The global medical technology industry’s market size is presently around USD $400 billion and is predicted to reach $495 billion in the next three years, according to a PwC report. The term “medical technology” covers a wide range of products, from devices to drugs to software. Technological advancements in the industry help to save lives by improving the accuracy of diagnoses, treatments, and in turn evolving medical care.
Demand for healthcare is forecast to grow with an aging population increasing and the rise in prevalence of chronic diseases. With demand growing, advancements in the sector boost excitement within the market. From data-based approaches to potential blockbuster drug candidates, advancements in healthcare may catalyze opportunities for those 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 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.
Lipocine Inc. (LPCN) announced top-line results from the 16-week Liver Fat Imaging Study with LPCN 1144. Previously, the company announced eight-week top-line interim results in mid-January. The Liver Fat Study was designed to assess the therapeutic potential of LPCN 1144 in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and advanced form non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with liver fat changes assessed using magnetic resonance imaging, proton density fat fraction technique, a non-invasive quantitative biomarker of liver fat content.
Treatment results at End of Study demonstrated that 48% of the treated NAFLD subjects had NAFLD resolution, defined as liver fat 5% post treatment, an improvement over the 28% percent observed after ~8 weeks of treatment. Additionally, 100% subjects experiencing NAFLD resolution had at least a 35% relative liver fat reduction from baseline with a relative mean liver fat reduction of 55%.
“We are encouraged by the Liver Fat Study results, especially the extent of the observed NAFLD resolution which improved over eight-week interim results with potential for further improvement upon longer treatment,” said Dr. Mahesh Patel, Chairman, President and CEO. Dr. Patel further stated, “We look forward to conducting further clinical testing with LPCN 1144, in biopsy confirmed NASH subjects.”
Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. (SEEL) announced acquiring 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 named 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.”
Bio-Path Holdings, Inc., (BPTH) announced a clinical update to the previously reported interim analysis from the Phase 2 trial of prexigebersen (BP1001) targeting acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and provided 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.
The data from the 17 patients was updated, and following a meeting with the principal investigators of the study, those results now indicate that the efficacy profile has improved to where 11 (65%) of the 17 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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