Check up: Is anyone making non-COVID-19 money these days? Actually, yes
Health & Biotech
Link copied to
Here’s our fortnightly wrap of all the news driving ASX health stocks.
Of the ASX’s 137-odd small cap health stocks, only 57 were in positive territory over the last fortnight; nine were flat and 68 saw their share prices fall.
The last edition of Check Up saw just nine stocks in the black, in our list of 137.
Two weeks and several market ups and downs later, biotechs and a small handful of health companies are, in the main, back in the black.
Biotech Daily’s BDI-40 index was up 23 per cent in March, mainly thanks to the three large caps CSL (ASX:CSL), Cochlear (ASX:COH), and ResMed (ASX:RMD) which make up slightly more than half of that index.
In that same period the ASX 200 dropped by 21 per cent.
The remainder of that index is largely shared with companies on the list of health and biotechnology stocks collated by Stockhead.
The top five movers over the last fortnight were all COVID-19-related: two had symptom monitoring devices and three were making coronavirus testing kits (although there appears to be come confusion among those about what they’re testing for — antigens, which tell you if you’ve got the virus now, or antibodies which tell you if you’ve had it in the past).
Then at #6, we had Oncosil (ASX:OSL).
Yesterday it came out with big, non-COVID-19 news, that it has approval to sell its pancreatic cancer treatment device in Europe.
This came exactly a fortnight after it got Breakthrough Device designation from the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a program intended to accelerate the FDA review and approval of designated devices that may provide more effective treatment of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases.
The device is an implant containing microparticles of phosphorus-32, a pure beta-emitter radioisotope, implanted directly into a patient’s pancreatic tumour.
Few survive pancreatic cancer, a form that is typically diagnosed too late to treat. Just over 9 per cent of people live more than five years after being diagnosed with the disease, and it has claimed people such as Steve Jobs and Patrick Swazye.
Pot stock Althea (ASX:AGH) was up on news this week that notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, March was on track to be its highest ever revenue month.
It said it had signed up 617 new patients in Australia in February and total patient numbers hit 5000.
The company says it is shipping “more Althea product to the UK than ever before”, but doesn’t say how large or small that quantity is.
And mental health technology company Medibio (ASX:MEB) signed an MOU with NYSE-listed DXC Technology to set up a framework that identifies opportunities for Medibio’s corporate well-being product ilumen, which screens people for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Medibio and DXC are trying to find ways to work together to sell lumen around the world. In particular, they plan to use each other’s sales and distribution channels to sell to mining, oil and gas clients with fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces who, studies have shown, are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than office-based workers.