At the time of writing, the ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is down 1%, while the benchmark ASX 200 is rising by 0.40%.

Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT), a clinical stage biotech developing drugs for retinal diseases, has just presented data over the weekend at the 19th annual Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration 2022 Conference.

The presentation, titled “OPT-302 Combination Therapy with Ranibizumab for Treatment of Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy,” was held virtually.

Professor Gemmy Cheung of the Singapore Eye Research Institute shared his findings to demonstrate the far-reaching potential of OPT-302, Opthea’s lead drug to treat retinal diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular oedema.

The drug is currently undergoing a Phase 3 clinical trial where it’s being studied in combination with ranibizumab (the current existing drug in the market), compared to anibizumab alone.

Results from Phase 2 have shown that the OPT-302 combination therapy had a safety profile consistent with standard of care (ranibizumab alone), with greater improvements in visual acuity and less retinal fluid compared to the ranibizumab monotherapy.

“These promising results demonstrate that patients receiving OPT-302 combination therapy showed meaningful improvements in vision over those receiving monotherapy,” commented Dr. Cheung.

Opthea share price today:


ECS Botanics expands to the UK

Cannabis company ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) has completed its first shipment of dried cannabis flower purchased by Lyphe Group, the largest distributor of medicinal cannabis in the UK, worth US$0.5m.

Lyphe delivers a patient-focused medical cannabis ecosystem, and has emerged as the UK’s market leader in patient care, seeing over 60% of the medical cannabis patients in the country.

It has built a patient-access ecosystem across the UK that provides clinics, pharmacy and dispensing, import infrastructure, and vital educational services to patients, doctors and other health care professionals.

ECS expects the UK and Europe will become a significant market for the company during 2022 and 2023, as demand increases for its high quality GMP certified products.

The company is also expecting further orders from Lyphe over CY2022.

ECS Botanics share price today:


CardieX to progress Philip Morris-sponsored study

Medtech and wearable devices company CardieX (ASX:CDX) subsidiary ATCOR has entered into a new agreement with Andwin Scientific, to support a clinical trial sponsored by cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris.

The trial is to study the ATCOR XCEL, an automatic blood pressure monitor, that has been leased by ATCOR to Philip Morris and Syneos Health.

The ATCOR XCEL device will be used by the companies in multiple endpoints for the trial, including determination of health outcomes based on aortic augmentation index (AIx) and arterial stiffness – both of which are key biomarkers of arterial health that can be identified using the device.

CardieX share price today:


Other ASX Health announcements today

Smartphone app healthcare company ResApp Health (ASX:RAP), has signed a two year non-exclusive agreement with Australian aged care patient monitoring platform provider, Health Teams.

Health Teams will use ResApp’s ResAppDx on both its telehealth platform and for in-room patient consultations, with go-live expected during the second quarter of this calendar year.

CSL Ltd (ASX:CSL) confirmed the completion of its $750m Share Purchase Plan (SPP) as part of the Vifor Pharma acquisition announced in December.

The SPP complements the $6.3 billion institutional placement, and the US$6 billion debt facility that CSL will take on to complete the $17bn acquisition.

Other share prices today: