ASX Health Stocks: Firebrick achieves primary endpoint in Phase 2; Memphasys surges 20pc on Japan deal
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Firebrick Pharma (ASX:FRE) rose 8% this morning after announcing that its Phase 2 trial of Nasodine Nasal Spray in Covid-19 has achieved its primary endpoint.
Results demonstrated that Nasodine significantly reduced viral shedding versus placebo, with 100% of Nasodine subjects clearing the virus after the completion of treatment.
“To put this in perspective, the treatment regimen ran over two and a half days and then on the fourth day, 100% of the Nasodine subjects were clear of virus,” said Firebrick executive chairman, Dr Peter Molloy.
Molloy added that achieving statistically significant results in viral shedding, in spite of the small number of subjects, is what he hoped for.
“It shows that Nasodine emphatically reduces viral shedding in a clinical setting.
“This is an important finding that extends the body of evidence about Nasodine’s mechanism of action in treating upper respiratory infections,” he said.
The small number of subjects, however, meant that it was not possible to detect statistically significant outcomes on the secondary endpoints – which included the impact on Covid symptoms and the number of days to a RAT-negative test.
While Covid-19 may be behind us, experts believe it will not be the last global pandemic.
“A nasal spray that can rapidly clear pandemic viruses from the nasal passages could be extremely valuable in protecting frontline healthcare workers in the next pandemic,” said Professor Peter Friedland, Firebrick’s chief medical officer.
Memphasys (ASX:MEM) rose almost 20% after signing an exclusive agreement with Vitrolife Japan to sell and distribute the Felix system in Japan, for a term of five years.
The Japanese market is estimated at 450,000 cycles (2020), a cycle being one round of IVF treatment, and is growing as a result of including IVF in Japan’s national insurance system in 2022.
Under the agreement, Vitrolife will provide marketing, sales and training with an initial focus on clinicians in high-volume clinics in Japan’s private health sector.
In addition, Vitrolife will work with Memphasys to build clinical data sets over time to position the Felix system to later receive full insurance coverage in Japan.
Felix is MEM’s first commercial product – an automated device with single-use cartridges for preparing sperm for human IVF procedures.
The device gently separates sperm from a semen sample in six minutes using electrophoresis and size exclusion membranes without causing damage to sperm DNA.
“This strategic collaboration enhances the availability of cutting edge fertility treatment for men in Japan, a major IVF market, where population levels have been on the decline for many years,” said MEM CEI, Alison Coutts.
Meanwhile, radiopharmaceutical company Clarity Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CU6) says it has received an exclusive licence from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).
The licence covers intellectual property for cutting-edge technology that enables antibody “pre-targeting” for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Clarity says pre-targeting is a radiopharmaceutical approach to diagnosing and treating cancer patients that harnesses the benefits of antibody targeting, amplifying uptake of radiopharmaceutical products in cancerous tissues.
This reduces healthy tissue exposure to radiation that can arise due to the slow clearance of antibodies.
“Pre-targeting presents an exciting and groundbreaking avenue to pursue our mission to develop next-generation products that improve treatment outcomes for children and adults with cancer,” said Clarity’s executive chairman, Dr Alan Taylor.
Taylor says combining this approach with the “perfect pairing” of copper-64 and copper-67 represents an untapped opportunity to deliver significant payloads to cancers in a safer and more effective way.