The ASX 200 health stocks index (XHJ) has lifted by 0.46% at the time of writing, compared to the broader ASX 200 index which rose by 0.73%.

Mergers and acquisitions were very much the order of the day in the Health sector today.

The country’s biggest pharmaceutical distributor, Australian Pharma Industries (ASX:API), has received an upgraded takeover offer from Wesfarmers (ASX:WES).

API, which owns Priceline, Soul Pattinson and Pharmacist Advice, received a $1.55 offer from Wesfarmers today, which valued the company at around $764m.

The API share price jumped 16.5% on the news to $1.47, for a market cap of $724m.

Two months earlier, API had rejected Wesfarmer’s $1.38 offer price, which the API board called “opportunistic”, even though it had received the blessing of its biggest shareholder, Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX: SOL).

The $1.55 offer price represents a 35% premium to API’s share price of $1.145 on July 9th.

Today’s offer will be subject to various conditions, which include a unanimous recommendation from the API Board, and a subsequent due diligence.

Other merger and acquisition news in the Health sector

Life sciences micro-cap Cellmid (ASX:CDY) jumped by 20% after announcing it will merge with BLC Cosmetics, a 100% owned subsidiary of investment company HGL Ltd (ASX: HNG).

Cellmid has agreed to pay HGL $1 million cash and $2 million in shares, which represent approximately 15% of Cellmid’s post transaction shares outstanding.

BLC is a profitable business with exclusive long-term distribution rights for established premium, international health and beauty brands.

The combined group is expected to create a synergistic health and beauty business, and generate a combined revenue of $15m for FY21.

The podiatry and physiotherapy clinics company, Healthia (ASX:HLA), jumped 10% today after announcing the acquisition of Rothwell Physiotherapy.

The total upfront consideration is $1.62m, plus an additional $0.32m subject to the achievement of pre-defined earnings targets.

“The addition of Rothwell Physiotherapy is in line with Healthia’s stated growth strategy, and brings us one step closer to being the number one provider of physiotherapy services in Australia,” commented Healthia CEO, Wesley Coote.

This acquistion follows other recent acquistions made by Healthia – which include AllCare Physiotherapy, John Holme Optometry and Anytime Physio.


Other ASX healthcare stocks with notable announcements

Emyria (ASX:EMD) +6.4%

The medicinal cannabis company has appointed Dr. Jeremy Tannenbaum as a consultant psychiatrist to help advance Emyria’s psychedelic-assisted research and related drug development programs.

EMD says that at the completion of further training, Dr. Tannenbaum will be one of only a small number of specialist medical practitioners in Australia to hold dual qualifications in both Psychiatry and Pain Medicine.

For Emyria, Dr. Tannenbaum will initially advise on its MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trial for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

EMVision (ASX:EMV) +4.3%

EMVision and the Australian Stroke Alliance Limited (ASA) have signed a binding agreement enabling EMV to access $8m in staged cash funding.

The staged funding will support EMVision’s development and clinical validation of its planned first responder model for air and road ambulances.

EMVision has agreed to pay the ASA a royalty of 2% of net sales if it’s able to execute commercial sales in Australia of devices specifically designed and adapted for road or air ambulance.

MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC) unchanged

The Europe-based biotech company announced that Germany has approved the sale of its nutraceutical food supplement, ArtemiC, in the country and will open the door to the European Union and international markets.

Seperately, MXC also announced that an observational study of its COVID-19 drug CimetrA in India has indicated efficacy against the disease.

Bard1 Life Sciences (ASX:BD1) +0.4%

The company has appointed medical researcher Dr Greg Rice as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), to accelerate the commercial development of its diagnostic tests.

Dr Rice has extensive commercial and academic experience and expertise in biomarker discovery, IP, diagnostics development, and regulatory compliance.

He will join the company to lead BD1’s R&D programs.

Volpara (ASX:VHT) +0.4%

The company has further expanded its footprint in the lung cancer screening market with a strategic partnership with Seattle-based lung AI company, RevealDx.

RevealDx is one of the leaders in the application of AI for lung nodule diagnosis (the task after detection), with their RevealAI-Lung product.

Volpara meanwhile, entered the lung cancer screening market with its 2019 acquisition of Seattle-based MRS Systems, with the Volpara Lung software now covering around 8% of the US market.

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