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.

CODE COMPANY PRICE 1 WEEK RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % MARKET CAP
IMC Immuron Limited 0.135 45% -16% -43% $27,335,801.52
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.195 26% -51% -49% $23,518,245.08
ADO Anteotech Ltd 0.32 25% 33% 178% $611,959,961.52
S66 Star Combo 0.32 25% 10% -2% $43,040,953.92
BNO Bionomics Limited 0.12 25% -37% -10% $148,868,581.84
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 0.07 21% -10% -48% $71,039,371.40
LCT Living Cell Tech. 0.006 20% -55% -61% $6,170,182.34
ONE Oneview Healthcare 0.285 14% -23% 506% $144,716,811.96
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 0.07 13% -55% -70% $15,144,072.53
EZZ EZZ Life Science 0.53 13% 22% 0% $6,380,000.00
RCE Recce Pharmaceutical 1.34 13% 47% 28% $232,875,714.98
RHT Resonance Health 0.185 12% 9% -5% $87,561,876.39
DVL Dorsavi Ltd 0.021 11% -25% -49% $7,077,625.70
PXS Pharmaxis Ltd 0.11 10% 31% 18% $57,636,932.12
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.0055 10% -31% -35% $36,935,860.57
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.059 9% 0% 16% $40,438,477.31
IRX Inhalerx Limited 0.09 8% -5% -14% $15,162,026.13
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.09 8% -36% -59% $111,599,710.68
VLS Vita Life Sciences.. 2.07 8% 86% 107% $109,517,432.96
SOM SomnoMed Limited 2.25 8% -5% 12% $172,139,375.20
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.077 7% -38% -58% $24,641,071.73
PGC Paragon Care Limited 0.39 7% 32% 70% $138,803,276.11
NEU Neuren Pharmaceut. 3.8 6% 133% 159% $471,111,628.24
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 0.039 5% -33% -3% $17,313,151.68
JTL Jayex Technology Ltd 0.021 5% -28% -49% $5,233,799.32
IMU Imugene Limited 0.3675 5% 10% 234% $2,205,510,822.62
CYC Cyclopharm Limited 1.845 5% 14% -40% $178,812,786.05
LDX Lumos Diagnostics 1.04 5% -18% 0% $161,839,382.73
BIT Biotron Limited 0.0905 4% 51% 16% $65,279,742.31
ADR Adherium Ltd 0.0135 4% -25% -44% $28,647,704.03
MDC Medlab Clinical Ltd 0.145 4% -9% -45% $49,615,472.30
PCK Painchek Ltd 0.059 4% -2% -20% $67,908,287.94
SDI SDI Limited 0.985 3% 11% 31% $114,705,236.45
AT1 Atomo Diagnostics 0.2475 3% 30% -16% $104,216,035.94
RAD Radiopharm 0.375 3% 0% 0% $44,333,453.92
RAD Radiopharm 0.375 3% 0% 0% $44,333,453.92
CMP Compumedics Limited 0.4 3% 5% -5% $70,865,179.20
NC6 Nanollose Limited 0.095 2% 6% -34% $14,144,204.96
MX1 Micro-X Limited 0.26 2% -22% -32% $117,335,943.53
KZA Kazia Therapeutics 1.12 2% -14% -15% $153,823,348.49
CU6 Clarity Pharma 0.85 2% 0% 0% $151,775,376.10
RAP Resapp Health Ltd 0.059 2% 40% -26% $52,411,021.70
GLH Global Health Ltd 0.375 1% -26% -18% $21,794,615.92
CAJ Capitol Health 0.38 1% 1% 36% $401,253,742.12
OVN Oventus Medical Ltd 0.084 1% -20% -67% $20,546,755.48
RGS Regeneus Ltd 0.086 1% 10% -28% $26,353,574.60
