Check-up: What’s happening with the ASX small cap health stocks?
Health & Biotech
Ginger Rae has her blood pressure checked by registered nurse practitioner Rachel Eisenberg during a checkup. Pic: Joe Raedle / Getty
Here’s our monthly wrap of all the news driving ASX small cap health stocks.
This might not make initial sense, but the biggest winner in small cap health and biotech land at the moment? Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT).
Factor is the company which lost 97 per cent of its value last year when its venous leg ulcer trial failed to show any improvement over standard of care.
Dr Rosalind Wilson, who resigned as Factor’s CEO in January but continues to work with the company in an advisory capacity as it seeks to find a new opportunity, recently told Stockhead the trial could not be considered a failure as it had produced unambiguous results that provided “a clear basis for decision-making”. Unfortunately for all involved, that decision was to cease all research and development and scale the company down.
But its shares are up 80 per cent since we last checked in on the 140-odd small cap healthcare stocks.
On the one hand, that’s not hard, given FTT shares have been trading two-tenths of a cent and half a cent since November.
But there have been rumblings behind the movement, too: it raised $417,000 in capital and also fought off a 249d notice that would have seen three of its directors ousted.
Bionomics (ASX:BNO), another company that had a busted clinical trial last year, is also a big winner, with shares up 54 per cent to 20c.
That is because the company has been telling investors that its PTSD drug might work after all.
A spokesman for the company said the original trial included people who didn’t take the drug properly — with food — and later analysis showed that among those who did take the drug correctly, it remained in the patients’ bloodstream and did have a positive effect on PTSD symptoms.
Pot stock Althea (ASX:AGH) is up 46 per cent in the past month as it has expanded into the UK, sponsored a medicinal cannabis education portal and signed a supply and distribution agreement with Cannvalate, a network of clinicians who can prescribe medicinal cannabis.
CEO Josh Fegan recently told Stockhead that it would be growing enough marijuana to start commercial sales in the next 18 months.
Meanwhile, Matt Callahan, CEO of Botanix (ASX:BOT) — a company trialling synthetically-derived cannabidiol (CBD) treatment for acne, psoriasis and dermatitis but not one that considers itself a cannabis company — recently told Stockhead that synthetics are the future of cannabis drugs.
His company’s shares are up 15 per cent in the past month to 11c, as it nears data collection from a couple of Phase 2 trials.
The common factor for the biggest losers in the past month is they have all reported financial results that have been met with skepticism from investors.
Allegra Orthopaedics (ASX:AMT) is the worst of the lot, losing nearly half of its value, falling to 10.5c. Money-making lens manufacturer Visioneering Technologies (ASX:VTI) has fallen 39 per cent to 9.9c thanks to a full-year bottom line that barely moved on the previous year.
AusCann (ASX:AC8) has also suffered a fall, shares dropping 33 per cent to 44c in the past month.
It has finally appointed a new CEO, five months after the company began its search: Ido Kanyon, currently Israeli firm Teva Pharmaceutical’s global head of specialty products, will start at the end of May.
Here’s a table showing price performance for the ASX’s small cap health stocks since mid-November.
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort