Health: Even bacteria fighter Next Science is feeling the coronavirus pinch
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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While we need all the bacteria fighters we can get right now, they are not immune to the coronovirus panic and Next Science (ASX:NXS) is the latest to admit it hasn’t been able to escape the impact.
The company, which listed last April and is focused on the North American market, says it is noticing the effects of the coronavirus.
Its distribution agents have less capacity to visit hospitals and patients are cutting elective surgery.
Next Science’s technology, called ‘Xbio’, eliminates biofilm-protected bacteria in surgery and chronic wound care applications.
Biofilm-protection is where multiple types of bacteria get together and form a shield that is resistant to treatment by antibiotics.
Biofilm infects 17 million people annually in the US alone. Globally it is associated with nearly 80 per cent of all global bacterial infections.
While Next Science did not explicitly say it could fight COVID-19, it said its products “are all effective in the removal of COVID-19 like viruses”.
The company currently has three products and anticipates launching more in the second half of this year. Two of these are a surface disinfectant and surgical rinse which also fight biofilm.
Next Science reiterated this morning its expectation that it will meet these milestones.
Shares rose just over 5 per cent. While shares have sharply declined from their peak in the middle of last year, they are still over 50 per cent ahead of Next Science’s IPO price.
One of Next Science’s peers, Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE), climbed nearly 10 per cent after confirming to shareholders it was on track to begin the first human trials of its lead antibiotic compound this quarter.
Conversely, Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) fell 11 per cent after telling shareholders it was deferring its plan to partner the North American rights for its anti-Rett syndrome treatment. The company argued it could capture substantially greater value after the outcome of phase three trial results. But this will not happen until 2021.
Aged care operator Estia Health (ASX:EHE) said it was suspending its fiscal year earnings guidance due to coronavirus uncertainty. This was despite occupancy being 93.8 per cent as of Sunday and no COVID-19 cases in any of them.