Check up: Who’s in your coronavirus portfolio?
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, 68 saw their share prices fall, 55 improved and 14 were flat.
Every opportunistic player has been jumping on the COVID-19 play, which has seen share prices rocket and companies blatantly bandwagon like Food Revolution (ASX:FOD), which says it has cleared a factory floor to cater to a demand for hand sanitiser which — if you believe the Chinese — only has a few more weeks to run.
But had you been reading the tea leaves in December, in the style of Axe from Billions, maybe you’d have collected a coronavirus portfolio something like this, and made a big pile of money.
The top three winners from the last fortnight are of course the leaders of any Chinese disease portfolio — at least in terms of market returns.
The first two sell hand sanitiser and have been successfully convincing investors of shortages in their respective markets, and the third sells blood flow monitoring units, which China is now recommending to be used on critical COVID-19 cases.
Micro-X (ASX:MX1) is up there, after saying China wants more of its mini x-rays to look inside victims’ chests, and Aeris Environmental (ASX:AEI) — not a health company — is also a COVID-19 beneficiary after the Singapore National Environmental Agency (NEA) said its hospital-grade disinfectant was added to a list of approved general products for virus disinfection.
The last is Biotron (ASX:BIT), which is not a company shy of the big issues. It hit the bit time in late 2018 with positive clinical trial data around an HIV cure, but hasn’t had much news to share with investors since.
But at the start of February the company said it had been tinkering with its compounds and coronavirus generally (a family of viruses that at its weakest causes the common cold).
In the lab, Biotron can kill 90-100 per cent of a coronavirus-infected cell.
The company says it’s focused on testing a select few compounds, but it’ll no doubt take more than a promising compound to get into the few labs in the world that have access to the Chinese form of the virus.
Investors would be wise to remember too that all kinds of things have been shown to work in the lab, from vitamin C killing cancer cells to bleach.