In the Australian health care system, three levels of government are responsible for providing universal health care- federal government, state and territory government and local government. Funding and indirect support are provided by the federal government through the Medicare Benefits and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (MBS and PBS).
State governments play a major role in providing ambulance services, dental care, mental health care, and community health services, in addition to their responsibility for public hospitals. The local governments are responsible for the delivery of immunisation and other community health and preventive health programs.
Let us have a look at few ASX listed health care stocks, which are playing key roles and adding value to the health care system in the country.
Imagion Biosystems Limited (ASX: IBX)
Based in Melbourne, Imagion Biosystems Limited (ASX: IBX) uses nanoparticle diagnostic imaging technology to help provide early detection and research for cancer & other diseases. Recently, William Taylor Nominees Pty Ltd ceased to be a substantial holder in IBX.
Order for Supply of Nanoparticles
On 27 November 2019, the company unveiled that an Israeli biotechnology company, named NewPhase Ltd., placed an order valued at nearly $300K for the supply of Imagion’s proprietary nanoparticles for 2020. NewPhase Ltd., which is engaged in developing cancer treatments, would use Imagion’s nanoparticles in its products.
The deal highlights the significant opportunities for the company in monetising its underlying technology for both the detection and treatment of disease, according to Bob Proulx, Executive Chairman of Imagion.
Growth at a CAGR of 8.37% is expected in the overall cancer therapy market through 2024, and in the target-therapy segment, a higher CAGR of 9.68% is expected.
With a market capitalisation of $9.16 million, the company’s stock closed the day’s trading at $0.018 on 29 November 2019. The number of outstanding shares is 508.78 million, while the IBX stock has delivered a negative return of 40.00% on a year to date basis.
Cyclopharm Limited (ASX: CYC)
Australian radiopharmaceutical company, Cyclopharm Limited (ASX: CYC) is engaged in providing diagnostic imaging solutions focused on lung health. TechnegasTM is the name under which the company offers its proprietary medical device and pharmaceutical products. Cyclopharm distributes its products in 57 countries with more than 1,500 nuclear medicine departments using TechnegasTM.
Cyclopharm updated the market with its investor presentation, highlighting the overview of the company and recent developments.
TechnegasTM – is considered as the industry gold-standard in diagnostic functional lung imaging technology, which is composed of Technetium-99m cores encapsulated within layers of graphite.
FDA Clinical Trial Process and Design- The company mentioned about Technegas’ FDA clinical trial process.
- Technegas has been registered for the US FDA clinical trial.
- The study would be a non-inferiority structural ventilation study, which would compare Xe133 with Technegas.
- The study is planned with 240 patients at nine clinical sites.
- As at 18 October 2019, patient enrolment stands at 179.
- Currently, the company is compiling a 505(b)2 New Drug Application (NDA) for submission, and it is expected that 505(b)2 NDA would be sufficient for the US FDA approval.
- A 6-month priority review application would be submitted with the NDA.
- The company would continue the clinical trial enrolment while the NDA submission is being reviewed.
On 29 November 2019, the company’s stock settled at $1.150, with a market cap of $79.23 million. The company’s stock has an annual dividend yield of 0.87%. The stock has delivered a positive return of 6.48% on a year to date basis and a negative return of 21.50% in the last six months.
Vita Life Sciences Limited (ASX: VLS)
New South Wales headquartered pharmaceutical and health care company, Vita Life Sciences Limited (ASX: VLS) is engaged in the distribution and development of OTC medicines, in addition to supplements, health foods, and complementary and alternative medicines. The company employs more than 400 people across Australia and Asia, with nearly 800 registered products.
Brand portfolio includes
- Herbs of Gold
Board Update - In an ASX update on 26 November 2019, the company announced that non-executive director Mr Vanda Gould resigned from the Board.
The stock last traded at $0.615 on 28 November 2019, with a market cap of $34.21 million. The company’s stock has a P/E ratio of 22.450x, with an annual dividend yield of 6.1%. The VLS stock has delivered a negative return of 26.27% on a year to date basis.
Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: RCE)
ASX listed health care player, Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: RCE) was founded in 2007 and is an emerging global leader in the development as well as commercialisation of innovative synthetic antibiotics having Broad Spectrum activity. RECCE® 327 discovered by Dr Graham Melrose is a patented product of Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd and has been developed for treating blood infections and sepsis.
Positive Data for RECCE® 327
On 27 November 2019, the company announced that its lead compound RECCE® 327 reported positive data in a rat topical burns model. The key highlights from the testing are:
- RECCE® 327 antibiotic showed significant efficacy against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the treatment of burns wound infection in an animal model.
- The healing (wound contraction) was more significant as compared to the reference standard (Soframycin).
- No irritation reported in the human clinical irritation test post-24-hour application.
- The data from the study would be presented to the ethics committee at a hospital in Australia for patient study.
On 29 November 2019, the company’s stock traded at $0.275, up by 10%, with a market cap of $33.45 million. The stock has delivered a positive return of 42.86% on a year to date basis and a positive return of 13.64% in the last six months.
Volpara Health Technologies Limited (ASX: VHT)
Health care sector company Volpara Health Technologies Limited (ASX: VHT) is engaged in developing digital health solutions for enabling personalised breast cancer screening software applications. The services and technology provided by Volpara have been used in research projects and/or by customers in thirty-eight countries. The company holds many patents, trademarks and regulatory clearances for its technology and services.
Volpara DENSE Trial Results
As per a company announcement on 28 November 2019, results of the eight-year DENSE breast screening trial, which was started in 2011 in the Netherlands, were scheduled to be published in the print edition of the New England Journal of Medicine in the US on 28 November 2019.
DENSE is a randomised controlled trial, which highlighted a halving of interval breast cancers in women detected with extremely dense breasts by Volpara®Density™ software who were then offered breast MRI.
Highlights on 1H20 can be read here.
The VHT stock settled at $1.800 on 29 November 2019, down by 1.639% with a market cap of $399.05 million. The stock has delivered a positive return of 67.50% on a year to date basis and a return of 3.80% in the last six months.
Next Science Limited (ASX: NXS)
Sydney headquartered medical technology company, Next Science Limited (ASX: NXS) is engaged in developing and commercialising the XbioTM technology for reducing the effect of biofilm-based infections. The company was founded in 2012 and has its R&D centre in Florida, US. XbioTM is the proprietary technology of Next Science, and the company wholly owns patent protection for this technology.
The company released its investor presentation on ASX, highlighting the developments and key financials of the half-year FY2019 (ended 30 June 2019).
- The company reported increased sales in the first half of FY2019, with a rise of 222% as compared to prior corresponding period, driven by robust growth in Bactisure and BlastX.
- In June 2019, the company reported first sales of Acne product in Australia by a distribution partner AST.
- In September 2019, AST launched the acne product in clinics.
- The developments are in trial for animal health, and food preparation.
- Other ongoing developments of the company are in medical device applications, medical device coatings, skin care, agriculture applications and pharma applications.
- Surface Disinfectant of the company is expected to launch in the second half of 2020, with distribution arrangements currently under discussion.
- Next Science surgical rinse would be launched in the mid of 2020 by third-party distribution networks in the United States.
- Middle Ear Wash is expected to be made available in the market in the second half of 2020, and the global distribution arrangements are under discussion.
- Under a global distribution agreement with Grace Medical, Sinus Wash Out, which is for chronic sinusitis, is likely to roll out in the second half of 2020.
On 29 November 2019, the company’s stock settled at $2.170, down by 0.913% from its last close, with a market cap of $392.49 million. The stock has delivered a negative return of 27.96% in the last six months.
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