Brain health stocks are continuing to ride the wave of interest in the sector and two –Actinogen Medical (ASX:ACW) and HitIQ (ASX:HIQ) – are kicking off trials.

On June 8, the sector received a massive boost when the first ever drug shown to work against Alzheimer’s, Adulhelm, was approved by the FDA.

Leading the stocks that got a boost that morning was Cogstate (ASX:CGS), a partner of Eisai which is in turn a partner with Biogen, which developed Aduhelm. It and the FDA itself predicted it would lead to increased investment in this space and perhaps we are starting to see it now.


Actinogen enrols first patient

Actinogen Medical (ASX:ACW) has been in this space for years and saw many setbacks on the way, but the wheels have begun to turn just at the right time.

Today the company revealed it had enrolled the first patient in a clinical trial of its XanaMIA drug against Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s.

The study will run across four outpatient sites across Australia and enrol 105 subjects aged between 50 and 80 in a dose-ranging study to confirm the minimum effective dose.

Actinogen said this was a major milestone.

“This trial will add to the considerable safety and efficacy dataset the company has accumulated on Xanamem and will explore the minimally effective dose to be studied in future trials,” said CEO Steven Gourlay.

“I look forward to working with the team to investigate the potential benefits of Xanamem in improving cognition and treating this devastating disease.”

Shares in Actinogen Medical rose nearly 10 per cent this morning and are up nearly 500 per cent this year.

Actinogen (ASX:ACW) share price chart


The ASX brain health sector’s newest player

One of the newer players is HitIQ (ASX:HIQ) which only listed a month ago and is fighting concussion.

Its core product is a patented mouthguard that incorporates electronic sensor technology to monitor movement and impact.

The company has a deal with the AFL and today launched a partnership with Rugby Australia. Beginning in the Queensland 1st grade competition, players will utilise the technology for the rest of the season and after the trial to use the data to enhance concussion management protocols.

Rugby Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Andrew Gardner said the adoption of HitIQ was part of the game’s commitment to being safe for all participants.

“We hope that the information gained from this program will enhance our current understanding of the mechanisms of injury and allow us to develop appropriate preventative measures,” he said.

HitIQ (ASX:HIQ) share price chart