Check Up: Immuron wins big in US and Europe on travellers’ diarrhoea drug
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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With “the virus” spreading around the world, one could be forgiven for thinking the biotech sector made a killing in 2021.
In reality, the US S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index was down around 18% last year, versus a 28% gain in the benchmark S&P 500 index.
In Australia, the Healthcare (XHJ) index did much better but still underperformed, with a +8% return vs +13% for the ASX 200 index.
So what’s gone wrong?
Well, many experts believe the biotech sector started 2021 already in bubble territory.
To give an example, the Genomics ETF (NASDAQ:GNOM) grew from $2.5 billion in assets to $12.5 billion over a three-month period from mid-Nov 2020 to the mid-Feb 2021 biotech peak.
Another explanation for the lacklustre performance is that the sector has been swamped by the number of new IPO listings that have come to the market, making it hard for investors to digest each stock.
In 2022, the XHJ index has already started the year on the wrong foot, and is currently down by around 10% in the first three weeks of trading.
Here’s a table showing how ASX-listed healthcare stocks have been performing.
It’s been a week full of positive news flow for Immuron.
The biotech jumped 30% on January 12 after being awarded $6.2 million to clinically evaluate a military strength dosing regimen for Travelan – its drug for travellers’ diarrhoea.
The US Department of Defence agreed to contribute $4.8 million to fund the research, with the US Naval Medical Research Centre (NMRC) also receiving $1.4 million to support the study.
The idea is that the dosing regime could be more amenable for use in military populations – with infectious diarrhoea the most common illness reported in US troops deployed overseas.
The next day following that release, Immuron announced that it has received a European patent for Travelan’s drug composition.
The European registration adds to the company’s patent position in respect of compositions and methods for treating travelers’ diarrhoea in Australia, India, Canada and the Unites States.
The company reported further positive data from its Phase I clinical trial of RECCE 327, a new class of antibiotic being developed by Recce for sepsis.
Based upon the clinical data readouts, an independent safety committee has now approved a tenfold increase on the initial dosing of Cohort One (50mg), or a threefold increase (from 150mg to 500mg) for the 7-10 healthy patients undergoing this trial.
According to a report from the PEW Charitable Trusts, sepsis is the largest unmet medical need in human health. It occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues.
The company has announced the launch of the Sentia Malic Acid Test into the global wine market, with first delivery scheduled for late January 2022.
Malic acid is one of the most important, time consuming and difficult tests performed by winemakers and typically takes winemakers 30 minutes to several hours to complete.
In many instances wine is sent to third party laboratories for testing. Results are expensive and can take several days to be delivered.
The Sentia Malic Acid Test will provide winemakers with accurate and timely measurement of the malic acid in their wine within 60 seconds of sample application, and at a low cost by using Sentia’s portable handheld device.
Medicinal cannabis company BOD Australia has received a nod from the UK regulator to start an open label clinical trial for MediCabilis – a drug that treats symptoms associated with the long term impact of SARS-CoV-2, or commonly referred to as long COVID.
BOD says success in the clinic could unlock a large market opportunity for Bod to capitalise on, as more people suffer from the long lasting effects of contracting the COVID-19 disease.
Studies have shown that many of these symptoms could be treated with cannabis-based medicinal products, highlighting a significant opportunity for BOD.
The OneView shareprice has rallied since announcing the appointment of a new full time CFO, Helena D’Arcy, earlier this week.
D’Arcy as been acting CFO since March 2020 when John Kelly had to take extended medical leave.