The ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is trading higher by 0.55% at the time of writing, compared to the broader index which is up by 0.45%.

Cannabis stock Avecho Biotechnology (ASX:AVE) announced today that patient dosing has commenced for its Phase IIa study examining a topical CBD gel to treat pain associated with arthritis of the hand.

The study will examine whether topically applied cannabidiol (CBD) can provide relief from symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The study uses one of Avecho’s proprietary formulation vehicles incorporating its TPM technology, which has already been shown to increase the dermal absorption of CBD by five times.

Avecho’s TPM (or Tocopheryl Phosphate Mixture), is derived from Vitamin E using proprietary and patented processes, and is proven to enhance the solubility and oral, dermal and transdermal absorption of drugs and nutrients.

Fifteen patients suffering from painful arthritis of the fingers have now successfully completed their baseline assessments, and have begun their treatment regimen.

The topical formulation will be applied to painful joints of the fingers and/or thumb each day over a four-week period. Assessment will include pain scores, functional scores, and assessments of grip strength using a dynamometer.

“Osteoarthritis is a chronic and poorly managed pain condition, with limited treatment options available,” explained Avecho CEO, Dr Paul Gavin.

“Increasingly, CBD is being prescribed for a range of pain conditions, despite a relative absence of formal human clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness. Commencement of patient dosing is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to understand and quantify how it could help,” he added.

Avecho share price today:


First half results for these ASX health stocks

Avita Medical (ASX:AVH)

Revenue of $14m, up 37% on pcp.
Net loss of $8.5m, up 52% on pcp.

The increase in revenue was largely driven by broader utilisation among Avita’s customer base, as well as deeper penetration within individual customer accounts.

Total operating expenses for the half increased 42% to $14.8 million, which was primarily driven by higher share-based compensation costs, ongoing expenses for the development of Avita’s automated skin preparation device, and pre-commercialisation planning for RECELL launches.

The increase in operating expenses have led directly to the net loss for the half.

“We are pleased with the terrific results that we are achieving with RECELL in US burn centers, as well as with our recent achievement of many key corporate milestones,” said Dr Mike Perry, Avita Medical’s CEO.

“Our success in burns will help us prepare for, and is expected to increase our future adoption with respect to commercialisation in much larger markets for soft tissue reconstruction and vitiligo in the second half of 2023.”

MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC)

Revenue of $2.56m, up 246% on pcp.
Net loss of $8.05m, up 30% on pcp.

The half saw MGC Pharma achieve its strongest half-year result to date, with sales of ~$2.56 million.

The increase in sales revenue was largely influenced by the strong sales of ArtemiC, the company’s COVID-19 supplement, with sales during the half totalling ~$1.06 million. MGC Pharma also achieved ~$1.25 million of cannabinoid products sales.

During the period, MGC’s Malta production facility was completed, and is due to be commissioned imminently.

In addition, MGC Pharma has been granted a certificate of Free Trade in Europe for the company’s ArtemiC supplement, and the UK has now approved CannEpil+ for import.

“Further to this, we have made material strides in advancing Emergency Use Authorisation in multiple jurisdictions including the USA and India, as well as progressing stage II and III trials across the world,” said Roby Zomer, co-founder and CEO of MGC Pharma.

“As a company and management team, we are focused on gaining regulatory approval for our pharmaceutical products. Whilst this process is not always smooth, I remain confident in our products and our ability to achieve just this, which will result in better outcomes for patients globally,” he added.


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