Check up: Making it in America
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 and of those which were trading on Tuesday, 66 were in positive territory over the last fortnight, 18 were flat and 47 saw their share prices fall.
Body fluid monitor Impedimed (ASX:IPD) was the surprise flier this week after the stock more than doubled for no observable reason from May 20.
Over five days the stock shot up from 4c to 9c.
The company claimed innocence, saying “we have no explanation for the increase in share price and volume”.
But as often happens with ASX speeding tickets Impedimed did get a plug in for the business: “we do note that each of the analysts that cover the company, Canaccord Genuity, Wilsons HTM Equities Research and Morgans Financial, have recent price targets in excess of currently traded prices.”
Impedimed has been trying to make a living in the US for years, and may have finally cracked that nut according to Morgans Financial analyst Scott Power.
Amplia Therapeutics (ASX: ATX) received a second Orphan Drug Designation in the US for its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treatment.
The designation, for drugs seeking to treat rare diseases, means Amplia will qualify for waived US Food and Drug Administration fees, clinical trial protocol assistance and other incentives including around market exclusivity if the drug makes it that far.
‘Idiopathic’ refers to a condition which appears with no known cause. Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred.
Antisense Therapeutics (ASX:ANP) surged following final phase two clinical trial results for its immunomodulatory therapy, ATL1102 for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), that met primary and secondary endpoints.
The key outcome in the nine-boy trial was that it was safe and worked. The secondary outcomes met included functional capacity around grip and pinch strength. MRI assessments of upper limb muscles showed the drug appeared to stabilise the fat fraction percentage in the muscles of the forearm.
DMD is a debilitating disease that affects one in every 3500 to 5000 boys and causes muscles to deteriorate and breakdown.
Patients are wheelchair-bound by the time they reach eight to 11 years and many do not survive past their 20s.
Cancer biotech Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) fell just outside the top 10 movers but inside the top five that had any news to back a share price movement.
The company lodged a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) submission for a clinical trial of its cancer treatment in patients with COVID-19.
It reckons it has an active ingredient in its drug, idronoxil, that inhibits an inflammatory pathway when the body goes into overdrive against COVID-19.
A pre-IND is an ‘introduction’ to the regulator, which can then decide whether to allow further studies go ahead.
IDT Australia (ASX:IDT) has finally seen some cannabis action.
Cann Group (ASX:CAN), for which it manufactures marijuana medications, said this week it signed and started two new export supply agreements with European and UK companies to supply medicinal cannabis formulated oil and dried flower products.
With cannabis and cannabis related stocks still wallowing in Australia (despite upward moves overseas), the news was a welcome change from the usual never-completed partnership MoU fluff common in the sector.