CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 14, 2018 / Healthcare demand is increasing as an aging population continues to drive new healthcare market growth. The connection between healthcare goods and services is less tied to the economy compared to other sectors, and that could make healthcare stocks the place where investors will look for a hedge as the broader markets see increasing volatility.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data*, the fastest-growing sectors include healthcare support occupations (23.2% increase from 2016-2026) and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (15.2%), which entail home health aides, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, among other positions. These two occupational groups - which make up 14 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations across all industries from 2016 to 2026 - are projected to contribute about one-fifth of all new jobs by 2026.
Companies that are attracting investor interest across North America that are taking advantage of these newest developments include Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI), Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (VKTX), RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXII), and Precipio, Inc. (PRPO).
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) is taking on new growth opportunities in the healthcare market. The facts are that the Canadian retail pharmacy market is estimated to be $44 billion (Source:IBISWorld). It is expected the industry sector will continue to allow for favorable economics for pharmacy operators as baby boomer's demand increases for prescriptions and operators expand scope of practice to include preventative services.
In light of this opportunity, Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) announced this month that as a part of its expansion plans it will be entering the Pharmacy market "via acquisition and/or launching a new Canada based pharmacy in H1-2019." With Premier's acquisition of HealthVue Medical Clinics in August, this could be the next phase of growth for the company. Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) said that it expects to provide additional updates on acquisitions in Q4-18 and Q1-19 so this could be one of the near term events to consider when looking at Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI).
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) is focused on developing innovative approaches that combine human skill based expertise with emerging technologies for the healthcare industry. The company has recently seen market activity that is higher than average and could be attributed to the company's most recent announcements. To this end, the company has also begun to build out its technology framework to continue the expansion of its HealthVue subsidiary. Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) announced that it has selected Reliq Health Technologies Inc. as its exclusive technology partner. Reliq will be providing Premier's subsidiary, HealthVue, primary care clinics with a HealthVue-branded telemedicine, remote monitoring & AI solution for its clinical staff and more than 100,000 active patients.
Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) was on the top trending healthcare stocks to watch this morning. The company is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Viking announced the presentation of results from the company's 12-week Phase 2 study of VK2809, its novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist, in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). As previously reported, the study successfully achieved both its primary and secondary endpoints, and demonstrated an encouraging safety and tolerability profile.
Newly presented data provide further detail on the trial endpoints, highlighting the changes to LDL-C, atherogenic proteins, and other liver parameters. The results were presented Monday, November 12 as part of the Oral Late-Breaker session of The Liver Meeting® 2018, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), held November 9– 13 in San Francisco, CA.
"The fact that two-thirds of patients treated with VK2809 achieved at least a 50% reduction in liver fat content is striking, particularly in light of the relatively short duration of treatment evaluated in this trial. While our research suggests that reducing liver fat by at least 30% increases the likelihood of triggering a potential histologic response in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients, we would expect that patients who have their liver fat content reduced by more than half may even have a higher likelihood of improvement in liver histology when assessed in a future biopsy-based trial," stated Rohit Loomba, M.D., MHSc, Director, NAFLD Research Center, and Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Diego.
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXII) is a biotechnology company developing the next generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) therapeutic platform. Today the company reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018 and announced several business updates, including new management appointments and a new Company name and ticker symbol.
"In the past few months, we have focused on continuing to generate meaningful data through our R&D activities, while at the same time being extremely diligent in spending our cash in a way that can maximize the outcome," said Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. "The significant reduction in net loss for the third quarter, and for the first nine months of 2018, has been the result of a careful selection of academic and industrial partners who have shown a high interest in the potential of our self-delivering platform for RNAi in immuno-oncology (IO) and adoptive cell transfer therapy (ACT). In addition, we have been able to complete a financing of $15 million last month, providing us with a financial runway we expect to last until at least through the first half of 2020."
Shares jumped to highs of $0.40 just as the market opened this morning.
Precipio, Inc. (PRPO) announced an upcoming Labroots webinar titled "COLD-PCR technology: current status and application in liquid biopsies for cancer and prenatal diagnosis" on Tuesday, November 20that 10:00 AM EST. The webinar is sponsored by Perkin Elmer and attendees will receive either Professional Acknowledgment for Continuing Education (P.A.C.E.®) or Florida C.E. credit. P.A.C.E is administered by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.
This webinar is part of the continued collaboration between Perkin Elmer and Precipio to educate the market on the value of liquid biopsies. Precipio has built a platform designed to eradicate the problem of misdiagnosis by harnessing the intellect, expertise and technology developed within academic institutions and delivering quality diagnostic information to physicians and their patients worldwide.
Shares of PRPO saw above average trading volume on Tuesday followed by a strong move during premarket trading on Wednesday. Before the opening bell, shares of PRPO hit highs of $0.33
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*Bureau of Labor Statistics Data: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf