Check Up: From Moderna’s effective jabs to Patrys’ brain cancer breakthrough
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Here’s our fortnightly wrap of all the news driving ASX health stocks.
The healthcare sector has returned 3.5 per cent for the last two weeks, compared to the broader market which rose by 0.25 per cent.
On the COVID-19 front, a study in Boston showed the Moderna jab could reduce infection rates in just eight days after the first dose.
That’s good news for Australia, because according to Health Minister Greg Hunt, more than 1,000 pharmacies and 850 regional clinics will have the Moderna shot available to them by October.
In other good news, the clinical trial for Novavax has shown more than 93 per cent effectivenes against COVID-19.
Novavax will supply 51 million doses to Australia from late 2021, and to do that, it’s trying to find a manufacturing partner here in the country.
Speaking of doing biotech here in the country, there is a growing push from major pharmas to make conducting clinical trials in Australia easier.
Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca have told a Senate Committee that Australia needs a review of its approval processes for new drugs, saying we are at an “inflection point” to remain competitive as a clinical trials destination.
In ASX biotech, the news of the week came out of Patrys (ASX:PAB).
The company announced this week that new preclinical data for its deoxymab antibody, PAT-DX1, has been published in the leading, peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Investigation—Insight.
The data demonstrated the ability of Patrys’ PAT-DX1 antibody to cross the blood-brain barrier, which could significantly inhibit the growth of both primary and secondary cancers in the brain.
Patrys said it’s on track for the first human study of PAT-DX1 in 2022, and its share price made it the best performing biotech stock over the past two weeks, surging by more than 65 per cent.
Here’s a table showing how the rest of the ASX-listed healthcare stocks have been performing.
Vectus Biosystems (ASX:VBS) was another star performer in the past two weeks, rising by 40 per cent, after receiving an approval to conduct a Phase 1 human trial in Australia for VB0004. The trial will study the safety and efficacy of VB0004 on patients with hypertension.
Oneview Healthcare (ASX:ONE) rose by 35 per cent in two weeks after announcing that its largest customer in Australia, Epworth HealthCare, has signed a new five-year contract extension. The company has also signed Melbourne-based Northern Health as its first Cloud Start customer in Australia.
The FDA has signed off on Acrux’s generic version of Jublia, a treatment for nail fungus delivered topically (via the skin). The company says it will now seek a commercial licensee to launch it to the US market.
NSB has partnered with Perth-based clinical contract research organisation Linear Clinical Research, to commence Phase I clinical trials of lead drug candidate EmtinB in the second half of 2021. The planned trial will be a first-in-human study of EmtinB in healthy volunteers with the primary end point of assessing safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics to treat Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The company’s shares went even higher on Wednesday after positive feedback in relation to a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) submission on Xanamem drug that fights Fragile X syndrome (FXS). The FDA told the company its data package and trial design are sufficient for a formal IND submission, which it plans to file next quarter. The ACW share price has almost doubled over the past month.