these outcomes provided further clinical evidence, supporting the role of BTM in providing temporary wound closure and reconstruction of a dermis for subsequent wound healing. It is noteworthy that, BTM has shown complete (100%) wound closure after twelve months of application.
Record Sales Month in the United States for March 2020 Quarter
Sales for the March 2020 quarter were $4.49 million, increased by 166% than the March 2019 quarter $1.69 million. Notably, the March 2020 results included a monthly record sales result for the United States. The Company also notified that sales in the second half of March 2020 were more robust as compared to the first half.
The Company opened six new hospital accounts, including four major hospitals, across the United States in the last two weeks of March.
PNV stock was trading at $1.900 on 8 April 2020 (12:17 PM AEST). The stock has delivered a positive return of 142.50 per cent in the last one year.
AVITA Medical Limited (ASX:AVH)
Abiotechnology company AVITA Medical Limited is engaged indeveloping and distributing tissue-engineered cellular formulations replacement of skin and provides products such as CellSpray and RECELL, that are used for injuries and skin scars.
The Company manages at international level, and its products are marketed under the RECELL System brand for promoting healing of the skin in a wide variety of therapies including chronic wounds, burns, as week as aesthetics.
RECELL System of AVITA is Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) registered in Australia, and in Europe, it had received CE-mark approval.
Preliminary Top-Line Results in March quarter-
On 6 April 2020, AVITA revealed it preliminary assessments of its top-line outcomes for the quarter ended 31 March 2020, along with an operating update relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The total revenue of AVITA for march quartet recorded at ~$6.0 million, increased by 21 per cent as compared to last quarter
- Sales of RECELL in the US were around USD 3.9 million, risen by 22% as compared to the previous corresponding period (pcp).
- The cash balance of the Company was reported to be $129.9 million, growth of $5.2 million from the $124.7 million as recorded in the previous quarter,driven primarily by the decrease in value of the Australian dollar relative to the US Dollars.
- Commercial metrics-
- The expected procedural volumes climbed by nearly 23% in March quarter.
- Almost nine new accounts were included.
- Roughlysixty-nine cumulative accounts approval received with Value Analysis Committee (VAC).
On 8 April 2020, AVH stock was trading at $0.495, upby 3.13% with a market capitalisation of approximately $1.02billion (12:17 PM AEST). AVH stock has delivered a positive return of ~14.3 per cent in last one year.
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