• BlinkLab becomes first healthcare sector IPO for 2024 with chair Brian Leedman hoping to replicate ResApp success
  • Percheron Therapeutics still to finalise recruitment of Phase 2B trial but remains confident of results in CY24
  • Clarity Pharmaceuticals inks new supply agreement with Northstar for production of its therapeutic product

Morgans healthcare and life sciences expert Iain Wilkie is filling in for his colleague Scott Power to explain what the movers and shakers have been doing in health and gives his ASX Powerplay.

Are you a physically active person? Researchers have discovered that people who engage in more physical activity during their leisure time were less likely to experience various types of chronic pain several years later.

Even a slight increase in activity level, such as transitioning from light to moderate exercise, was linked to a 5% decrease in the likelihood of reporting chronic pain later on, according to research published in PAIN – Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain and Science Daily. 

For severe chronic pain occurring in multiple areas of the body, higher levels of activity were associated with a 16% reduction in risk.

In 2023, researchers from UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN), and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health discovered that physically active adults exhibited greater pain tolerance compared to those who were sedentary. Pain tolerance increased alongside activity levels.

The findings prompted further study into the relationship between physical activity and development of chronic pain over time, along with its connection to pain tolerance.

Encompassing nearly 7,000 people recruited from the long-standing Tromsø survey, the researchers assessed participants’ exercise habits and their response to cold pain in a laboratory setting.

The researchers later checked if the participants had pain that lasted for three months or more, including pain in several parts of the body or pain that was experienced as more severe.

While 60% reported some form of chronic pain, only 5% had severe pain in multiple parts of the body, suggesting being active may reduce the risk of severe chronic pain.


To markets….

And ASX health stocks are feeling a little pain this week. At around 12.20pm (AEDT) on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 healthcare index (ASX:XHJ) was down 2.88% for the past four days, while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) was down 1.16% for the same period.

“We’ve had a pretty good market for the past couple of weeks but there’s been some weaker data coming through from the US with traders now weighing when interest rates could come down,” Wilkie says.

BlinkLab up 32.5% in first day onASX

After raising $7 million at 20 cents/share Blinklab (ASX:BB1) was the first healthcare IPO so far of 2024, listing on Thursday with an impressive 32.5% gain on its first day to close at 26.5 cents.

BB1 chair Brian Leedman is hoping to replicate his success as a founder of ResApp, a smartphone application able to identify a Covid-19 infection from a person’s cough, which was sold to pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for $179m in 2021.

The company is based on research from Princeton neuroscientists and aims to streamline the early diagnosis of conditions like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD in children.

“BlinkLab, a company started by neuroscientists at Princeton University, over the past several years have fully developed a smartphone based diagnostic platform and we are seeking investment to finalise an FDA Class II medical device registration study in partnership with leading US university hospitals,” Leedman says in the company’s prospectus.

“This approval will pave the way for broad use of our technology in diagnosing and treating conditions like ASD and ADHD.”

Wilkie says BB1 has an experienced management team and directors with a track record in building companies and knowledge in digital healthcare, computer vision, AI and machine learning.

“It’s good to see a successful IPO in the healthcare space after what’s been a tough market for the past couple of years,” he says.


Percheron Therapeutic on track for trial results in 2024

Percheron Therapeutics (ASX:PER)  (formerly Antisense Therapeutics (ASX:ANP)) has provided an update on its international phase 2b clinical trial of ATL1102 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

PER says 34 of the 45 targeted patients are now in treatment, with another seven patients in screening.

“It marks a minor miss versus expectations of late March to mid April for full recruitment,” Wilkie says.

“However, there’s very positive insights with nine patients having now completed the formal six month randomised stage of the trial and all opting to continue on treatment in the extension phase.

“Adverse events are said to largely mirror prior studies which was well tolerated, which is particularly important as this includes a higher dose than previously studied in DMD.”

Wilkie says the major milestone will be a full recruitment announcement which starts the countdown to top line results forecast in H2 CY24.

Morgans has a speculative buy rating and 12-month target price of 23 cents on PER.


The BB1 & PER share price today:



Wilkie’s Powerplay – Clarity Pharmaceuticals inks supply deal

Clinical stage radiopharmaceutical company Clarity Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CU6)  is Wilkie’s pick of the week, having signed a new supply agreement with Northstar for the production of its therapeutic product (67Cu-SAR-bisPSMA) to support CU6’s upcoming Phase 1/2 trial for prostate cancer therapy and Phase 3 trial focused on diagnostic imaging of prostrate cancer.

The latest deal builds on CU6’s existing copper-67 supply agreement with NorthStar, signed in 2021. The company says it provides large-scale manufacturing of both the therapeutic isotope (copper-67) and cGMP radiopharmaceutical product in the US ready for shipment to clinical sites.

“This important step is yet another differentiating factor that helps Clarity clearly stand out from the rest of the radiopharmaceutical market, making it possible to have therapeutic isotope supply and product manufacture at the same site,” executive chairman Dr Alan Taylor says in the announcement.

“Given our outstanding clinical trial data to date, we are very excited to secure the supply of Cu-67 and final drug products for the trials with 6 7 Cu-SAR-bisPSMA in prostate cancer as we continue building a sustainable future for radiopharmaceuticals towards our ultimate goal of better treating children and adults with cancer.”

CU6 also recently raised $120m with Wilkie saying it is cashed up and ready to go.

“Clarity has successfully got a chunky raise out of the way which was very well supported and now it’s full speed ahead,” he says.

“There will be plenty of news flow over the next 12 months here and the company looks primed.”


The CU6 share price today:


The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.