ALT Analytica Limited 0.002 0% 0% -33% $9,227,602.26
ACR Acrux Limited 0.1 0% -26% -51% $28,368,033.80
ATX Amplia Therapeutics 0.165 0% -21% -44% $32,955,180.17
SCU Stemcell United Ltd 0.014 0% -22% -18% $14,606,489.21
MEB Medibio Limited 0.005 0% -44% -44% $10,305,255.62
ICS ICSGlobal Limited 0.575313 0% 0% 15% $6,054,604.94
FFC Farmaforce Ltd 0.054 0% -19% -40% $7,056,772.92
MVF Monash IVF Group Ltd 1 0% 19% 39% $387,686,665.80
HCT Holista CollTech Ltd 0.043 0% -22% -38% $11,840,010.74
CTE Cryosite Limited 0.46 0% 15% 10% $22,452,398.98
PYC PYC Therapeutics 0.13 0% -10% -16% $397,615,762.88
MDR Medadvisor Limited 0.38 0% 27% 12% $139,814,068.94
OIL Optiscan Imaging 0.17 0% -26% 31% $102,165,624.33
PTX Prescient Ltd 0.235 0% 12% 197% $156,022,369.20
BPH BPH Energy Ltd 0.037 0% -50% -26% $24,602,017.39
PAL Palla Pharma Ltd 0.295 0% -24% -58% $47,764,383.09
ICR Intelicare Holdings 0.085 0% -51% -63% $7,342,322.44
IIQ Inoviq Ltd 1.185 0% -36% 99% $109,962,348.89
PBP Probiotec Limited 2.36 0% 13% -3% $191,923,238.16
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs Ltd 0.0825 -1% -21% -55% $36,565,410.13
HXL Hexima 0.3875 -1% 109% 135% $61,344,025.66
IBX Imagion Biosys Ltd 0.0725 -1% -18% -60% $82,970,171.52
ALC Alcidion Group Ltd 0.2675 -1% -27% 51% $342,378,644.31
OPT Opthea Limited 1.2675 -1% 0% -37% $446,962,885.60
UBI Universal Biosensors 0.97 -1% 24% 90% $173,382,791.40
AGH Althea Group 0.2125 -1% -38% -53% $67,172,669.95
CHM Chimeric Therapeutic 0.25 -2% -19% -15% $55,094,328.50
IMM Immutep Ltd 0.45 -2% -11% 0% $388,625,874.46
LBT LBT Innovations 0.1125 -2% 2% 2% $35,988,923.70
IVX Invion Ltd 0.0215 -2% 54% 115% $134,746,786.52
TLX Telix Pharmaceutical 8.15 -2% 57% 84% $2,451,627,008.80
CAN Cann Group Ltd 0.2825 -3% -28% -58% $99,500,204.63
ANP Antisense Therapeut. 0.185 -3% -10% -16% $120,367,215.54
IPD Impedimed Limited 0.175 -3% 67% 46% $319,841,210.52
NSB Neuroscientific 0.35 -3% 8% 46% $50,215,075.05
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 0.031 -3% -35% -69% $39,563,180.90
VTI Vision Tech Inc 0.925 -3% -17% -58% $21,390,127.50
4DX 4Dmedical Limited 1.18 -3% -22% -46% $252,836,473.23
OSP Osprey Med Inc 0.575 -3% -62% -76% $14,881,954.36
OSL Oncosil Medical 0.0425 -3% -33% -67% $33,278,418.35
AHC Austco Healthcare 0.14 -3% -3% 43% $41,207,397.90
RHY Rhythm Biosciences 1.515 -4% 61% 14% $324,746,399.44
HGV Hygrovest Limited 0.055 -4% -37% -59% $12,877,423.16
PIQ Proteomics Int Lab 1.095 -4% 1% 47% $116,221,462.50
1AD Adalta Limited 0.08 -4% -40% -40% $23,761,184.48
NXS Next Science Limited 1.19 -4% -25% 0% $235,588,951.71
M7T Mach7 Tech Limited 0.77 -4% -21% -36% $185,917,717.44
TRU Truscreen 0.075 -4% 17% -46% $28,303,567.73
PAB Patrys Limited 0.0375 -4% -26% 30% $78,155,455.34
RAC Race Oncology Ltd 3.19 -4% -10% 92% $513,412,198.04
BXN Bioxyne Ltd 0.024 -4% -20% 118% $16,003,634.95
