Life Sciences coverage
Actinogen Medical is developing a new Alzheimer's drug called Xanamem, which works by targeting excess cortisol. The scientific literature on the Cortisol Hypothesis is encouraging. A Phase 2 trial of Xanamem, entitled XanADu, likely completes in 2019.
AdAlta develops antibody-like drugs called ‘i-bodies’ with the same target specificity and affinity as monoclonal antibodies, but about 90% smaller. AdAlta’s first clinical product from its platform will be indicated for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Alcidion is an emerging player in health informatics. Medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the US. Alcidion, an emerging player in the US$100bn field of health informatics, has technology that can help reduce these deaths while making hospitals much more efficient.
Anatara’s first product, called Detach, is a treatment for production animals to reduce gastrointestinal disorders, thereby increasing meat yield. Detach, by not killing pathogens directly, represents one potential solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance.
Anteo Diagnostics (ASX:ADO)
Anteo Diagnostics is a surface design technology play. Initially focused on diagnostics, the company is currently working on coatings that can facilitate the use of silicon in lithium-ion batteries to markedly improve the efficiency of those batteries.
Cynata is a regenerative medicine company. Its Cymerus technology can produce vast quantities of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from a single blood donation. Cymerus is now in Phase 1 in acute Graft vs Host Disease. Japan’s Fujifilm has optioned this indication.
Dimerix is a drug discovery company that can identify important drug targets called G Protein-Coupled Receptors. Dimerix’s lead DMX-200 candidate, a combination of irbesartan and propagermanium, is in Phase 2 in kidney disease.
Imagion Biosystems (ASX:IBX)
Imagion Biosystems’ (ASX:IBX) revolutionary MagSense imaging technology is potentially orders of magnitude more effective than CT and MRI at detecting cancer. MagSense was granted Breakthrough Device status by the FDA in June 2019 and is currently being prepared for its first clinical study, potentially in Her2-positive breast cancer.
Invion is developing a new Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), in which a light-sensitive drug is used to kill cancer cells. Invion’s PDT, called IVX-P02, has generated some interesting case studies and early clinical data, and the company is moving towards larger studies aimed at registration in Australia and New Zealand, possibly by 2021.
Invitrocue is leveraging its expertise in 3D cell culture to grow ‘Patient-Derived Organoids’ against which a range of cancer therapies can be tested. With Onco-PDO, the way is open for low-cost personalised cancer medicine, where the market opportunity lies in the billions.
Kazia Therapeutics (ASX:KZA)
Kazia, a cancer drug developer, is in Phase 2 with GDC-0084, a PI3K inhibitor for the treatment of glioblastoma originally developed by Genentech. In addition to GDC-0084, Kazia has an ovarian cancer drug (developed internally) that completes Phase 1 in 2018.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU)
Neuren Pharmaceuticals is a Melbourne-based drug developer. The company’s lead compound is Trofinetide, for the treatment of two Autism Spectrum Disorders, Rett Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. The company has generated favourable Phase 2 data in both these conditions.
Optiscan is a world-leader in the field of live micro-imaging. With the support of Carl Zeiss Meditec of Germany, Optiscan is now nearing completion of its second-generation device specifically designed for neurosurgery.
Orthocell is a regenerative medicine company. Its foundation products - Ortho-ATI for tendon repair and Ortho-ACI for cartilage repair - have provided early commercial opportunities with large addressable markets. Recently the company’s CelGro collagen scaffold gained its CE Mark.
Oventus Medical (ASX: OVN)
Oventus Medical has developed the O2Vent range or oral appliances for treating sleep apnea. The ability of the newest O2Vent designs to interface with CPAP and EPAP provides a way to provide personalised treatment to get the best outcome for the individual patient in more than 80% of cases.
Painchek is commercialising the PainChek app, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based mobile app which uses facial expressions to map and quantify pain. The first market in which this app is being commercialised is in pain assessments for patients who suffer from dementia and therefore cannot explain pain explicitly.
Patrys’ Deoxymab 3E10 antibody, developed at Yale, prevents cancer cells from self-repairing their DNA when it breaks. Patrys has now upgraded this antibody for human use and has generated encouraging in vivo data across a range of cancers.
Phosphagenics is a Melbourne-based drug reformulation company whose TPM technology, based on phosphorylated Vitamin E, has shown promise as a transdermal drug delivery tool and as an agent for improving the stability and solubility of drugs.
Phylogica is a peptide drug developer whose Phylomer platform allows it to identify cell-penetrating peptides that can hit hitherto ‘undruggable’ intracellular targets. The company has collaborated with the likes of AstraZeneca, Roche, Pfizer and J&J on drug discovery projects.
ResApp Health is developing a smartphone-based diagnostic for respiratory disease that can detectm through the measurement of coughs and breathing sounds, a range of respiratory disorders including pneumonia, asthma, and COPD. The sensitivities and specificities are very high.
Resonance Health (ASX:RHT)
Resonance Health develops new MRI diagnostics. Its first MRI test was FerriScan for iron overload disorders. Its HepaFat-Scan, another MRI test, was FDA approved in 2013 and can reasonably be expected to play a role in managing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Suda Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD)
Suda Pharmaceuticals is a drug delivery company focused on oral spray formulations of existing drugs. Suda’s formulations are often much faster-acting. Suda has its first licensing deal with a top-20 global pharma, as well as other commercial partnerships.