The healthcare industry is founded on the notion that as diseases become more advanced, companies which develop treatment options will rise to the occasion to discover potential cures. Fortunately, the healthcare industry has a healthy amount of companies that are focused on developing innovative approaches and treatments. Given that the world’s aging population is constantly increasing, and chronic diseases are becoming more prevalent, the vital need for healthcare companies is rising on a global scale.
As demand the for healthcare is increasing, the opportunity for these companies to invest and develop fresh technologies and treatments to improve the quality of care heightens. From data-based approaches to drug candidates, advancements in sector may catalyze potential opportunities investors looking to healthcare stocks.
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) announced it is working with NexTech AR Solutions (NEXCF) to explore bringing augmented reality technology to its patient centric healthcare app to develop education tools for healthcare professionals and patients alike – some of which will be created and commercialized content for third parties.
“At Premier Health we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of changes in healthcare, so we are thrilled to be a part of the future of healthcare by enabling state of the art technological advancements to our patient centric telemedicine app,” said Dr. Essam Hamza, CEO. “AR has the potential to revolutionize both the access to data and the delivery of healthcare. The technology will help doctors and patients alike – doctors will have access to the latest and most relevant information about their patients while patients can use AR for self-education and improving the quality of treatment they receive.”
Premier Health recently announced the launch of a technology enabled mental health initiative to focus on providing app enabled mental health counselling for patients in urban and remote populations as well as growing its development team at Cloud Practice to support the build out of its patient centric platform and mobile app – a beta version of which will be available by end of Q2 will initially be extended to the 290 clinics in Premier Health’s ecosystem.
Premier Health other recent announcements include expansion plans to formally enter the cannabis clinic space and has been in discussions with Canadian ACMPR-Licensed Producers to develop a partnership. The company is also in the process of closing on two operating pharmacies in Metro Vancouver and entered into a partnership with a major online healthcare company in China, 360 Health enabling the Premier’s healthcare team to connect with patients virtually in China to provide second opinion services.
Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. (SEEL) announced that it has acquired an exclusive license to intellectual property owned by The Regents of the University of California pertaining to a technology created by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The technology relates to a family of rationally-designed peptide inhibitors that target the aggregation of alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein).
Seelos intends to study this initial approach in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and will further evaluate the potential clinical approach in other central nervous system disorders. This new program will be dubbed SLS-007. Pre-clinical data provides supportive evidence to slow progression – an early sign of disease-modifying potential in PD. Under the terms of the agreement, Seelos has made an upfront payment of $100,000 and will issue future payment in the form of royalties, contingent upon commercialization.
“Despite current available treatments for PD, including levodopa and deep brain stimulation, long-term outcomes for patients remain poor,” said Tim Whitaker, MD, Head of R&D. “With no disease-modifying treatments, and long-term use of established dopaminergic therapies resulting in both adverse events and side effects, significant need remains to develop not only a better means of restoring striatal dopamine but a safe and effective treatment that slows progression of the disease in patients with PD. If we are successful in our planned pre-clinical and future clinical studies, SLS-007 may prove to be such a treatment.”
GTx, Inc. (GTXI) annouced that it has entered a definitive merger agreement with Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. under which the stockholders of Oncternal would become the majority owners of GTx’s outstanding common stock. The proposed merger will create a publicly-traded, clinical-stage oncology company named Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. with plans to change its ticker symbol on the Nasdaq to ONCT upon closing of the transaction.
The combined company will have a solid balance sheet and strong pipeline of promising oncology drug programs with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments for the combined company are estimated to be approximately $26 million and are expected to be enough to advance Oncternal’s programs into Q2 2020, including the Phase 2 study of cirmtuzumab and ibrutinib, and will fund the planned SARD preclinical studies to support the submission of an investigational new drug application with the U.S. FDA.
“This transaction with Oncternal reflects the continued commitment of our management team and Board of Directors to deliver value to stockholders and make a difference in patients’ lives,” said Robert J. Wills, PhD, Executive Chairman of GTx. “Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives, we have determined that a reverse merger with Oncternal will enable GTx investors to participate in Oncternal’s broader pipeline of oncology opportunities, including product candidates designed to address rare disease indications, and enable the continued development of our first-in-class SARD technology by a company whose leadership has deep experience in developing oncology medicines.”
Bio-Path Holdings, Inc., (BPTH) announced a clinical update to the previously reported interim analysis from the Phase 2 trial of prexigebersen (BP1001) for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and provides its plans for the compound’s clinical development moving forward toward registration. In April 2018, Bio-Path completed an initial interim analysis of 17 patients from Stage 1 of the Phase 2 study which the results showed a safety and efficacy profile with 47% of patients having a response comprised of four complete response (CR) patients, including one CRi(complete response with incomplete hematologic recovery) and four patients with stable disease.
Recently, the data from the 17 evaluable patients was updated, and following a meeting with the principal investigators of the study, those results now show that the efficacy profile has improved to where 11 (65%) of the 17 evaluable patients had a response, including five (29%) who achieved CR (including one CRi) and one morphologic leukemia free state (MLFS), and six stable disease responses, including two patients who had greater than a 50% reduction in bone marrow blasts.
“These updated interim data from Stage 1 of our Phase 2 study of prexigebersen in de novo AML patients give strong evidence of the safety and efficacy profile of our lead compound and underscore its potential to provide meaningful treatment improvement in this difficult-to-treat patient population,” said Peter Nielsen, President CEO. “We were particularly pleased with these results, especially when you consider that the large percentage of these patients are secondary AML patients. The CR/CRp/CRi rate for LDAC treatment alone for the class of patients in this study was benchmarked at 7-13%1, whereas prexigebersen treatment with LDAC is currently showing a 29% CR/CRi/MLFS rate, with a highly favorable safety profile.”
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