- Healthcare companies are busy in focusing on developing vaccine or treatment to combat the deadly coronavirus, and some healthcare players remained focused towards achieving their set goals.
- Although sales of Impression Healthcare’s oral devices have dwindled, IHL anticipates its revenue for the current quarter to be substantially higher than the prior corresponding period owing to the benefit of markedly increasing sales of cannabinoid formulations.
- Mayne Pharma Executes long-term License and Supply Agreement for commercialisation of combined oral contraceptive E4/DRSP, across Australia.
COVID-19 associated restrictions and necessary actions have impacted nearly all businesses and industries around the world. Several nations have gradually started reopening their businesses by alleviating restrictions to recoup economic loss. The year 2020 began with sluggish business activities due to COVID-19 induced restrictions; however, some healthcare players have made significant development during these unprecedented times.
During the pandemic, many healthcare companies are busy in focusing on the development of vaccine or treatment to combat the deadly virus. At the same time, some are busy in developing diagnostic for early detection of the infection so that more spread of the disease could be controlled.
While the focus has been around COVID-19, some companies are aggressively conducting clinical studies for other indications. In this article, we are highlighting recent activities of three such ASX-listed healthcare stocks- IHL, EX1, MYX.
Impression Begins Animal Trial for the Evaluation of IHL-675A Against ARDS
Cannabinoid-based medicines manufacturer Impression Healthcare Limited (ASX:IHL) is engaged in developing unique treatments for traumatic brain injury, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
On 2 June 2020, Impression announced the initiation of its first clinical trial in the animal study for its sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (SAARDS) program. SAARDS is the leading cause of mortality related to COVID-19 and other lungs, stomach, skin, and kidney infections.
The animal study is to investigate the mechanism of IHL-675A for reducing the inflammation by assaying levels of cytokine subsequent the induction of sepsis.
The second stage of the study will involve the investigation of specific combinations of Cannabidiol (CBD) and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), using the learnings of stage one, to investigate the optimal inflammation dampening response of the IHL-675A combination drug.
There is currently no registered treatment for sepsis-associated ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), though, the global medical community continues to probe several treatments in its search for a new standard of care in response to the coronavirus.
With this move, the Company is confident that it will drive value for its shareholders.
Moreover, Impression anticipates its GICS code is to be changed from Health Care Equipment & Services to Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences. And to indicate this change, Impression is looking for its upcoming shareholder meeting to change its name to that of its medicinal cannabis brand Incannex Healthcare Limited, whereas keeping the same ASX security code “IHL”.
Oral Devices and Cannabinoid Product Sales
Impression Healthcare advises that the Company discontinue the sale of oral devices by 30 June 2020 and shall focus on its resources on cannabinoid sales and other development activities.
The decision to discontinue oral device has been reached at a time when Incannex branded cannabinoid products sales continue to gain market share.
Although the sales of oral devices have dwindled, the Company anticipates its revenue for the current quarter to be substantially higher than the prior corresponding period owing to the benefit of markedly increasing sales of cannabinoid formulations.
Impression has the following cannabinoid products saleable under the medicinal cannabis special access scheme through its distribution partner and major shareholder, Cannvalate Pty Ltd-
- Cannagesia CBD oil.
- Releafia 20CBD: 1THC oil.
- Nutralesic 10CBD: 1THC oil.
- Inflammex 10CBD: 10THC oil.
- Incannex CBD Inhaler.
Moreover, four cannabinoid clinical evaluation programs of Impression for the diseases having no existing registered pharmacotherapy options currently available to patients-
On 5 June 2020, IHL stock closed the market at $0.052, up by 1.96% compared to its last close. With a market cap of almost $36.79 million, IHL stock has nearly 707.4 million outstanding shares.
Exopharm’s Plexaris Product Contrived to Deliver Anticancer Drug
A clinical-stage Australian regenerative medicine company Exopharm Limited (ASX:EX1) is engaged in developing therapeutic exosome products as replacements to stem-cell therapies. Exopharm owns LEAP technology. Exopharm is a leader in manufacturing and experimental clinical application of extracellular vesicles (EV) medicines.
On 25 May 2020, Exopharm disclosed that its Plexaris™ product could effectively deliver therapeutic drugs into target cells, demonstrated in testing. An in vitro study using Plexaris (platelet-derived EVs) loaded with the approved ant-cancer drug doxorubicin killed considerably more cancer cells than a similar dosage of the drug by itself. The broad potential of Exopharm’s EEV projects is demonstrated by the anti-cancer Exopharm product Plexodox™.
Exopharm to Move to Allogeneic study in CY2020
Exopharm is planning the first-in-human off-the-shelf (allogeneic) Plexaris safety study (PLEXOVAL II) in the calendar year 2020. Plexaris is platelet-derived exosome product of Exopharm.
This proposed Phase 1 allogeneic Plexaris safety study is the next major clinical step for establishing product safety as well as tolerability of an off-the-shelf logistics chain.
Remarkably, Exopharm has recently settled an ethics approval for PLEXOVAL II. The Company anticipates announcing the beginning of subject enrolments and further study details in the forthcoming months, that are subject to the necessary approvals and final study preparations.
Exopharm is also in the procedure of lodging additional patent applications that cover Intellectual Property (IP) related to EEV program of the Company.
EX1 stock settled the day’s trade at $0.240, up by 2.128% on 5 June 2020, with a market cap of nearly $22.91 million. Exopharm has ~95.47 million outstanding shares.
Mayne Pharma Executes long-term License and Supply Agreement for Oral Contraceptive
ASX-listed speciality pharmaceutical company Mayne Pharma Group Limited (ASX:MYX) focused on applying its drug delivery expertise for commercialising branded as well as generic drugs, offering patients better and more accessible medicines.
Mayne has a 40-year record for developing innovative oral drug delivery systems. And technologies by the Company have been commercialised successfully in several products that remain to be marketed across the globe.
On 28 May 2020, Mayne Pharma revealed that it had signed an exclusive long-term (20 years) license and supply contract with Mithra Pharmaceuticals SA for commercialisation of E4/DRSP, across Australia.
E4/DRSP is a new, next-generation oral contraceptive comprising 3 mg drospirenone and 15 mg Estetrol.
The Company notified that product is anticipated to be filed in TGA in 2020 with a potential launch in the H2 CY2021. Once the product receives approval, it is projected to get 5-years of data exclusivity from the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) as it is a new chemical entity.
Further, Mayne Pharma has an opportunity to get a license for registration as well as the launch of E4/DRSP across New Zealand.
On 5 June 2020, MYX stock settled the day’s trade at $0.465 up by 2.20% from its previous close. With a market cap of nearly $780.77 million, the stock has almost 1.68 billion outstanding shares.
NOTE: $ denotes Australian Dollar unless stated otherwise.
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