The health care sector comprises of providers of medical insurance, medical equipment and medical services, as well as industries dealing in the development of drug and research and development (R&D) activities. With ever-progressing technology and analytics capabilities, health care could be on the threshold of a data-driven revolution. Health care companies are planning future strategies towards implementing full digitisation of their organisation.
Digitalisation in the health care sector is continuously increasing driven at first by smartphones and then by artificial intelligence (AI). The rising ageing demographics played a considerable role in increasing the expenditure of health care sector. The digital health care services include big data and digital transformation, telehealth as well as telemedicine, e-health, precision medicine genomics and m-health.
After the digitalisation in the health care industry, the workload of the medical practitioners has been reduced as they can operate and keep a record of patient activities (medication, dose, side effect etc.) and provide quick patient care. The interest in digital health is evident, given the significant growth in investments in the last five years.
Australia has a robust health care system, cooperatively operated by the federal, state and local governments, and is labelled as one of the best across the globe. For investors, health care remains among the top few sectors and is the safest sector in Australia despite an uncertain and fluctuating stock market environment.
In this article, we are discussing two ASX listed health care stocks and their recent activities - HMD, ATX.
HeraMED Limited (ASX:HMD)
An ASX listed novel MedTech start-up, HeraMED Limited is engaged in providing end-to-end medical-grade solutions to pregnant women by using smartphone-based devices monitoring fetal heartbeat, cloud-based platforms and AI capabilities, consequently, offering therapeutically accurate, scientifically optimised, safe as well as cost-effective solutions.
The company’s innovative HeraCARE pregnancy management platform supports expecting mothers and healthcare professionals with improved pregnancy management, including lifestyle counselling, community sharing, mid-wife assistance and home check-up by deploying algorithms that are powered by AI.
Access to an industry-leading digital pregnancy monitoring database
On 20 January 2020, HeraMED unveiled that it has received approximately 90,000 pregnancy records from research and development collaborator the Mayo Clinic, and this is a crucial step to progress the next stage to develop OrionAI platform at commercial level.
The company mentioned that it had obtained unique access to an industry-leading database known as digital pregnancy monitoring database, and this would permit the expedited solution to strengthen and develop machine learning functionality of OrionAI, the its SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform.
The OrionAI platform plans to detect complications in pregnancy early, which would potentially have a considerable effect on pregnancy. The solution may also lower the costs for clinics and hospitals, as well as improve the efficiency of health care professionals.
HeraMED’s stock closed at $0.190 on 20 January 2020, an increase of 11.765% compared to the previous day’s closing price. HMD’s market capitalisation stood at nearly $17.55 million, with almost 103.21 million shares outstanding. HMD stocks 52 weeks high and low price were noted at $0.330 and $0.137, respectively. The company has generated a negative return of 2.86% on a year to date basis.
Amplia Therapeutics Limited (ASX:ATX)
An Australian pharmaceutical company, Amplia Therapeutics Limited is engaged in advancing a pipeline of Focal Adhesion Kinase inhibitors (FAK inhibitors) for fibrosis as well as cancer. In the field of cancer immunology, Focal Adhesion Kinase is a progressively important target, and Amplia has a development focus in ovarian and pancreatic carcinoma. FAK inhibitors also have a significant role in several chronic diseases; for example, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The preliminary clinical development pipeline of Amplia includes two novel, orally available small molecule FAK inhibitors-
- AMP945 – Highly selective (FAK-only);
- AMP886 – Highly differentiated, multi-action (FAK/FLT3/VEGFR3).
The company has an exclusive global licence to develop and commercialise AMP945 and AMP886.
Both FAK inhibitors (AMP945 & AMP886) have demonstrated excellent selectivity and potency, together with extremely promising physical-chemistry and pharmacokinetics properties in the preclinical studies.
Amplia FAK Assets have a robust intellectual property position-
- The company has issued patents in all commercially relevant jurisdictions with expiry in 2033 or 2034.
- Optimised formulation application that is filed in March 2019 with potential to extend intellectual property (IP) protection out to 2040.
Share placement undertaking
In an ASX announcement dated 20 January 2020, Amplia has revealed that it has successfully undertaken a share placement to existing and new sophisticated and professional investors, which comprised a cornerstone investment on behalf of one of leading biotechnology investors of Australia- the Platinum International Healthcare Fund.
The placement of 13.3 million new fully paid ordinary shares at $0.07/share to increase approximately $0.93 million prior to prices being made within the company’s placement capacity under Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listing rules 7.1 and 7.1A.
The Placement cost represents a 12.5% discount to the last traded value on 15 January and a 6.3% discount to the ten days volume weighted cost of shares traded until 15 January.
This new capital would allow Amplia to finalise the clinic-enabling investigations that were commenced by utilizing the funds raised during 2019. The company remains on track to begin clinical studies of its lead Focal Adhesion Kinase inhibitor, AMP945, throughout 2020.
- For the upcoming year, the company’s approach is to position its assets to maximise opportunities for combination efficacy studies in cancer; fibrosis symptoms further underpin value.
- Amplia has multiple near as well as mid-term value inflection points which are-
- Phase I clinical trial in healthy volunteers in 2020;
- Investigational New Drug opening in the third quarter of 2020;
- Continuing partner engagement and opportunities to bring in together with approved products;
- The experienced drug development team of Amplia is firmly positioned to enhance asset value.
Amplia’s stock closed at $0.080 on 20 January 2020, in line with the previous day’s closing price. ATX’s market capitalisation stood at nearly $ 4.25 million, with almost 53.17 million shares outstanding. ATX stocks 52 weeks high price was noted at $0.340. The company has generated positive returns of 17.65% on a year to date basis and 14.29% in the last one month.
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