• Healius gets takeover offer from ALC, a company less than half its size
  • Neurotech will launch Phase 2 clinical trial in Rett Syndrome
  • Germany allows Invex to commence the IIH EVOLVE Phase 3 clinical trial


Healius gets takeover offer from company half its size

Healius (ASX: HLS) has confirmed the receipt of an off-market takeover bid from Australian Clinical Labs (ASX: ACL), a company less than half its size.

It’s an all-scrip offer, giving Healius shareholders the chance to receive 0.74 ACL shares for every 1 Healius share.

It’s an incredible offer given that ACL has a market cap of just $725m versus Healius’ $1.73 billion.

ACL believes there will be a material synergy potential of approximately $95 million by bringing the companies together.

ACL also believes there is a significant potential value uplift of approximately $2.1 billion if the merged group trades at the current blended forward EV/EBIT multiple of 17.5x.

ACL thinks the valuation of the merged entity could approach the threshold for inclusion in the S&P/ASX 100 index over time.

The Healius share price has slumped over 30% in the last year as the company swung to a loss as demand for COVID-19 testing evaporated. Demand for COVID-19 testing had been a major driver for the company throughout the pandemic.

For the six months to December 2022, Healius suffered a statutory net loss of $28.7 million.

Healius’ board says it will evaluate the offer and provide shareholders with a recommendation in due course, as its share price surged by 10% today.


Share prices today:


Neurotech and Invex to launch clinical trials

Paediatric neurological disorders specialist, Neurotech (ASX:NTI), has announced the launch of a new clinical program in Rett Syndrome.

Neurotech will commence the Phase 2 clinical trial of daily oral NTI164 in females aged 5-20 years old with Rett Syndrome at two prestigious centres in Australia.

The company says it expects to submit the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) application before the end of this quarter.

The trial will be conducted across two centres in Australia with co-principal investigators Dr Giuliana Antolovich of the Royal Children’s Hospital, and Professor Michael Fahey from Monash Medical Centre.

Rett Syndrome is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder, and is almost exclusively the result of a mutations in the methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene located on the X chromosome, which is required for normal brain development and function.

Rett Syndrome occurs almost exclusively in girls, with incidence of one in 10,000 female live births. The prevalence is approximately 15,000 girls and women in the US and 350,000 globally.

The news today came as fellow ASX-lister Neuren (ASX:NEU) received a “historic” US FDA approval of DAYBUE (trofinetide) for the treatment of Rett syndrome last week.

DAYBUE is the first and only approved treatment for Rett syndrome ever in the world.

Meanwhile, Invex Therapeutics (ASX:IXC) said that German authorities have approved the company to commence the IIH EVOLVE Phase 3 clinical trial.

In addition, Invex has secured Central Ethics Committee (CEC) approval for commencement of the trial.

The IIH EVOLVE clinical trial will study 240 patients with newly diagnosed IIH (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) to determine the efficacy and safety of lead drug Presendin versus placebo over 24 weeks.

Invex intends to open up to 40 clinical sites globally, with the primary endpoint of the trial being the change in intracranial pressure from baseline.


Share prices today: