Here’s our fortnightly wrap of all the news driving ASX health stocks.

Of the ASX’s 137-odd small cap health stocks, only 107 were in positive territory over the last fortnight; eight were flat and 22 saw their share prices fall.

Code Name Price $ (April 15) 2 week return % 1 year return % Market cap
SKN SKIN ELEMENTS LTD 0.082 413 251 $26,046,734
NTI NEUROTECH INTERNATIONAL LTD 0.012 200 33 $2,582,588
AVE AVECHO BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD 0.005 150 43 $7,887,287
GMV G MEDICAL INNOVATION HOLDING 0.105 133 -64 $59,327,932
SDX SIENNA CANCER DIAGNOSTICS LT 0.051 132 -22 $20,151,774
ESE ESENSE-LAB LTD-CDI 0.01 100 -58 $1,900,769
BXN BIOXYNE LTD 0.015 88 -29 $9,602,181
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.043 87 -59 $41,826,016
RHY RHYTHM BIOSCIENCES LTD 0.096 85 -40 $9,672,000
ADR ADHERIUM LTD 0.024 85 -14 $11,929,060
MMJ MMJ GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.13 71 -45 $29,894,018
TD1 TALI DIGITAL LTD 0.034 70 100 $25,476,378
IHL IMPRESSION HEALTHCARE LTD 0.06 67 161 $43,044,956
BNO BIONOMICS LTD 0.055 67 -61 $29,957,722
ADO ANTEOTECH LTD 0.026 63 74 $42,746,180
VTI VISIONEERING TECH-CDI 0.019 58 -76 $8,850,235
SCU STEMCELL UNITED LTD 0.014 56 -26 $8,982,517
MVF MONASH IVF GROUP LTD 0.69 52 -31 $162,692,256
HCT HOLISTA COLLTECH LTD 0.165 50 143 $45,432,600
OIL OPTISCAN IMAGING LTD 0.03 50 -12 $14,333,364
PTX PRESCIENT THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.042 50 -9 $16,558,946
CPH CRESO PHARMA LTD 0.088 49 -80 $18,287,224
THC THC GLOBAL GROUP LTD 0.32 49 -40 $45,046,252
MVP MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS INTERNA 7.85 48 46 $515,017,056
NOX NOXOPHARM LTD 0.205 46 -46 $31,218,660
LCT LIVING CELL TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.013 44 -67 $7,428,733
ZLD ZELIRA THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.049 44 2 $47,653,892
OCC ORTHOCELL LTD 0.36 44 167 $66,491,540
DVL DORSAVI LTD 0.014 40 -75 $3,239,985
APH AUSTRALIAN PRIMARY HEMP LTD 0.07 40 -68 $4,882,860
CYC CYCLOPHARM LTD 1.4 40 23 $109,533,760
NXS NEXT SCIENCE LTD 1.79 39 $322,598,912
AGH ALTHEA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.375 39 -22 $87,491,248
ALC ALCIDION GROUP LTD 0.18 38 236 $178,324,928
ATX AMPLIA THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.08 38 -38 $5,317,055
VHT VOLPARA HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES 1.475 38 -15 $322,257,952
ACR ACRUX LTD 0.15 36 -38 $25,271,028
NEU NEUREN PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.345 36 14 $138,763,680
PNV POLYNOVO LTD 2.17 35 138 $1,434,561,024
PCK PAINCHEK LTD 0.11 34 214 $113,907,464
PYC PYC THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.08 33 220 $234,514,240
ONE ONEVIEW HEALTHCARE PLC-CDI 0.053 33 -81 $9,180,209
IDT IDT AUSTRALIA LTD 0.15 30 -6 $35,896,956
CMP COMPUMEDICS LTD 0.43 30 0 $76,180,064
MX1 MICRO-X LTD 0.175 30 -49 $43,753,580
PGC PARAGON CARE LTD 0.16 28 -64 $54,061,648
EXL ELIXINOL GLOBAL LTD 0.375 27 -93 $51,710,292
FFC FARMAFORCE LTD 0.075 25 -25 $9,657,824
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.025 25 47 $110,649,264
CAN CANN GROUP LTD 0.86 25 -62 $122,607,680
PAA PHARMAUST LTD 0.083 22 118 $25,067,748
RCE RECCE PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.315 21 37 $42,705,112
OSX OSTEOPORE LTD 0.455 20 $46,059,880
ICS ICSGLOBAL LTD 1.77 20 102 $18,769,114
BIT BIOTRON LTD 0.105 19 15 $73,702,936
PAR PARADIGM BIOPHARMACEUTICALS 1.9 19 2 $375,846,784
RHT RESONANCE HEALTH LTD 0.125 19 4 $55,471,740
BD1 BARD1 LIFE SCIENCES LTD 0.025 19 26 $34,179,624
CDX CARDIEX LTD 0.019 19 -53 $14,310,977
PSQ PACIFIC SMILES GROUP LTD 1.18 19 4 $179,352,208
OVN OVENTUS MEDICAL LTD 0.29 18 28 $37,853,616
OPT OPTHEA LTD 2.31 18 230 $621,754,432
SVA SIMAVITA LTD-CDI 0.02 18 18 $11,275,563
TLX TELIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.17 18 23 $296,530,464
RSH RESPIRI LTD 0.087 18 -13 $51,008,912
AHX APIAM ANIMAL HEALTH LTD 0.47 18 15 $54,489,168
HLA HEALTHIA LTD 0.695 17 -23 $43,809,084
BPH BPH ENERGY LTD 0.007 17 -30 $2,339,024
UBI UNIVERSAL BIOSENSORS INC-CDI 0.18 16 -12 $31,962,934
CYP CYNATA THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.8 16 -36 $82,414,520
MDC MEDLAB CLINICAL LTD 0.22 16 -41 $51,308,800
CAJ CAPITOL HEALTH LTD 0.195 15 -14 $150,852,144
IVX INVION LTD 0.008 14 -65 $44,004,852
BWX BWX LTD 3.42 14 44 $424,934,624
UCM USCOM LTD 0.285 14 90 $42,652,844
1ST 1ST GROUP LTD 0.027 13 -48 $11,464,656
ATH ALTERITY THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.018 13 -64 $16,189,432
PIQ PROTEOMICS INTERNATIONAL LAB 0.28 12 8 $25,726,646
AZV AZURE HEALTHCARE LTD 0.067 12 5 $19,040,660
MEM MEMPHASYS LTD 0.043 10 105 $32,420,876
RAC RACE ONCOLOGY LTD 0.275 10 257 $31,787,928
KZA KAZIA THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.44 10 -6 $31,753,336
RNO RHINOMED LTD 0.08 10 -53 $13,536,481
GLH GLOBAL HEALTH LTD 0.115 10 -28 $4,841,307
ANR ANATARA LIFESCIENCES LTD 0.175 9 -64 $8,724,831
PXS PHARMAXIS LTD 0.1 9 -67 $39,503,368
NYR NYRADA INC-CDI 0.14 8 $15,313,721
PAB PATRYS LTD 0.014 8 -42 $15,016,265
DXB DIMERIX LTD 0.15 7 74 $27,229,008
LBT LBT INNOVATIONS LTD 0.115 7 64 $27,087,076
ELX ELLEX MEDICAL LASERS LTD 0.555 7 -10 $79,698,632
JHL JAYEX HEALTHCARE LTD 0.016 7 -54 $2,821,809
AVH AVITA MEDICAL LTD 0.54 6 50 $1,151,523,968
M7T MACH7 TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.55 6 150 $100,556,024
GSS GENETIC SIGNATURES LTD 1.85 6 61 $263,712,400
AC8 AUSCANN GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.2 5 -55 $63,409,472
ZNO ZOONO GROUP LTD 1.91 5 1810 $311,927,264
CGS COGSTATE LTD 0.345 5 55 $58,665,580
BLT BENITEC BIOPHARMA LTD 0.026 4 -79 $8,353,463
IMM IMMUTEP LTD 0.135 4 -51 $52,870,176
PAL PALLA PHARMA LTD 0.57 4 -54 $71,790,344
CTE CRYOSITE LTD 0.074 3 111 $3,467,608
SOM SOMNOMED LTD 1.15 3 -28 $88,679,072
NSB NEUROSCIENTIFIC BIOPHARMACEU 0.195 3 11 $15,284,994
ANP ANTISENSE THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.049 2 9 $23,950,478
NVL NATIONAL VETERINARY CARE LTD 3.67 1 104 $249,423,424
AMT ALLEGRA ORTHOPAEDICS LTD 0.15 0 25 $14,933,858
ACW ACTINOGEN MEDICAL LTD 0.02 0 -62 $22,324,626
ALT ANALYTICA LTD 0.002 0 -50 $7,039,225
IMC IMMURON LTD 0.08 0 -62 $14,177,472
SUD SUDA PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.049 0 -54 $6,970,466
ONT 1300 SMILES LTD 5.1 0 -15 $120,759,760
MEB MEDIBIO LTD 0.007 0 -53 $6,965,911
GTG GENETIC TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.005 0 -23 $23,401,392
CP1 CANNPAL ANIMAL THERAPEUTICS 0.081 -1 -35 $7,543,125
PBP PROBIOTEC LTD 1.99 -1 27 $148,809,952
LSH LIFESPOT HEALTH LTD 0.053 -2 -21 $4,647,958
JHC JAPARA HEALTHCARE LTD 0.49 -2 -63 $130,951,192
VLS VITA LIFE SCIENCES LTD 0.6 -5 -14 $32,749,568
VBS VECTUS BIOSYSTEMS LTD 0.49 -6 18 $11,590,860
SDI SDI LTD 0.74 -6 -11 $87,960,496
EHH EAGLE HEALTH HOLDINGS LTD 0.14 -6 -50 $51,606,324
MDR MEDADVISOR LTD 0.415 -7 26 $102,065,544
OSL ONCOSIL MEDICAL LTD 0.125 -7 140 $77,568,536
IBX IMAGION BIOSYSTEMS LTD 0.011 -8 -51 $6,237,643
S66 STAR COMBO PHARMA LTD 0.41 -9 -32 $35,480,008
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.035 -9 -82 $26,754,582
RAP RESAPP HEALTH LTD 0.175 -10 46 $127,055,000
RGS REGENEUS LTD 0.068 -13 -34 $18,892,100
OSP OSPREY MEDICAL INC-CDI 0.013 -13 -91 $6,908,758
SIL SMILES INCLUSIVE LTD 0.035 -15 -87 $5,059,651
FTT FACTOR THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.002 -20 -50 $2,085,671
1AD ADALTA LTD 0.044 -20 -81 $7,213,607
CDY CELLMID LTD 0.255 -20 11 $30,427,656
NC6 NANOLLOSE LTD 0.024 -28 -54 $1,800,000
MXC MGC PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.017 -35 -53 $24,559,662

Janus Henderson Investors portfolio manager Andy Acker says the parts of the healthcare sector to have outperformed the broad equity market are those using technology or advanced research to address COVID-19.

“Although we are sceptical of the rally in certain biotechnology companies making headlines as it relates to the virus, we believe investor focus on the sector’s advanced technology could last long after the pandemic ends,” he wrote last week.

Healthcare is showing some resilience, underpinned by investment in companies that are offering treatments or products relevant to the virus.

“Conventional wisdom says healthcare stocks tend to act more defensively during an economic contraction, as individuals continue to seek and/or need medical care,” he said.

“This time, it is not a steady stream of surgeries or doctor’s visits that are helping prop up healthcare companies. On the contrary, social distancing and preparations for a surge of coronavirus patients have sidelined many of these routine activities.”

The winner of the last fortnight is a company which swears it’s not just dabbling in COVID-19.

Skin Elements (ASX:SKN) shares shot up on news it is teaming up with Holista CollTech to sell hand sanitisers.

Since the coronavirus broke out, demand for hand sanitisers has risen exponentially and companies have pivoted into this space from juice makers to beauty clinics.

Skin Elements, which sells skin care products, jumped on the bandwagon a couple of weeks ago saying it sought to launch a new antimicrobial liquid.

Its new business partner, Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT), had a hand sanitiser before COVID-19, but until then it was better known for diet noodles and lo-cal sugar.

Drug delivery system maker Avecho (ASX:AVE) did a deal with cannabidiol supplier Purisys to use the former’s TPM technology to develop new oral cannabinoid products.

Avecho’s chief scientific officer Paul Galvin said cannabinoid products were not very soluble, so its drug delivery system, a targeted penetration matrix (TPM) which is derived from vitamin E, was useful to enhance the solubility and absorption of certain drugs and nutrients.

Last October Japanese medtech Terumo walked away from trying to deliver an anaesthetic with it because it failed safety tests.

Shares in cancer diagnostics company Sienna (ASX:SDX) shot up after fellow cancer diagnoser Bard1 (ASX:BD1) offered 13 of its own shares for every five Sienna shares held.

It values the latter at 6c a share or $23.7m.

The merger will create a $45m company, and one of the few listed diagnostics companies on the ASX.

Andrew Chapman of Merchant Group, a major shareholder in both companies, said the merger would create a company with a $13.7m warchest and cost savings of at least $1m a year.

“It’s a great time to do a deal like this,” he said, as companies across the ASX struggle for money and are looking for ways to save cash.

The two companies will use that cash to look for other companies to buy or to licence new medical technologies.

The merged company will bring together a development pipeline of diagnostic tests in pancreatic, ovarian, and breast cancers, Sienna’s bladder cancer hTERT diagnostic test which is already available in the market, Bard1’s tumour marker technology, and Sienna’s molecular net technology for liquid biopsies.