Invion (ASX:IVX) may have a new Chinese partner to help get its cosmetics business off the ground.

The company told shareholders this morning it signed an MoU with Pavay Biotech, an established provider of dermatology treatment products in China.

Pavay Biotech wants to incorporate Aussie-made ingredients in its dermatology products.

The ingredients would be supplied by Invion’s Australian fully owned subsidiary, EpiTech Dermal Science.

According to the Australian Business register, EpiTech (previously known as IVX Cosmetics) began in January 2019.

Invion said a month later in its half-yearly report that the subsidiary would “explore the potential use of its [Invion’s] assets in a cosmetics setting”.

The company is no stranger in China, having previously landed a multi-million-dollar investment from a Hong Kong-based investor to ramp up the development of its light-based cancer treatment.

READ: Invion closer to curing mice of spreading cancers; shares up 57pc


PDT still Invion’s bread and butter

Back in 2017 Invion sold 15 per cent of itself for $5.5m to Chinese tech investor Cho Group. This followed several years of trying, but ultimately failing, to commercialise a blood pressure drug.

In exchange for a bunch of shares and two board seats, Invion won the commercialisation and distribution rights for Cho’s photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Essentially PDT kills tumours, without affecting healthy cells, by zapping them.

Patients are exposed to light beams at a wavelength corresponding to the ‘absorption’ band if the photosensitiser and the drug produces activated oxygen molecules that are toxic to nearby cancer cells.

PDT was commercialised decades ago but Invion’s PDT, named IVX-PO2, takes the treatment to another level, according to the company.

PhotoSoft targets multiple light sensitivity ranges across a broader spectrum so it can target both surface and deep-seated tumours. It can also light up tumours to activate oxygen free radicals which kill cells.

Additionally, Invion says its treatment doesn’t have any side-effects such as potential sunlight damage, which can occur from PDT.

Pre-clinical studies in mice were found to be working earlier this year. The company plans human clinical trials (phase 1b) in 2020.

Shares were unchanged this morning but are still well up from two years ago when the Cho Group deal went through.


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In other ASX health news today:

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) has put its renal cancer imaging agent before US regulators for approval. This comes as it prepares to start enrolling patients for a clinical trial partially conducted in America.

IDT Australia’s (ASX:IDT) deal with Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) to distribute its US drug product temozolomide is off. IDT gave no reasons but told shareholders it was looking for other partners. Shares fell 4 per cent.