Health Care Stocks Soaring Amid Easing US-Iran Tensions - PNV, PME, IMM, CAU

Health Care Stocks Soaring Amid Easing US-Iran Tensions - PNV, PME, IMM, CAU

The Australian stock market had slowed down after Iran reacted against the United States’ killing of a top Iranian commander in missile attacks on its Iraqi bases. However, the ASX soared on Thursday, 09 January 2020, as the possibility of further escalation of the conflict has subsided for now after US President, Mr. Donald Trump’s tweet “all is well”. The benchmark index S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.8% higher at 6874.2 points with major sectors including energy, gold mining and health care witnessing a rise. The S&P/ASX 200 Health Care (Sector) index closed at 42,603.5 with an increase of 743.3 points or 1.74% from the previous close.

Four health care players, namely, PolyNovo Limited, Pro Medicus Limited, Cronos Australia Limited and Immutep Limited have witnessed a surge in stock price, with PolyNovo and Pro Medicus standing among the top five S&P/ASX 200 gainers on 09 January 2020. In this article, we will be discussing these four ASX health care stocks and look into their latest advancements.

Before digging deep into the latest developments, first let’s have a glimpse of their stock performance.

PolyNovo Limited (ASX:PNV): With a market capitalisation of $1.23 billion, PNV’s stock settled the day’s trade at $2.020, on 09 January 2020, climbing up by 8.311% from its previous close at $1.865. The 52 weeks high and low of the stock was noted at $2.660 and $0.580, respectively, with an average volume of 3,655,884. PNV’s stock has delivered an outstanding positive return of 210.83% in the last one year.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX:PME): With a market capitalisation of $2.32 billion, PME’s stock settled the day’s trade at $24.04, on 09 January 2020, climbing up by 7.851% from its previous close at $22.290. The 52 weeks high and low of the stock was noted at $38.39 and $11.580, respectively, with an average volume of 388,239. PME’s stock has delivered a considerable return of 89.20% in the last one year.

Immutep Limited (ASX:IMM): With a market capitalisation of $103.78 million, IMM’s stock settled the day’s trade at $0.285, on 09 January 2020, surging by 7.547% from its previous close at $0.265. The 52 weeks high and low of the stock was noted at $0.368 and $0.210, respectively, with an average volume of 3,815,470. IMM’s stock has delivered a return of 21.28% on the six-months basis.

Cronos Australia Limited (ASX:CAU): With a market capitalisation of $24.46 million, CAU’s stock settled the day’s trade at $0.200, on 09 January 2020, up by 5.263% from its previous close at $0.190. The 52 weeks high and low of the stock was noted at $0.415 and $0.190, respectively, with an average volume of 553,618.

Let’s now look at the recent developments of the above-mentioned health care stocks.

Pro Medicus Signs Five-year Platform Contract with Nines for Future Radiology Services

A universal provider of radiology information systems, advanced visualisation solutions, and PACS (picture archiving and communication systems), Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) delivers medical imaging products to health care companies, imaging centres and clinics. Visage Imaging is Pro Medicus’ wholly-owned subsidiary.

In an announcement dated 30 December 2019, Pro Medicus informed the market that Visage Imaging Inc. has signed a multi-million-dollar, five-year contract with Palo Alto based Nines, for the development of Nine’s future radiology services. It was further unveiled that the offering, which is centred upon Visage 7 innovative technology, would be introduced in Google Cloud Platform. This would offer Nines with an enormously ascendable and highly optimised platform.

Key Highlights

  • It is a transactional based model with possible advantage as volumes grow.
  • This deal unlocks prospects for new Radiology-as-a-Service market for Visage.
  • As a result of this deal, the base revenue of Pro Medicus would grow in excess of $6 million during the term of the contract with the potential for significant benefit.
  • Contract execution would begin soon with go live expected in early Q2 CY 2020.
  • Moreover, the deal augments PME’s growing footprints in North America.

PolyNovo Declares Two Million Dollar Month

Focused on developing and commercialising innovative medical devices using its patented NovoSorb® technology for the treatment of burns, surgical wounds and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy, Polynovo Limited (ASX:PNV) provided following update on its sales, as announced on 07 January 2020.

  • PolyNovo reported unaudited revenue from the sales of NovoSorb BTM for the month of December 2019 just over $2 million, representing a 134% increase when compared with the December 2018 revenue valued at $890,000.
  • This represented PolyNovo’s first two-million-dollar month.
  • Earlier in May 2019, the company reported its first one-million-dollar month, which then indicated acceleration of sales in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
  • NovoSorb BTM revenues, unaudited, for the first half of the fiscal year 2020 were $8.57 million in comparison to $3.75 million for the first half of the fiscal year 2019, reflecting a 129% increase.

PolyNovo anticipates releasing the audited financial results to the market on 26 February 2020.

Immutep Announces Expansion of Part C of TACTI-002 Trial, Backed by Encouraging Positive Data

Biotechnology company that develops novel immunotherapy for cancer and autoimmune disease treatments, Immutep Limited (ASX:IMM) provided update regarding its TACTI-002 trial and AIPAC studies for eftilagimod alpha, the lead product candidate of Immutep.

  • For stage 1 of Part C of TACTI-002 trial, enrolment of subjects diagnosed with second line Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) has been completed.
  • It was further unveiled that expansion of Part C has been done for the inclusion of an additional 19 HNSCC patients, thereby establishing stage 2 of Part C.
  • Expansion of Part C follows DMC (Data Monitoring Committee) decision post observing the predefined number of partial responses in patients participating in stage 1 of Part C.
  • AIPAC- Phase 2b study in metastatic breast cancer remains on track and is expected to report first progression-free survival read-out and overall response rate data in Q1 CY2020.

Cronos Australia Receives 1st Consignment of PEACE NATURALSTM Medicinal Cannabis Products

With a vision to become a leading health & wellness entity within the Asia-Pacific region with a robust portfolio of cannabinoid products – including THC and CBD, Cronos Australia is devoted to deliver highest quality medicinal cannabis products to Australian patients, in addition to supplying export markets worldwide.

Cronos Australia, on 09 January 2020, announced to have received the first consignment of medicinal cannabis oils under the brand name PEACE NATURALSTM, supplied by an indirect subsidiary of Cronos’ foremost shareholder Cronos Group, Peace Naturals Project Inc. The products are currently being sold in Canada and Germany.

In accordance with a distribution agreement with Sigma Company Limited, as declared on 14 November 2019, Sigma has agreed to distribute certain products, including PEACE NATURALSTM medicinal cannabis oils, that are prescribed to Australian patients (under the SAS-B Scheme, or by an Authorised Prescriber). The distribution would be done via Sigma’s significant nationwide network of retail pharmacies.

As per Cronos Australia Chief Executive Officer, Rodney Cocks, this is a significant step for the company in making quality cannabinoid products accessible to Australian patients. Moreover, it marks an important milestone in the company’s medicinal cannabis operations in the country.


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