Rhythm Biosciences leads an otherwise mildly positive two weeks for the small-cap health care sector, with 64 companies gaining ground and 48 companies losing it.

Another 19 among the 131 small cap health care companies in our list were flat.

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

First, the tables:

Code Company Price 2-week return Return since Jan 1 2020 Mkt cap
ONT 1300 Smiles $7.14 5.0 21.1 $159,829,092
1ST 1St Group $0.0365 7.4 -53.2 $14,436,975
4DX 4Dmedical $2.4 2.6 $422,239,813
ACR Acrux $0.165 -2.9 -13.2 $19,349,372
ACW Actinogen Medical $0.021 5.0 -40.5 $34,813,956
1AD Adalta $0.145 20.8 27.3 $30,466,531
ADR Adherium $0.028 7.7 0.0 $36,776,378
ALC Alcidion Group $0.19 5.6 2.7 $19,028,688
AMT Allegra Orthopaedics $0.335 0.0 67.5 $183,278,400
ATH Alterity Therap $0.031 -8.8 55.0 $33,949,241
AGH Althea Group $0.43 2.4 14.7 $62,959,449
ATX Amplia Therapeutics $0.265 12.8 327.6 $111,663,393
ALT Analytica $0.003 0.0 0.0 $30,116,557
ADO Anteotech $0.105 5.0 387.4 $10,558,837
ANP Antisense Therapeut. $0.13 0.0 44.4 $186,993,158
APH AP Hemp $0.345 9.5 91.7 $77,488,403
AHK Ark Mines $0.034 0.0 0.0 $1,778,920
ARX Aroa Biosurgery $1.1 0.0 $339,820,848
AT1 Atomo Diagnostics $0.31 1.6 $126,446,004
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs $0.185 2.8 -31.5 $63,409,471
AHC Austco Healthcare $0.1 -4.8 8.7 $28,418,895
AVE Avecho Biotech $0.029 -29.3 625.0 $46,367,946
BD1 Bard1 Life Sciences $0.635 -5.2 -37.7 $23,818,843
BNO Bionomics $0.145 -3.3 97.2 $565,153,192
BIT Biotron $0.08 1.3 53.8 $50,285,196
BXN Bioxyne $0.011 -8.3 -21.4 $113,963,370
BOT Botanix Pharma $0.125 4.2 52.4 $56,154,617
BPH BPH Energy $0.042 23.5 384.3 $7,041,599
BWX BWX $3.955 -2.1 -10.4 $121,642,759
CAN Cann Group $0.62 17.0 -1.6 $170,090,788
CP1 Cannpal Animal $0.17 0.0 41.7 $16,762,500
CAJ Capitol Health $0.275 -1.8 26.7 $281,902,434
CDX Cardiex $0.081 55.8 189.3 $59,486,481
CDY Cellmid $0.105 -8.7 -52.3 $13,828,353
CGS Cogstate $1.08 -1.8 176.9 $187,262,164
CMP Compumedics $0.48 -1.0 -40.0 $85,038,215
CBL Control Bionics $0.96 -4.0 $49,312,936
CPH Creso Pharma $0.18 -2.7 44.0 $123,378,223
CTE Cryosite $0.435 20.8 720.8 $20,149,612
CYC Cyclopharm $2.55 2.0 116.9 $203,094,371
CYP Cynata Therapeutics $0.685 0.0 -33.9 $95,609,366
DXB Dimerix $0.24 0.0 84.6 $45,511,088
DOC Doctor Care Anywhere $1.31 5.6 $229,169,496
DVL Dorsavi $0.039 5.4 56.9 $12,053,797
EXL Elixinol Global $0.17 -8.1 -65.1 $54,838,040
FFC Farmaforce $0.088 -2.2 -12.0 $11,331,846
GSS Genetic Signatures $2. -1.5 94.2 $281,463,250
GTG Genetic Technologies $0.009 28.6 63.6 $74,355,541
GLH Global Health $0.465 6.9 220.7 $19,575,719
HXL Hexima $0.17 -2.9 -44.3 $21,065,172
HCT Holista CollTech $0.071 -2.7 -10.1 $19,825,134
ICS ICSGlobal $2.06 -2.8 9.7 $21,995,200
IDT IDT Australia $0.185 5.7 32.1 $44,685,875
IBX Imagion Biosys $0.14 3.7 499.5 $139,771,420
IMC Immuron $0.22 -5.4 69.2 $48,770,064
IMM Immutep $0.405 2.5 55.8 $262,733,741
IPD Impedimed $0.125 4.2 -21.5 $123,808,548
IMU Imugene $0.105 0.0 228.1 $474,092,013
IHL Incannex Healthcare $0.15 -3.2 141.9 $161,221,097
ICR Intelicare Holdings $0.245 0.0 $8,960,459
IVX Invion $0.01 0.0 -23.1 $55,377,923
JHC Japara Healthcare Lt $0.645 4.9 -32.5 $171,038,290
JHL Jayex Healthcare $0.041 7.9 36.7 $8,255,884
KZA Kazia Therapeutics $1.235 3.8 114.8 $146,983,698
LBT LBT Innovations $0.12 0.0 -25.0 $34,693,820
LSH Lifespot Health $0.075 -2.6 127.2 $12,099,579
LCT Living Cell Tech. $0.014 -12.5 -12.5 $8,000,174
M7T Mach7 Tech $1.19 0.0 76.1 $28,744,248
MDR Medadvisor $0.36 0.0 1.5 $279,314,082
MEB Medibio $0.009 0.0 -7.4 $131,209,166
MVP Medical Developments $6.42 -5.7 -26.4 $12,128,963
MDC Medlab Clinical $0.25 2.0 -18.0 $451,452,690
MEM Memphasys $0.115 -11.5 130.0 $68,520,539
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals $0.026 4.0 -18.8 $86,798,996
MX1 Micro-X $0.38 2.7 93.7 $44,703,258
MMJ MMJ Group Hlds $0.125 8.7 -13.8 $138,388,926
MVF Monash IVF Group $0.765 -3.2 -18.8 $301,967,001
NC6 Nanollose $0.052 -3.7 14.9 $6,531,200
NEU Neuren Pharmaceut. $1.325 3.1 -46.6 $147,844,459
NSB Neuroscientific $0.27 3.8 42.1 $23,949,817
NTI Neurotech Intl $0.042 16.7 162.5 $23,563,501
NXS Next Science $1.245 -3.1 -33.8 $150,478,466
EYE Nova EYE Medical $0.34 0.0 -15.1 $51,008,579
NOX Noxopharm $0.54 11.3 118.4 $117,985,785
NYR Nyrada Inc. $0.31 40.9 $21,382,136
OSL Oncosil Medical $0.13 4.0 -22.0 $97,905,811
ONE Oneview Healthcare $0.047 4.4 -55.8 $18,448,106
OPT Opthea $2.03 6.8 -31.9 $666,886,734
OIL Optiscan Imaging $0.11 -4.3 189.5 $68,623,985
OCC Orthocell $0.475 8.0 -3.1 $90,545,609
OSP Osprey Med Inc $0.02 -4.8 -33.3 $34,090,286
OSX Osteopore $0.515 0.0 -29.5 $40,189,467
OVN Oventus Medical $0.23 9.5 -53.1 $36,400,356
PSQ Pacific Smiles Grp $2.55 4.1 44.8 $459,784,285
PCK Painchek $0.08 2.6 -57.9 $411,421,674
PAL Palla Pharma $0.75 -3.8 -28.9 $85,637,165
PAR Paradigm Bio. $2.44 -0.4 -16.7 $94,460,983
PGC Paragon Care $0.225 -8.2 -48.9 $542,050,915
PAB Patrys $0.025 -3.8 25.9 $77,713,617
PAA Pharmaust $0.11 0.0 2.3 $47,007,367
PXS Pharmaxis $0.093 10.7 -41.9 $34,840,291
PNV Polynovo $3.67 -8.0 86.3 $36,540,541
PTX Prescient $0.067 6.3 9.8 $2,598,076,013
PBP Probiotec $2.42 5.7 24.5 $42,276,499
PIQ Proteomics Int Lab $0.77 -5.5 185.2 $179,469,288
PYC PYC Therapeutics $0.15 3.4 143.7 $83,400,171
RAC Race Oncology $1.725 -2.0 807.9 $239,498,919
RCE Recce Pharmaceutical $1.065 0.5 195.8 $185,870,957
RGS Regeneus $0.11 -8.3 26.4 $33,031,282
RAP Resapp Health $0.08 0.0 -67.3 $61,407,679
RHT Resonance Health $0.235 9.3 4.4 $100,732,946
RSH Respiri $0.13 -3.7 35.4 $89,917,599
RNO Rhinomed $0.16 -3.0 -23.8 $43,147,552
RHY Rhythm Biosciences $1.27 56.8 1016.5 $260,937,075
SDI SDI $0.745 -5.7 -8.6 $92,120,786
SVA Simavita $0.018 5.9 -28.0 $20,769,586
SOM SomnoMed $2.19 9.5 -12.9 $182,070,493
S66 Star Combo $0.3 -3.2 -38.1 $40,413,741
SCU Stemcell United $0.018 5.9 28.6 $12,370,557
SUD Suda Pharmaceuticals $0.04 8.1 -18.6 $15,341,795
TD1 Tali Digital $0.048 -4.0 -5.9 $45,469,668
TLX Telix Pharmaceutical $3.96 3.1 155.5 $33,718,735
THC THC Global Grp $0.24 4.3 -36.8 $1,124,425,341
TRU Truscreen $0.098 $25,267,638
UBI Universal Biosensors $0.495 7.6 160.5 $86,984,899
VBS Vectus Biosystems $1.22 -8.3 106.8 $38,619,581
VTI Vision Tech, Inc $0.025 8.7 -51.9 $23,849,413
VLS Vita Life Sciences.. $0.96 -2.0 48.9 $52,460,134
VHT Volpara Health Tech $1.42 2.9 -22.4 $355,169,360
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics $0.088 -5.4 60.0 $105,493,744
ZNO Zoono Group $1.295 -3.4 110.3 $220,731,591

