Last week, healthcare stocks rose to close holiday-shortened week, generating nearly a 0.3% gain for the NYSE Health Care Index during late trade. With the new year approaching, the healthcare sector is moving on excitement surrounding announcements of innovative treatment options and novel approaches to medical technologies. As companies in the sector work hard to develop new drugs, devices, and technologies investors continue to place their bets in the sector.
The healthcare sector is the only sector in the S&P 500 with gains over 1% this year, as of December 28th. With an 2.6% gain, the healthcare sector is outperforming other sectors such as utilities 0.74% and consumer discretionary -1.97% as well as the general market -7.34%. Several companies in the industry have released announcements this holiday season that could be setting themselves up for a strong start into the new year.
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) announced that as a part of its technology platform, it has signed a binding LOI to acquire all the outstanding securities of Cloud Practice Inc., which offers cloud- based medical records software applications whose products include Juno EMR, ClinicAid, and MyHealthAccess. The Juno EMR system, a cloud-based EMR solution, is currently used by 287 clinics, over 3,000 licensed practitioners, 1,500 staff and 2,870,000 registered patients.
Premier Health recently signed another binding LOI to acquire a British Columbia based pharmacy and expects the acquisition to close in Q1–19. The company is also continuing to evaluate additional pharmacy acquisitions and/or partnerships. The company provided an update on its expansion into the Cannabis clinic space, that it has been in discussion with ACMPR-Licensed Producers, other licensed medical cannabis companies and government officials to establish a framework as well as actively recruiting additional physicians for existing clinics and a cannabis focused physician.
Premier Health entered the primary care clinic and healthcare technology business via the HealthVue transaction, obtaining access to a group of four Greater Vancouver-based fully integrated medical clinics with a 10-year history, 22 health care professionals and over 100,000 active patients.
vTv Therapeutics Inc (VTVT) announced that it exercised an option that MacAndrews & Forbes will acquire 815,217 shares of the company’s class A common stock at $1.84 per share, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company previously announced its third quarter earnings in November, for the quarter that ended September 30, 2018, as well as provided an update on their achievements and upcoming events.
In a press release regarding the announcement, vTv’s CEO commented: ”We continue to believe in the therapeutic potential of azeliragon and are committed to finding the optimal development pathway forward for the program,” said Steve Holcombe. ”We are also making progress with our other programs, either internally in the case of our GKA program, or through our licensing partners for our GLP-1R agonist, PPAR-delta, and PDE4 programs. We hope to see milestones achieved for each of these programs during 2019.”
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUPH) (TSX: AUP) most recently announced that it signed an open market sale agreement to sell up to $30 million shares from time to time through at-the-market offerings, with Jefferies as the sales agent or principal. The proceeds are allocated for Aurinia’s operations, including the clinical development and commercial production of voclosporin, an investigational drug, for the potential treatment of lupus nephritis, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and dry eye syndrome.
“We achieved a significant milestone in September with the completion of enrollment for the AURORA Phase III trial ahead of schedule. Our target enrollment of 324 patients was surpassed due to high patient demand with 358 LN patients randomized in sites across 27 countries.” said Richard M. Glickman, CEO and Chairman of the Board. “I continue to be impressed by our clinical team which has delivered on our important milestones, and to that end, I am pleased to announce enrollment for the phase II dry eye trial will be completed in the next couple of days, and we expect top-line data in January 2019.”
Richard Glickman will be presenting a company overview at the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, CA on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 10:00am PST.
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