The ASX 200 Health Index (XHJ) is up by 0.75% at the time of writing, compared to the broader index which is higher by 0.5%.

US-based eye-care specialist, Visioneering Technologies (ASX:VTI), is up 13% after introducing NaturalVue, a multifocal 1-day contact lens that features the TripleTear Lubrication technology, and a new ultra-tapered edge.

With traditional multifocal contact lenses, compromised vision and dryness remain the main roadblocks for patients.

For myopes, time spent in front of computers when wearing contact lenses can often contribute to vision-related problems and discomfort.

The company says that NaturalVue may help to address contact lens discomfort while delivering unique optics for patients, no matter their age.

Studies have shown the average rate of myopia progression slowed by 85% when using NaturalVue, as compared to baseline from 6-72 months.

“Innovation is core to our DNA, and is one of our responsibilities as a medical device company,” said VTI’s CEO, Dr Stephen Snowdy.

“Making our NaturalVue Multifocal even better with innovation like the TripleTear Lubrication System is yet another example of how we are redefining vision, and demonstrates our commitment to responding to the needs of patients and practitioners.”


Visioneering Tech share price



Other ASX health stocks with notable announcements

Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) +4.5%

Sigma is up 4.5% today, after deciding not to go ahead with a proposed merger with Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API).

In September, Sigma had put forth a bid to merge with API, which at $1.57 per share was higher than Wesfarmers’ offer of $1.55.

The merger proposal was initially billed as a very strong proposal for all stakeholders, given the $45 million of operational synergies per annum that it believed would likely have been created.

“Sigma remains confident of our growth prospects without a merger with API, and the board and management have continued to focus on longer term growth in our core operations,” says Sigma chairman, Ray Gunston.

The API share price was unchanged on the news.

Proteomics (ASX:PIQ) +3%

Study shows PromarkerD is significantly better than the current standard of care tests for predicting future decline in kidney function in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Data has demonstrated that PromarkerD correctly identified 84% of patients with normal kidney function that went on to experience kidney function decline that would be missed by standard of care test.

For patients whose kidney function did not decline, PromarkerD also demonstrated a higher “rule-out” rate and considerably less false positives than standard of care testing.

The research is being presented today at Kidney Week 2021, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN).

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a serious complication arising from diabetes which if unchecked, can lead to dialysis or kidney transplant.

PromarkerD is Proteomic’s proprietary product designed as a prognostic test that can predict future kidney function decline in patients with type 2 diabetes and no existing DKD.

Antisense Therapy (ASX:ANP) -6%

The company is rasing capital to fund the Phase IIb/III pivotal trial of ATL1102, a drug that aims to reduce the inflammation and muscle fibre damage for patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is a devastating genetic muscular disease caused by loss of dystrophin, with progressive muscle wasting and associated muscle injury leading to inflammation and fibrosis, causing a 100% mortality rate.

It affects boys with an incidence of ~1 in 3,500 newborns, and prevalence of up to ~18,000 in US and up to 26,000 in the EU.

Antisense is raising approximately $20m via a placement to institutional and sophisticated investors, with Morgans and Wilsons as joint lead managers.


Share prices today: