The ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is down by 2.2% at the time of writing, compared to the broader index which is down by 0.60%.

AusCann Group (ASX:AC8) is about to commence an exploratory cannabinoid (CBD) trial in people with spinal cord injury.

The company has just commenced the design phase for a clinical discovery trial, following the completion of a technical assessment led by the Clinical Research division of Cannvalate.

The scope of that assessment addressed US FDA regulatory pathways, commercial feasibility, as well as clinical trial mapping.

Following the completion of the assessment, AusCann made the decision to withdraw from other previously planned trials and redirect its resources to the spinal cord injury study – an underdeveloped area with an addressable market size of US$6B.

The aim of this program is to generate clinical data on the benefits of AusCann’s proprietary CBD-based formulations for people suffering from spinal injury.

The data is expected to be used to support a more extensive human drug development program, for eventual approval by the FDA.

A human research ethics committee submission is expected to be made in early 2022.


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Other ASX health stocks with notable announcements

Resonance Health (ASX:RHT) has signed an agreement with WHO-affiliated Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF).

TIF will deploy 500 FerriSmart systems, provided by Resonance Health at no cost, across targeted low-and-middle income countries in Asia, West Pacific, and Europe.

FerriSmart is an AI-driven system for the real-time measurement of LIC (liver iron concentration) in patients using non-invasive MRI-based technology.

It’s been billed as a breakthrough for thalassaemia patients in low-and-middle income countries, where thalassaemia is often poorly managed.

Thalassaemia is an inherited condition that affect a substance in the blood called haemoglobin. People with thalassaemia produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.

Under today’s deal, TIF will engage with physicians and national health authorities to facilitate utilisation of FerriSmart.

TIF will also introduce Resonance Health to local opinion leaders, which is a critical part of establishing long-term sustainable commercial product success in new markets.

“TIF has the experience and contacts in these markets to accelerate the uptake in adoption and usage of our new AI devices,” said Resonance Health CEO, Mitchell Wells.

“Our immediate objective is to ensure that patients and clinicians across the world learn of FerriSmart, and have an opportunity to use it and benefit from it.”

OptiScan Imaging (ASX:OIL) has completed the patient recruitment and imaging component of its breast cancer assessment trial.

The vivo study will be conducted at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Frances Perry House and Epworth Hospital with imaging of 42 breast cancer lumpectomy samples.

The analysis of these images was captured with Optiscan’s confocal, endomicroscopic technology.

A key goal of the trial is to assess whether by using Optiscan’s technology, cancerous tumour cells can be detected at the margin of the excised specimen while the surgery is on-going.

This would reduce the requirement for repeat surgery (currently 20 to 30% of lumpectomy patients) –  with less emotional trauma, physical pain and costs for patients.

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