The ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is falling by 1.5% at the time of writing, compared to the broader index which is down by 0.30%.

Two ASX-listed companies will be presenting at the annual H.C. Wainwright BIOCONNECT Virtual Conference, to be held from January 10-13, 2022.

Eye disease specialist, Opthea Ltd (ASX:OPT), will address the unmet need in the treatment of highly prevalent and progressive retinal diseases, including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).

Opthea’s lead product candidate, OPT-302, is in pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials and being developed for use in combination with anti-VEGF-A monotherapies.

It’s the first ‘Trap’ inhibitor of VEGF-C and VEGF-D designed specifically for the eye, and was designed to address the unmet medical need in visual acuity.

OPT-32 has recently been granted a Chinese patent, with other patents covering OPT-302 already been granted in countries including the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia to name a few.

Neurodegenerative disorders specialist Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) will also present at the conference.

The company is moving towards a Phase 2 clinical trial for its lead cancer drug, ATH434.

ATH434 treats patients with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare and rapidly progressing Parkinsonian disorder.

Prior studies have shown that ATH434 reduced abnormal accumulation of α-synuclein by restoring normal iron balance in the brain.

The primary objective of the drug is to improve motor function in patients with MSA and Parkinson’s Disease.

Earlier Phase 1 clinical trial has demonstrated that ATH434 is well tolerated, orally bioavailable, and achieved brain levels comparable to efficacious levels in animal models of MSA.


New CEO for cancer fighter Noxopharm

Meawnhile, cancer focused biotech Noxopharm Ltd (ASX:NOX) announced a new leadership transition as it moves towards a new phase of growth.

Dr Gisela Mautner has been appointed as its new CEO. Dr Mautner, currently the company’s Chief Medical Officer, will now also serve on the Board.

Noxopharm has just completed the enrolment of the first dose cohort of patients in its DARRT-2 Phase 2 clinical trial.

The clinical trial is being conducted in multiple sites in North America, Europe, and Australia, involving approximately 100 patients with metastatic cancers.

The DARRT-2 is an experimental immunotherapy cancer treatment based on the combination of NOX’s lead drug Veyonda and radiotherapy.