Mapping the Genomic Charter: Victoria on COVID-19 infections & Healthcare Stocks under Watch Zone

  • Jun 26, 2020 AEST
  • Team Kalkine
Mapping the Genomic Charter: Victoria on COVID-19 infections & Healthcare Stocks under Watch Zone

Summary

  • Researchers claim that the genome sequence of the coronavirus alters over time and mutations occur randomly. Also, by using several genetic evolutionary models, the virus history can be detected.
  • In Victoria, researchers have discovered clusters and transmission networks, and by using genome sequencing, they are identifying genetic mutations in COVID-19 cases.
  • In Europe, by using machine learning, scientists have identified an underlying genomic signature for twenty-nine different DNA sequences of the novel coronavirus.
  • Many healthcare companies are working towards finding out suitable diagnostic kit, and treatment to combat COVID-19; MSB’s Remestemcel-L is under Phase 3 for treatment of COVID-19 while AT1 is developing diagnostic kits for faster detection of the virus.
  • For preventing the spread of COVID-19, Zoono is providing Z-71 Microbe Shield surface sanitiser and hand sanitiser, having proven their efficacy against coronavirus.

Globally, there have been more than 9.29 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 479,133 deaths, reported to WHO as of 2:25 PM CEST, 25 June 2020.

In Australia, between 25 January 2020 to 25 June 2020 (2:25pm CEST), there have been nearly 7,521 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 103 deaths, as per WHO.

By now, no country across the world has been left unaffected by COVID-19 pandemic, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is everywhere now. Scientists claim that the genome sequence of the coronavirus transforms over time and mutations occur randomly, any changes that arise in the virus would be inherited by its next generation copies. Researchers can use several models on genetic evolution to try to ascertain the most probable evolutionary history of the virus.

As per a report from the University of Melbourne, researchers in Victoria are using genome sequencing for identification of genetic mutations in COVID-19 cases. They have discovered clusters and transmission networks that has aided in limiting the spread of coronavirus. Entire genome sequencing of pathogens in real-time is an essential tool for controlling public health reactions to infectious diseases outbreaks.

In Europe, some researchers have discovered an underlying genomic signature for twenty-nine different DNA sequences coronavirus by using machine learning. The new discovery tool would allow scientists to classify a deadly virus such as SARS-Cov-2 quickly, and easily in mere few minutes, with process and speed of high significance for strategic planning and mobilising medical requirements in a pandemic.

HAVE YOU READ: Virus Mutation, Second Wave of Infection.

As per the latest media reports, in Victoria, the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to increase, with nearly thirty new cases confirmed yesterday. Some experts stated Victorians to expect significant community transmission of COVID-19 as an outcome of an increase in virus cases last week.

Let us now shed some light few ASX-listed healthcare stocks -

Mesoblast delivered ~173% return in last three months

ASX-listed cellular medicine company Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) is engaged in producing allogeneic medicines, and it has leveraged its mesenchymal lineage cell therapy platform for creating a comprehensive portfolio of late-stage product candidates and commercial products. Currently, Mesoblast is operating across Australia, Singapore, and the US.

Mesoblast holds an Investigational New Drug application cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for application of its lead candidate remestemcel-L for treatment of patients having acute respiratory distress syndrome induced by COVID-19.

Remestemcel-L in COVID-19

Remestemcel-L is under clinical development and has the potential to tame the cytokine storm in ARDS and can provide life-saving treatment for COVID-19 patients. At present, the drug is in Phase 3 clinical trial which is a controlled, randomised, multi-center, blinded clinical trial to evaluate safety, as well as efficacy of remestemcel-L versus standard of care treatments in patients having COVID-19 caused moderate/severe ARDS and are on ventilator.

Source: Company's presentation

Stock Performance: On 26 June 2020, MSB stock last traded at A$3.32, climbing up by 2.154% from its previous close. The market cap of MSB stood at ~A$1.89 billion with almost 582.48 million shares outstanding. Mesoblast has delivered an outstanding return of 173.11% in the last three months and 54.76% of return in the last six months.

