Positive developments in ASX healthcare stocks amid COVID-19 pandemic- AEI, NSB, OSL

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has claimed more than 10,000 lives, globally, with over 2,34,000 people being infected across the world that originated in the Wuhan city of mainland China with Italy being the epicentre now. The entire biotech industry is engaged in a massive effort to develop a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus as soon as possible and make it accessible to save lives.

COVID-19 has taken toll on almost all the sectors in the world. Rocked by coronavirus uncertainty, the respective governments are taking all the necessary steps to combat this pandemic and releasing advisory for their citizens in order to protect and slacken coronavirus transmission.

Meanwhile, amid coronavirus outbreak, some of the ASX-listed healthcare companies have been making some positive developments. In this article, we will be discussing three Australian health care companies - Aeris Environmental Limited (ASX: AEI), NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: NSB) and OncoSil Medical Limited (ASX: OSL) with their shares soaring upon significant achievements.

Aeris Environmental Limited (ASX: AEI)

ASX-listed Aeris Environmental Limited (ASX: AEI) is an Australian company that develops, manufactures & commercialises patented green technology to bring significant improvements and changes in key asset performance and sustainability in the built environment and solve real-world problems more efficiently than conventional toxic technologies.

Aeris’ enzymes and treatments with residual protection are uniquely based on validated green formulations to provide long-term remediation, and prevention of mould, bacteria growth, corrosion and improved hygiene. Its whole-of-system approach ensures systems’ better performance, safety, and cost effectiveness.

Test Confirms Aeris’ Sanitiser Can Kill Coronavirus in 60 Seconds- Shares Climb 34%

The decontamination company, Aeris Environmental obtained a well-timed operational boost as its Aeris Active sanitiser product authorised by a world-class analytical and consulting services provider in microbiology, Eurofins AMS Laboratories, tested and validated the product. Eurofins AMS Laboratories notified the Company that the sanitiser achieved 99.99% (4log) kill rate after 60 seconds of contact time which provides rapid deactivation of this virus.

However, the sanitiser was not exactly examined against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain, which is currently wreaking havoc worldwide, rather tested against Murine hepatitis virus ATCC® VR-261, a member of the coronavirus family. It was further notified that ATCC® VR-261 has been used as a substitute for COVID-19 in published studies on disinfectants.

The product intrigued health professionals & investors’ interest alike because it contains a proprietary ‘dual active’ biocide system, delivering broad spectrum viricidal, bactericidal and fungicidal efficiency along with its proprietary "residual protection" abilities offering long-term (200 touch or seven day) protection of at-risk surfaces in addition to the initial kill.

Properties of Aeris Active are-

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe to use
  • Compatible with the broadest spectrum of surfaces at risk such as polymers, metals, glass, soft furnishings, and natural and man-made materials.

Owing to the unprecedented demand from multiple local & global clients, distributors & governments, and across several industrial, commercial, food service & consumer markets, covering different Aeris’ patented products, the Company is scaling up supply, with multiple manufacturing sites now in production. In the US, China and South East Asia, the capacity is now coming online as well.

Aeris’ patented products comprise of hard surface decontaminators, skin sanitisers, air-conditioning protection, and a variety of environmental hygiene cleaners & treatments.

Post the announcement on 18 March 2020, the shares of AEI skyrocketed 34.6%. On 20 March 2020, AEI closed the day’s trade at $0.530, up 1.9% from its previous close. The market capitalisation of the Company stood at $111.2 million with ~213.85 million outstanding shares, delivering a positive return of 116.67% in the last six months.

NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: NSB)

NSB is a drug development company engaged in developing peptide-based pharmaceutical drugs targeting neurodegenerative conditions with high unmet medical need at molecular level. Its portfolio of products incorporates multiple therapeutic products including a novel therapeutic peptide most advanced as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, EmtinB plus other related peptides like EmtinAc, EmtinAn, and EmtinBn with demonstrated similar therapeutic potential as EmtinB.

NSB Shares Soar 13.7% on Revealing Significant Positive Results in Multiple Sclerosis study

NSB has recently announced significant positive findings from a preclinical study, aimed to evaluate EmtinB’s effects on the proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocytes leveraging their proven MS model to determine the therapeutic potential of EmtinB as a treatment for MS. These promising results indicated a very significant effect on remyelination. The study was completed by independent contract research organisation, Neuron Experts, France.

Under normal conditions, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) multiply and segregate into mature oligodendrocytes which provide myelin for nerve fibres. Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common immune-mediated neurodegenerative conditions, wherein myelin is damaged that covers the nerve fibres and hence the nerve fibres deteriorate, in turn, communication between the brain and the rest of the body disrupts causing permanent damage to the nerves. This signals the need for disease modifying therapies for preventing continuing degradation of myelin, also called demyelination.

EmtinB significantly increased –

Post the announcement on 18 March 2020, the shares of NSB climbed 13.79%. NSB settled the day’s trade at $0.175, up 2.94%, on 20 March 2020. The market capitalisation of the Company stood at $13.33 million with ~78.38 million outstanding shares, delivering a negative return of 29.17% in the last six months.

OncoSil Medical Limited (ASX: OSL)

Medical device company, OncoSil Medical Limited (ASX: OSL) is engaged in advancing radiation for cancer patients with its lead product (targeted radioactive isotope (Phosphorus-32) being OncoSil™. Using an endoscopic ultrasound, the lead product is imbedded directly into a patient’s pancreatic tumours. OncoSil™ is aimed to deliver more concentrated and localised beta radiation in comparison to external beam radiation.

The Company has performed 6 clinical trials, demonstrating promising outcomes pertaining to tolerability, safety as well as efficacy. OncoSil™ device has secured CE Mark certification and is being sold at a commercial scale in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

On Receiving FDA Breakthrough Device Designation OncoSil Surged 30%

In a recent announcement dated 18 March 2020, OncoSil Medical Limited (ASX: OSL) unveiled that its OncoSil™ device has been awarded Breakthrough Device Designation by the US FDA for the treatment of unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer in combination with systemic chemotherapy, a significant milestone for the Company.

OncoSil™ device epitomises a ground-breaking technology that provides considerable upside over already existing approved or cleared alternate treatments.

As described by the Breakthrough Devices Programme, this breakthrough designation places OncoSil well to accelerate device development & approval within the US market that may possibly deliver more effective therapy of life-threatening or irreversibly devastating disorders including assisting patients to gain faster access.

OncoSil is to now work meticulously with the FDA ensuring the anticipated premarket approval (PMA) evidence development and clinical trial design encapsulates clinically meaningful data in terms of improved Overall Survival (OS) and downstaging tumours to resection with curative intent, necessary in the post market setting.

Post the announcement on 18 March 2020, the shares of OSL surged nearly 30%. OSL settled the day’s trade at $0.110 on 20 March 2020. The market capitalisation of the Company stood at $69.38 million with ~630.71 million outstanding shares, delivering a positive return of 52.78% in the last six months.

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