The biggest gainer has been Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY), whose shares were trading at $1.27 yesterday afternoon – up 56.8 per cent from December 23 and more than 11-fold from the start of 2020.

Indeed, RHY shares were trading as low as 9c in late January 2020 and sank to 4c during the market crash in March – so anyone who picked them up then held onto them until now is looking at 30-fold gains.

This is the second time in six weeks Rhythm has taken the top spot – when we mentioned them last, RHY shares were trading at just 51c.

In response to an ASX price query on Tuesday, Rhythm said its only explanation for the recent price spike is that positive disclosures by the company from November to December has led to positive market/analyst commentary, including a column by Tim Boreham in Stockhead naming Rhythm as one of 21 stocks poised to run in 2021.

(Since that column was published on New Year’s Eve, RHY shares are up 45 per cent, going from 88c to $1.28, so we guess he was right…)

For those not familiar with the company, Rhythm is closing in on commercialising a rapid blood test for bowel cancer, to replace the current stool tests.

CardieX(ASX:CDX) was the second-biggest gainer with a 55.9 per cent jump. The company makes devices for measuring blood pressure and hypertension. It hasn’t reported any news in the period but issued a positive update on sales and activities on December 15, with new devices on track to launch in 2021.

Nyrada (ASX:NYR) takes the third spot with a 40 per cent price gain after reporting that its PCSK9 inhibitor drug candidate NYX-PCSK9i had demonstrated high effectiveness in lowering cholesterol in specialised mice bred to have a similar cholesterol metabolism as humans.

The two PCSK9 inhibitors on the market, used by people for whom statins aren’t effective enough, require injections; Nyrada’s treatment is taken as a pill.

On the flip side, Avecho Biotech (ASX:AVE) has been the biggest loser in the past fortnight, falling 29 per cent to 2.9c, although AVE shares are still up sevenfold since the start of 2020.

Avecho was our top performer in our last Check Up column, after joining an “observational study” of its medical cannabis products sent AVE shares soaring 71 per cent to 4.1c.

Not to say we told you so, but we did note at the time that that was a “pretty dramatic share price rise for what amounts to mailing out surveys to cannabis patients”.

Rhythm Biosciences, Cardiex, Nyrada and Avecho shares