Zoono Group Profited by COVID-19 Turmoil

New Zealand headquartered global biotech company, Zoono Group Limited (ASX:ZNO) is engaged in the development and distribution of environmentally-friendly antimicrobial solutions. The Company is working with the mission to improve well-being, and health via safe, nontoxic, innovative, and durable germ protection.

Products of Zoono have received several regulatory approvals, and its technology claims are backed by independent testing performed in laboratories around the world.

As per the latest quarterly rebalance of S&P/ASX indices, Zoono has been added to All Ordinaries, effective 22 June 2020.

In early May 2020, Zoono Group revealed that the Company invoiced B2B (business to business) sales in surplus of unaudited NZ$11.0 million not including online consumer sales for April 2020.  Also, ZNO signed a number of new distribution agreements in the UK as well as Europe.

In Australia, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved an amendment to allow the Company to claim that its Z-71 Microbe Shield surface sanitiser was an effective disinfectant for hard surfaces against coronavirus, germs, and bacteria.

Overall, Zoono is well-positioned to meet the continued demand for its Z-71 Microbe Shield surface and hand sanitiser products during COVID-19 pandemic.

Stock Performance: On 26 June 2020, ZNO stock last traded at A$2.770, up by 2.974% compared to its last close. With a market cap of ~A$440.12 million, ZNO stock has approximately 163.61 million outstanding shares on ASX. ZNO stock has delivered an exceptional return of 292.70% on year to date basis and outstanding return of 103.79% in the last three months.

Atomo Secures Exclusive Right for COVID-19 test in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia

An Australian medical device company Atomo Diagnostics Limited (ASX:AT1) provides distinctive, integrated RDT (rapid diagnostic test) devices to the diagnostic market across the world. Atomo has supply agreements for tests that target infectious ailments such as coronavirus infection, HIV, and bacterial vs viral differentiation.

Atomo Diagnostics has been added to All Ordinaries, effective 22 June 2020, as per the latest quarterly rebalance of S&P/ASX indices.

In early June-2020, Atomo Diagnostics has expanded its existing COVID-19 rapid test partnership with NG Biotech, that was revealed  in mid-April 2020.

Under the expansion of this partnership, Atomo Diagnostics now has exclusive rights for distribution, as well as marketing COVID-19 antibody test in New Zealand, Australia, and several South East Asian countries, as the listed manufacturer.

The exclusive rights arrangement for Australia, New Zealand and many South-East Asian countries is strategically significant for the Company, as it moves Atomo as a listed manufacturer of COVID-19 tests, building on its foundation of being the only TGA approved manufacturer of a Class 4 Self-Test across Australia.

DO READ: Atomo Diagnostics’ Contribution to COVID-19 Expands with Exclusive Rights to Antibody Test

Stock Information: On 26 June AT1 stock closed flat at A$0.350. The market cap of AT1 stock stood at A$196.38 million with approximately 561.08 million shares outstanding.

DMX-200 included in REMAP-CAP study in ARDS patients with COVID-19

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Dimerix Limited (ASX:DXB) is into the development of novel therapies for diseases with unmet medical needs. The Company’s proprietary product DMX-200 is presently under development phase for Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, Diabetic Kidney Disease, and ARDS. Moreover, DMX-200 is also under investigation as a potential treatment for COVID-19 induced ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).

DMX-200 had been selected for inclusion in the REMAP-CAP study protocol endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for ARDS caused by COVID-19.

On 22 June 2020, Dimerix raised almost A$5.8 million through a strongly supported placement to institutional and sophisticated investors. The funds raised would primarily be utilised for providing support in REMAP-CAP study associated activities of DMX-200 in ARDS in COVID-19 patients.

Under this placement, nearly 16,222,580 fully paid ordinary shares were announced at a per-share price of A$0.36.

Stock Performance: On 26 June 2020, DXB last traded flat at A$0.355, with the market cap of nearly A$64.44 million and has ~181.53 outstanding shares.

HAVE YOU READ: Is the Australian health care sector prepared for COVID-19 pandemic?

 


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