Six ASX biotech small caps are sitting on gains over 100 per cent in 2020.

Despite the global biotech industry dedicating much of its efforts to COVID-19, only one of these six has become involved.

The majority are continuing with their pre-COVID-19 endeavours and have made substantial progress, news that has encouraged investors to pile in.

Here are the ASX small cap biotechs that are up over 100 per cent in 2020:

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Price YTD % Return Market Cap
DXB DIMERIX LTD 0.46 338 113.7M
IMC IMMURON LTD 0.4 192 81.8M
BIT BIOTRON LTD 0.1 102 71.6M
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An unlikely COVID-19 fighter

The stock that could fight COVID-19 is an unlikely candidate — gut health play Immuron (ASX:IMC).

Its flagship products Travelan and Protectyn are digestive health supplements that fight travellers’ diarrhoea.

But in the last month Immuron has excited investors with news that its IMM-124E drug demonstrated neutralising activity against COVID-19, meaning it was able to inhibit replication.

While COVID-19 symptoms are predominantly respiratory, the company said gastrointestinal symptoms were becoming an increasingly common occurrence.

In that same week, Immuron revealed the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave it written guidance to support its Investigational New Drug (IND) application.

The company plans to undertake two separate phase II clinical studies in the US in 2021 to test the effectiveness of its drugs against campylobacteriosis and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) — bacteria that commonly causes travellers’ diarrhoea.

Immuron (ASX:IMC) share price graph


Clearer pathways

Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) is up over 200 per cent so far this year.

The company surged as much as 800 per cent in one day in early July after telling investors it received guidance from the FDA about the development pathway around phase II trials for its anti-Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) drug.

Back in May, cancer fighter Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX) received FDA Orphan Drug Designation for one of its drugs against idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

It also confirmed toxicology studies found nothing that would prevent a phase-one clinical cancer trial going ahead later this year.

ATH & ATX share price chart


Clinical trial success

But ultimately, clinical trial success is the ultimate company maker and Dimerix (ASX:DXB) has excited investors after its phase 2 clinical trial against focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare kidney disorder, met both primary and secondary endpoints.

It didn’t just pass, but passed with flying colours – 86 per cent of patients showed a response to the drug DMX-200 versus the placebo.

Race Oncology (ASX:RAC)which was one of 2019’s biggest winners in the health sector, has likewise seen success in the clinic. Its drug passed a clinical trial against a rare cancer in late-stage patients.

Rounding out the list is HIV-fighter Biotron (ASX:BIT). In March, it found its anti-HIV therapy can restore immune functions in HIV patients.

In a letter to shareholders last month, CEO Michelle Miller told shareholders 2020 had been an outstanding year and that the company was close to putting together the complete picture in how its drug could fight HIV.

The company has also doing some lower-key COVID-19 tests and as of July noted the work was ‘progressing well’.

DXB, RAC & BIT share price chart


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Dimerix is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.