Hair loss curer Cellmid (ASX:CDY) is getting into coronavirus, after winning a supply agreement to sell a China-made COVID-19 rapid diagnostic test in Australia.

It has not yet secured any customers in Australia, yet, nor specified how many kits it will be importing.

Cellmid shares shot up almost 400 per cent at the open.

As of Friday there were 16 companies with COVID-19 testing kits approved for sale in Australia.

Cellmid is one of two companies which are importing the Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech-made kit.

Eight of the importers are bringing in point of care tests, meaning they can be administered by a medical professional at the bedside and get a result there and then, rather than needing to be sent away to a lab for testing.

Cellmid CEO Maria Halasz told Stockhead there were a number of tests on the market working with antibody detection.

Antigen tests reveal whether a person has COVID-19 in the moment. Antibody tests show if a person has ever had the virus, and therefore has produced antibodies — the triggers that tell your body to fight a disease.

“Their performance varies greatly, depending on the quality of their platform and the reagents. I can’t comment on other tests, but the Wondfo Biotech test is approved by the TGA, manufactured in a facility that is also certified by our TGA and uses a colloidal gold lateral flow method that is well established and proven in many other tests,” she said.


Cellmid’s test delivers a result between three and 15 mins. It received Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval last week, and already has CE Mark and Chinese regulatory approvals.

The test is already used in the UK, Belgium, Spain and Germany.

Over the weekend the National Cabinet expanded testing from only people who had been overseas or been in known contact with a coronavirus-positive case, to include people with fever or acute respiratory infection who are: health workers; aged/residential care workers; in geographically localised areas where there is elevated risk of community transmission; and in high risk settings where there are two or more plausibly-linked cases, for example in aged and residential care or detention centres.

It also now includes hospitalised patients with fever and acute respiratory symptoms of unknown cause.

Cellmid had expected its haircare business to be profitable this year, but says its largest market, Japan, will come in on budget while the US is beginning to be affected by coronavirus shutdowns.

It is no longer expecting operational profitability in the haircare business.

Cellmid is separating its biotech division Lyramid, which is developing autoimmune and anti-inflammatory treatments, into an independent entity that will be backed by independent funding or a partnership with a biopharmaceutical company by the end of 2020.


In other ASX health news:

Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) has European approval for its COVID-19 testing kit in the Euro Zone and it’s applied for regulatory approval in Australia. It is already selling in both regions however thanks to an exemption.

Eye disease biotech Opthea (ASX:OPT) has completed patient dosing and all follow-up week 12 patient visits in the company’s phase 2a trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of OPT-302 administered in combination with aflibercept for treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME).