• ResApp announced positive results on smartphone-based Covid cough tests
  • Noxopharm gets FDA approval
  • Beamtree and Alcidion get NHS contracts in England

ResApp jumps 65% on smartphone-based Covid test

ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) jumped 65% today after announcing positive results for its novel smartphone-based COVID-19 screening test.

In a pilot clinical trial of 741 patients (446 COVID-19 positive) just concluded in the US and India, the test was found to correctly detect COVID-19 in 92% of people with the infection.

ResApp’s proprietary machine learning technology could identify coughs from audio recorded using the smartphone’s in-built microphone.

The company says it will provide an opportunity to provide a ‘rule-out screening test’ for COVID-19 at scale globally, which could eventually phase out the costly and environmental impact of rapid antigen (RAT) and PCR testing.

“We intend to accelerate commercialisation by immediately engaging with regulators globally,” said ResApp CEO, Tony Keating.

“We have already commenced discussions with global health and technology companies with the goal of rapidly bringing this product to market,” he added.

Getting rid of RAT and PCR tests

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently warned that the pandemic is not over, and that health systems globally continue to strain under the current caseload.

It also warned that we should be prepared for the potential of more dangerous variants to emerge.

Against this backdrop, ResApp will initially target use of the app in settings where frequent COVID-19 testing is required, such as employee, healthcare worker and student screening, travel, sports, entertainment, and aged care.

In these settings, a high sensitivity test that only requires a smartphone would significantly reduce the number of RAT or PCR tests required, improving availability, reducing costs, and reducing environmental impact.

A smartphone-based test also has the ability to improve security and reporting of results using biometric identification such as facial recognition.

“By rapidly ruling out COVID-19, ResApp’s COVID-19 test would significantly reduce the number of rapid antigen and PCR tests required,” said Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair of Epidemiology at Deakin University.

Bennett, who is also a member of ResApp’s COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board, believes that the simplicity, ease of use and unlimited scalability of ResApp’s test will be welcomed by public health officials around the world.


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Other ASX healthcare announcements today

Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) announced that it has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for its lead drug, Veyonda.

The ODD was given for use of Veyonda in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.

The company says that receiving the ODD will speed up its commercial development plan for the crucial US market.

Beamtree Holdings (ASX:BMT) announced its first NHS (National Health Service) contracts with hospitals in England.

Milton Keynes University Hospitals and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals will implement 12-month proof-of-concept programs centred on application of Beamtree RippleDown technology and data analytics.

The RippleDown platform automates the coding of clinical records, a process key to delivering better patient safety.

The combined annual revenue of these partnerships is around £300,000 (approximately $540,000).

Another ASX company to receive a contract with the NHS is Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC).

Alcidion advised today that it has signed a five-year agreement with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, to implement the Miya Precision platform.

The Miya platform allows hospitals to obtain real-time knowledge of bed capacity, gaining early visibility of incoming patients with clinical context.

The total contract value for Alcidion is expected to be $1.35m over five years.


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