The ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is trading flat at the time of writing, compared to the broader index which is down by 0.70%.

Cell therapy biotech, Arovella Therapeutics (ASX:ALA), is up 14% this morning, after announcing an exclusive licence deal with The University of Texas.

The agreement gives Arovella the patent rights to a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb), which can be used as a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) used in the treatment of blood cancers and solid tumours.

This is the first mAb directed against a peptide, the HLA-A2, which is f0und on the surface of cancer cells (DKK1), Arovella said.

Higher DKK1 production has been observed in bladder cancer as well as other known cancers, meaning the technology may be applicable across a wide spectrum of cancers.

“The next steps are to confirm the specificity, safety and proof-of-concept data in animal models before advancing this into manufacturing,” says Arovella’s CEO, Dr Michael Baker.

Meanwhile, Imugene (ASX:IMU) announced that it has received two US FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals to commence clinical trials.

The first approval allows Imugene to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial of its immunotherapy candidate, HER-Vaxx, a drug that treats patients with advanced gastric cancer.

At the same time, the company also received an FDA IND approval to commence a Phase I trial of its oncolytic virotherapy candidate, VAXINIA.

The Phase 1 trial of VAXINIA will look into the safety of the drug in multiple solid tumour type patients.

“To achieve two IND’s for our programs concurrently is an outstanding result for the team,” says Imugene CEO, Leslie Chong.

Arovella and Imugene share prices today:


In other ASX health news this morning

Bone implants specialist, Osteopore (ASX:OSX), has signed an agreement to launch a $18.7m project with the National Dental Centre of Singapore and A*STAR’s research institutes, an industry leader in developing dental implants.

Findings from the project will be used to form the basis of Osteopore’s next generation products, and gives the company access to the global dental jaw surgeries market worth $1.26bn, the company said.

Large cap Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RAM) will acquire 100% of UK based mental healthcare provider Elysium Healthcare, for an enterprise value of £775m (A$1.4bn), it said this morning.

Elysium is a leading independent operator of long-term medium and low-secure hospitals in the UK, and has a strong partnership with the kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

Elsewhere, Singular Health (ASX:SHG) has released a medical visualisation tool in Virtual Reality and 3D, aligning the company’s software to the medical Metaverse.

SHG’s Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP), which it acquired in early 2021, has now been fully integrated into 3Dicom, a mobile app which enables patients to receive their scans using a QR code.

And Optiscan Imaging (ASX: OIL) announced that its CEO, Darren Lurie, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests.

Professor Camile Farah, who is currently a non-exec director of the company, has been appointed to the role of CEO effective from today.

More share prices today:


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