Check up: COVID-19 still sells but investors are looking for the next endorphin hit
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Here’s our fortnightly wrap of all the news driving ASX health stocks.
Of the ASX’s 137-odd small cap health stocks, 61 were in positive territory over the last fortnight, 10 were flat and 66 saw their share prices fall.
While mergers and acquisitions in Asia have stalled, due to concerns around instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare service deals are going ahead in Australia.
Australian healthcare deals that are imminent or under negotiation are more likely to proceed, as compared to deals in other sectors, information consultancy Mergermarket said.
It said medical centres and hospitals, pathology and diagnostics companies, healthcare technology businesses, and suppliers of drugs, vitamins and other products that can help manage the pandemic are some areas where deals are more likely to take place.
Coming under pressure will be discretionary healthcare like cosmetics and aged care services providers.
The biggest mover over the last fortnight was MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC) which said it received ethics approval from a second hospital in Israel to run a phase II clinical trial on COVID-19 patients.
Avecho (ASX:AVE), fresh off announcing it was moving into pot, gained a new CEO, did a marijuana supply deal with secretive Tasmanian company Tasmanian Alkaloids, and reported $194,000 in receipts during the March quarter.
Asthma medication monitor Adherium (ASX:ADR) secured a new CEO in Mike Motion and signed a sales agreement with Monaghan Medical Corporation, a US subsidiary of multinational Trudell Medical. The agreement covers specialty sales and comes after news of a collaboration with disease management group HGE Health.
Cancer hopeful Immutep (ASX:IMM) released more data from its ongoing phase II TACTI-002 study.
The data it is producing shows continued efficacy data for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, with overall progression-free survival now at eight months and counting. Almost three quarters of patients have seen their tumours shrink.
In the two months to March 29, 493 clinical trials in Australia alone have been pulled as COVID-19 infection fears mean only the most critical trials are allowed to continue.
This has big implications for not only future drugs, but people who might have been able to be treated in a clinical trial now and won’t in the future because their illness has progressed too far.
Do you invest on the back of regulatory approval announcements? Stop, read this first.
If the company hasn’t lined all of its ducks up in a tidy row before getting a regulatory tick for its device, you may be stuck with a company with a device it can’t sell.