NYR Nyrada Inc. 0.24 -4% -24% -40% $39,002,175.00
EYE Nova EYE Medical Ltd 0.315 -5% 5% -7% $48,032,751.03
PAA Pharmaust Limited 0.105 -5% 12% 7% $35,652,643.09
CDX Cardiex Limited 0.058 -5% -18% -40% $57,175,701.49
ARX Aroa Biosurgery 0.96 -5% -23% -14% $333,738,729.68
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 0.285 -5% 39% 111% $76,643,693.94
TD1 Tali Digital Limited 0.019 -5% -47% -59% $17,706,209.99
VBS Vectus Biosystems 1.31 -5% -3% -3% $42,637,158.19
AN1 Anagenics Limited 0.056 -5% -3% -43% $12,156,171.67
CYP Cynata Therapeutics 0.55 -5% 8% -21% $78,802,126.70
PSQ Pacific Smiles Grp 2.73 -5% 8% 3% $435,658,690.74
MVP Medical Developments 4.44 -5% 8% -33% $329,313,863.34
DXB Dimerix Ltd 0.265 -5% 10% -4% $86,635,889.82
ILA Island Pharma 0.25 -6% -26% 0% $11,243,223.16
CBL Control Bionics 0.405 -6% -37% -49% $21,138,980.52
SHG Singular Health 0.31 -6% -6% 0% $21,025,381.65
DOC Doctor Care Anywhere 0.54 -6% -36% -61% $102,711,475.98
CGS Cogstate Ltd 2.31 -6% 62% 120% $414,270,645.22
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.015 -6% -25% -38% $27,567,187.89
ZNO Zoono Group Ltd 0.43 -7% -39% -66% $71,084,464.01
RSH Respiri Limited 0.056 -7% -13% -60% $40,479,084.24
TRP Tissue Repair 0.475 -7% 0% 0% $20,859,808.78
OCC Orthocell Limited 0.465 -7% -14% -13% $92,650,119.11
PAR Paradigm Bio. 1.63 -7% -17% -33% $391,464,767.40
1ST 1St Group Ltd 0.013 -7% -39% -59% $6,549,087.05
VHT Volpara Health Tech 0.92 -8% -19% -38% $237,630,721.55
GSS Genetic Signatures 1.595 -8% 18% -17% $236,108,805.90
MEM Memphasys Ltd 0.078 -8% 8% -26% $65,750,801.97
OSX Osteopore Limited 0.275 -8% -38% -44% $32,835,106.64
IDT IDT Australia Ltd 0.22 -8% -29% 13% $55,167,839.10
ATH Alterity Therap Ltd 0.021 -9% -40% -38% $50,544,366.14
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.041 -9% 3% 58% $110,641,329.33
NOX Noxopharm Limited 0.4 -9% -36% -28% $127,123,508.25
AHK Ark Mines Limited 0.21 -11% 518% 518% $6,833,222.66
IHL Incannex Healthcare 0.58 -11% 107% 241% $743,244,721.85
ACW Actinogen Medical 0.1375 -14% 20% 555% $249,038,523.30
BWX BWX Limited 3.66 -17% -28% -8% $589,080,442.30
AMT Allegra Orthopaedics 0.14 -18% -26% -59% $16,713,472.48
PNV Polynovo Limited 1.4625 -18% -29% -41% $1,015,230,647.54
BDX Bcaldiagnostics 0.1 -20% 0% 0% $15,459,717.29
ONT 1300 Smiles Limited 0 -100% -100% -100% $168,827,114.70

BIGGEST WINNERS

Immuron (ASX:IMC)

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.

Immuron share price today:

 

 

Recce Pharma (ASX:RCE)

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.

Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI)

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.

BOD Australia (ASX:BOD)

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.

OneView Healthcare (ASX:ONE)

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.