Health care system of Australia is considered as one of the best, globally, as it delivers safe and affordable health care solutions and services to the citizens. Health care sector in Australia comprises of medical service, medical insurance and medical equipment providers, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dealing in drug development and R&D activities.
Let’s take a glimpse of recent developments of five ASX listed health care stocks.
Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX:AGH)
Australia-based patient-focused medicinal cannabis company, Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX:AGH) operates as a manufacturer, supplier and exporter, catering to the Australian and UK markets.
Althea Acquires Canadian Entity
According to an ASX announcement in mid-October 2019, Althea completed the acquisition of Peak Processing Solutions, a Canada-based contract extraction and manufacturing entity. The acquisition completion comes after the conclusion of an institutional capital raising of $30 million by AGH. For manufacturing and distribution of cannabis-infused beverages across Canada, Peak has entered into a letter of intent with Wildleaf Ventures Group Inc.
Some media reports suggest that Canada's cannabis industry is expected to double to $5.4 billion by the end of 2020.
September Quarter Revenue Up 184%
- Althea achieved unaudited revenue of $755,385 for the quarter ended 30 September 2019, up 184% quarter-on-quarter.
- Althea medicinal cannabis products in Australia have now been prescribed to 2,557 patients. In addition to this, 334 health care professionals have prescribed the products to patients.
- In September 2019, 462 patients were added. This number is the largest addition for the prescription of the company’s products in a single month to date. The month-on-month growth rate in new patients per business day was nearly 22.2%.
The company’s stock closed the day’s trading at $0.405 with a daily volume of ~46.18 million and a market capitalisation of nearly $122.49 million, on 25 October 2019. The stock has delivered a return of 98.11% on a YTD basis and 1.94% in the last six months.
Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:BOT)
Perth (Australia) and Philadelphia (US) based biopharmaceutical company, Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:BOT) is engaged in developing new topical treatments for improving the lives of patients battling severe skin conditions. The company has a licensed novel transdermal drug delivery technology known as Permetrex™ for direct topical delivery of active pharmaceuticals in all skin conditions.
On 23 October 2019, the company updated the market with topline data from the second phase study of BTX 1503. The trial targeted at assessing whether the drug is safe and effective when given to patients with moderate to severe acne. The company is now moving forward with its preparations for Phase 3 clinical program.
Botanix-Purisys Supply Agreement
Recently, Botanix executed a supply agreement with Purisys, which is a leading provider of pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol and other cannabinoids. The deal includes the company’s requirements for current clinical studies, in addition to commercial supplies (upcoming) of synthetic cannabidiol API (active pharmaceutical ingredient). As part of the deal, the partners will work together on future volume needs and production scale-up and optimisation. The term of this agreement is through December 2027.
Innovation Connections Grant
- According to a company release on 15 October 2019, the Australian Government awarded a new Innovation Connections Grant to Botanix for accelerating its medicinal chemistry program, which will target new synthetic analogs of cannabidiol, and to investigate mechanism of action of cannabidiol.
- New cannabidiol analogs are being designed to conquer the bioavailability issues of natural molecules and for improving the performance of cannabidiol.
- This development is being conducted with support from scientists at The University of Queensland (UQ).
The company’s stock closed the day’s trading at $0.112 on 25 October 2019 with a market capitalisation of approximately $101.27 million. The stock has delivered a good return of 43.84% on a YTD basis and 23.53% in the last one year.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: NEU)
Biopharmaceutical company, NEU is engaged in developing new treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. As per an ASX update on 16 October 2019, the company secured a special status for NNZ-2591. The drug secured the orphan drug designation for the treatment of two syndromes - Phelan-McDermid and Pitt Hopkins- from the US FDA.
Highlights from NEU Corporate Presentation
- Two drugs are under development for the treatment of five debilitating childhood disorders. These drugs will target underlying impairment in signalling between brain cells.
- Trofinetide is under Phase III study for Rett syndrome, potential NDA in 2021.
- NNZ-2591 is set to start clinical trials for three disorders - Phelan-McDermid, Angelman and Pitt Hopkins Syndromes - in 2020.
The company’s stock closed the day’s trading at $2.460 on 25 October 2019, up by 2.075% with a daily volume of nearly 51,842 million and a market capitalisation of approximately $247.43 million. The stock has a 52 weeks high price of $2.700, while its 52 weeks low price stands at $0.980. The stock has delivered a return of 57.52% on a YTD basis and 116.14% in the last six months.
Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX: CYP)
Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX: CYP) is an Australia-based biotechnology company, engaged in developing treatments based on Cymerus™, a proprietary stem cell technology. The company, which is scheduled to hold the 2019 AGM on 27 November 2019, recently shared quarterly report for the period ended 30 September 2019, highlighting
- License option exercise by FUJIFIM for CYP-001 in graft-versus-host disease (GvHD);
- Panning for three second phase clinical trial programs underway;
- Therapeutic potential of the Cymerus™ platform in numerous additional target areas;
Withdraw from Acquisition Discussions - On 17 October 2019, the company announced to have been unable to reach agreement on terms to its satisfaction of a potential acquisition by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. Both the parties have withdrawn from acquisition discussions.
Cymerus™ MSCs Phase 2 Clinical Trial Highlights
- On 3 October 2019, the company provided an update related to phase II clinical trial start-up activities for evaluating Cynata’s Cymerus™ mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
- 448 patients will participate in Phase II clinical trial for osteoarthritis (OS) treatment.
- The trial is expected to start in first quarter of the year 2020.
- Professor David Hunter of the University of Sydney will lead a world-class clinical team.
- Cynata holds commercial rights for using the Cymerus MSCs in OS.
- The trial will be one of the largest ever and highlight the company’s manufacturing capability for MSC.
US$3 Million Licence Fee by Fujifilm: In a late September 2019 release, CYP announced to have received an amount of US$3 million in upfront licence fee under a GvHD licence agreement from FUJIFILM Corporation.
The company’s stock closed the day’s trading at $1.200 on 25 October 2019, up by 2.128% with a daily volume of nearly 328,237 million and a market capitalisation of approximately $ 120.83 million. The stock has a 52 weeks high and low price of $1.870 and $0.940, respectively. The stock has delivered a negative return of 7.48% on a YTD basis and 4.08% in the last six months.
Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC)
Australian headquartered health informatics company, Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC) provides intelligent informatics software for high performance health care solutions that meet the needs of hospitals and allied health care across the globe.
The annual general meeting of shareholders is due on 14 November 2019 in Melbourne, Victoria.
Financial Highlights - Q1 FY2020 (ended 30 September 2019)
- Total sold revenue amounted to $12.9 million as at 30 September 2019, reflecting a 16% rise as compared to prior corresponding year.
- Total contracts value stood at approximately $2.54 million in the first quarter, which added revenue of $1.24 million to be recognised in FY2020.
- Three-year contract signed with Healthscope, a major private hospital network. The contract highlights the first sale of ALC’s data and analytics capabilities to such a huge group.
- Total cash received from operating activities amounted to $136K for Q1 FY2020.
- Cash and cash equivalents at the end of September quarter reached $4.21 million.
The stock of ALC closed the day’s trading at $0.210 on 25 October 2019, with a daily volume of nearly 6.65 million and a market capitalisation of approximately $189.15 million. The stock has a 52 weeks high and low price of $0.305 and $0.038, respectively. The stock has delivered a return of 346.81% on a YTD basis and 176.32% in the last six months.
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