• Kazia’s positive results published in a Journal
  • Cochlear’s proposed acquisition raised concerns with the ACCC
  • Aldion signs multi-million dollar deal

Kazia’s positive results get published

Oncology biotech Kazia Therapeutics (ASX:KZA) announced the publication of positive preclinical data for EVT801, a clinical-stage drug candidate currently in a clinical trial for multiple forms of cancer.

The publication was written by author Dr Michael Paillasse, and summarises a large body of preclinical research data conducted by scientists at Evotec SE and the University Cancer Institute of Toulouse-Oncopole over a period of several years.

It was published in a journal called Cancer Research Communications, a recently-launched journal published by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).

The publsihed data formed the basis of Kazia’s in-licensing of EVT801 from Evotec in 2021, and has since supported transition of the compound into an ongoing Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumour.

“These data demonstrate the substantial potential of EVT801 as a cancer therapeutic,” stated Dr Michael Paillasse, lead author of the publication.

“EVT801 has been shown to act exactly as intended: by impacting the vasculature in and around the tumor.

“In addition, the evidence of synergy with immunotherapy is persuasive, and we see a considerable opportunity to combine the drug with immune checkpoint inhibitors in clinical trials.”

Cochlear rejects ACCC’s arguments

Meanwhile, the ACCC has raised concerns with Cochlear’s (ASX:COH) proposed acquisition of Oticon Medical.

Cochlear is proposing to acquire shares in Demant’s hearing implants business, Oticon Medical.

Both Cochlear and Oticon Medical manufacture and supply non-surgical bone conduction devices, surgical bone anchored devices, and Cochlear implant hearing device.

These devices are used to treat more advanced hearing loss that typically cannot be managed by hearing aids.

There are few suppliers of these devices globally but in Australia, Cochlear and Oticon Medical are two of only three suppliers, and two of only four suppliers of Cochlear implants.

The ACCC is concerned the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in already highly concentrated markets, which may lead to higher prices.

“Cochlear is by far the largest supplier of surgical bone anchored devices and Cochlear implants in Australia. It is also an important supplier of non-surgical bone conduction devices,” ACCC chair Gina Cass Gottlieb said.

“Although Oticon Medical has a much smaller presence in Australia, we have significant concerns that the proposed acquisition will remove one of Cochlear’s few competitors in the supply of these three types of hearing devices in Australia.”

Cochlear has rejected ACCC’s arguments this morning, saying: “Cochlear does not believe the proposed acquisition will reduce competition and will continue to work with the ACCC to address matters raised as part of the public consultation process.”

Alcidion signs $2.8m deal

Alcidion Group (ASX:ALC) has signed an initial three-year agreement with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) to implement its Miya Precision platform.

As part of the agreement, Alcidion will partner with UHS to deliver a modern, modular EPR, using a combination of Miya modules and UHS incumbent products.

In addition, Alcidion will become a supplier of some of UHS’s intellectual property, including the Hospital Integrated Clinical Support System (HICSS), which manages the scheduling and reporting of endoscopy procedures.

The initial contract value is $2.8m over three years, but if all options were taken up by UHS, the total contract value could reach $13.8m over a four-year period.


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