- Availability of proper health products is a foremost necessity of every nation to ensure a strong and resilient health system.
- Promotion of medical research and development (R&D) activities is very crucial for discovery and development of new technologies and products.
- CSL, COH, TLX, NAN and PNV are some ASX-listed healthcare firms which invest a huge amount of money on R&D activities.
Availability of proper health products such as vaccines, diagnostics, and medicines are essential for every nation to ensure a strong and resilient health system and respond to global health threats. A strong healthcare system promotes a healthier population and productive citizens.
The promotion of medical research and development (R&D) activities is very crucial for the discovery and development of new technologies and products. It ensures that a country is well placed to cope with medical emergencies and pandemics without straining its economy.
In this article, we at Kalkine Media® will discuss the R&D activities of some of the top ASX-listed healthcare firms
In the first half of FY22, CSL spent US$486 million on R&D activities and US$432million on sales and marketing. Let’s have a look at the company’s R&D highlights.
Garadacimab (Anti-FXIIa) HAE - Humanised anti-factor XIIa monoclonal antibody for potentially treating Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) by subcutaneous administration.
- Completed enrolment for Phase III study
- Fast Track eligibility approved by FDA
- Orphan Drug Designation granted by EMA
- US Orphan Drug Designation granted to CSL888 (Haptoglobin)
- Achieved primary endpoint in EtranaDez (Haem B gene therapy) HOPE-B study
- Initiated Garadacimab (Anti-FXIIa) IPF Phase II study
- aQIVc (cell antigen + MF59®) - completed Phase II study
- FLUCELVAX® QUAD- over two years extension in Australia and over nine years extension in New Zealand
- FLUAD® Quadrivalent - completed enrolment of 50-64 years adult for Phase III study
CSL’s new headquarter, and R&D facilities are under construction and are on track to finish by early 2023. The company has started the construction of a cell culture influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Australia.
Further, CSL is working towards next-generation self-amplifying mRNA, and it has started construction of a clinical GMP mRNA facility in Holly Springs.
Cochlear Ltd (ASX: COH)
Cochlear is a world-renowned player in implantable hearing solutions. The company is steered by its mission to help people hear and be heard.
Cochlear implant - A cochlear implant is made up of a sound processor and a small implant which are created together to pick up sounds from the surroundings and transfer them right to the hearing nerve. In this way, the implant helps to restore sound clarity even in noisy environments.
Cochlear has a global staff of over 4,000 people, and the company invests more than AU$180 million per annum in research and development.
Cochlear made a stronghold in the market as the company’s nine new products and services have achieved FDA approval over the past two years.
In the half year ended 31 Dec 2022, the company’s R&D expenses amounted to AU$98.6 million. Similarly, in HY21, the company spent AU$88.4 million on R&D activities.
Telix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: TLX)
Telix is an Australian biopharmaceutical company with global operations in several countries. The company is leveraging molecularly targeted radiation (MTR) for developing and commercialising diagnostic and therapeutic products.
Illuccix® - Illuccix® (kit for the preparation of gallium Ga 68 gozetotide injection), also known as 68Ga PSMA-11 injection, is the lead product of Telix. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Telix’s research addresses medical conditions related to kidney, brain (glioblastoma), prostate and haematologic cancers and several immunologic and rare diseases.
In the June 2022 quarter, Telix spent AU$17.4 million in R&D, manufacturing, and clinical development activities, mostly related to its therapeutic programs.
On 11 July, Telix completed enrolment into the Phase III pivotal study ZIRCON (Zirconium in Renal Cancer Oncology, NCT03849118) of its investigational renal (kidney) cancer imaging agent TLX250-CDx (89Zr-DFO-girentuximab). To date, the study has dosed 300 patients worldwide and exceeded its target enrolment of 252 patients as announced in March 2022.
Telix is developing TLX250-CDx as an imaging agent for renal cell cancer.
Nanosonics Ltd (ASX: NAN)
Nanosonics is one of the leading companies related to infection prevention. The company is working on developing innovative solutions for avoiding the spread of life-altering infections. Nanosonics has successfully created and commercialised the trophon® device. Trophon is a unique automated disinfection technology and is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care for ultrasound probe disinfection.
In the half year ended 31 Dec 2021, Nanosonics continued its financing in product expansion strategy. The company’s R&D expenditure for the period was AU$10.7 million, an increase of 41% as compared to pcp. Further, Nanosonics progressed its development activities related to its new endoscope reprocessing product platform, Nanosonics Coris®.
The half year report stated that during the HY22, the company would move to a new global headquarters in the Macquarie Park, NSW precinct. The move will result in substantial growth of the R&D function of the company. Establishing the new state-of-the-art laboratories in microbiology, chemistry and engineering will increase the capacity of the ongoing R&D facility three-fold.
Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)
PolyNovo specialises in developing innovative medical devices and the best possible surgical solutions. It leverages Novosorb® for its product development. Novosorb® is a family of proprietary medical grade polymers having the properties that strengthen novel medical devices which are designed to help in tissue repair.
The company spent AU$2.37 million in R&D activities in the half year ended 31 Dec 2021.
New products of Polynovo
- Barda Pivotal Trial, which recruited five patients during 1H22
- SynPath DFU Chronic Wound – Study results will be used to provide US reimbursement for using SynPath to manage chronic wounds in the outpatient setting. It has a total addressable US market of $US400 million.