• Healius has new CE
  • Nova Eye reports record US sales in February
  • Cynata says first patient has been enrolled in Phase 2 trial


Healius has a new CEO, shares rip higher

Healius (ASX:HLS) jumped 14% this morning after announcing that it would commence a wide-ranging strategic review of the company’s structure and assets.

As part of this, Healius will engage investment banking advisors to help undertake the review alongside management and the board.

The company has also announced that its CEO, Maxine Jaquet, has resigned to pursue other opportunities. The incumbent CFO, Paul Anderson, will take over as CEO effective immediately.

Anderson will lead the strategic review to shore up the business which has seen its shares slump by almost -50% in 12 months.

Healius has been struggling over the past year, which culminated in the company reporting a net loss after tax of -$636m in the last half. following a non-cash impairment charge of $603.2m made to the goodwill of its pathology unit. The impairment was caused by lower volumes in the business.

Management has continued to assess the company’s balance sheet, which led to today’s announcement, and a recent cap raise of $154 million at $1.20 per new share.

The funds raised has helped reduce net debt, and gearing ratio is now reduced to 3.17x, from 4x.

Healius has struggled since the No. 3 player in the pathology market, Australian Clinical Labs (ASX:ALC), pulled its bid for the company in December.


Nova Eye bags record US sales

Nova Eye (ASX:EYE) also jumped 14% after reporting record US sales for the month of February.

US sales were 20% higher than January, and 11% higher than October 2023, the previous record US sales month.

Sales revenue for the US for the two months ended 29 February was US$1.82m, representing 65% sales growth compared with the pcp.

US sales for the eight months to 29 February were US$6.88 million (unaudited), up 64% on the sales for the pcp.

Nova owns a portfolio of proprietary ophthalmic treatment technologies and devices.

Used by eye surgeons globally, these technologies include iTrack, a consumable surgical device that restores the eye’s natural outflow pathway to lower pressure inside the eye, and to eliminate patient reliance on anti-glaucoma medications for mild-moderate glaucoma.


Cynata doses first patient for Phase 2 trial

Meanwhile, Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) confirmed that the first patient has been enrolled and treated in its Phase 2 clinical trial of CYP-001, in high-risk acute graft versus host disease (aGvHD).

CYP-001 is Cynata’s product candidate for intravenous infusion, which previously generated very encouraging safety and efficacy results in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

This global Phase 2 trial aims to enrol approximately 60 patients with high-risk aGvHD, who will be randomised to receive either steroids plus CYP-001, or steroids plus placebo.

aGvHD is a potentially life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplants or similar procedures.

It arises when immune cells in the transplant (the graft) attack the recipient’s tissues (the host) as “foreign”.

In this trial, CYP-001 is being investigated as a potential immune modulating treatment for aGvHD.


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