CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 21, 2018 / Healthcare stocks continue to gain traction amid volatile market conditions this week. Investors have been less optimistic on tech stocks and more favorable to the healthcare sector. US midterm elections have also helped to boost a more favorable market for healthcare. The split party control of Congress following means that things like Obamacare aren't going anywhere, and proposals to curtail drug prices are not likely to pass both houses. Healthcare and biotech stocks, after nearly three years of underperformance, have begun to make a comeback during the second half of this year. As a result, the Health Care Sector SPDR (XLV) is rallying vs. the gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, returning to the highs seen in the middle of October.
With the latest trends boosting market interest investors are watching healthcare stocks such as Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI), Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE American: SYN), AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACRX) and Novelion Therapeutics Inc. (NVLN).
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. This month, Premier solidified its stance on the increasing opportunity that the legal marijuana industry has presented. Last week Premier Health announced that as a part of its expansion plans, Premier Health will enter the Cannabis clinic space by a series of acquisitions, partnerships and/or launching a new Canada -based chain in the first half of 2019.
"The role of Cannabis in treating medical conditions is continuously expanding. Our doctors have had success treating their patients with various ailments from chronic pain to cancer related symptoms. Unfortunately, there is a gap between the patient's need for medical marijuana, and the family doctor's comfort and knowledge to prescribe it. We are looking to fill that gap with various forms of clinics and services to help our patients and healthcare workers," said Dr. Essam Hamza , Chief Executive Officer of Premier Health.
The Canadian medical cannabis clinic market is estimated to be worth approximately $2.35 billion by 2025. With this in mind, the company said that it expects to provide additional updates on acquisitions in Q4-18 and Q1-19. Shares of Premier Health hit highs of CAD$0.84 on Friday.
Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (SYN) is a late-stage clinical company developing therapeutics designed to preserve the microbiome to protect and restore the health of patients. Today Synthetic announced that it has successfully completed an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss development of SYN-004 (ribaxamase) for the prevention of antibiotic-mediated Clostridium
Pursuant to the meeting, the FDA has proposed criteria for Phase 3 clinical efficacy and safety, which if achieved, may support submission for marketing approval of ribaxamase on the basis of a single Phase 3 clinical trial. Final agreement on these criteria is contingent on FDA evaluation of a detailed Phase 3 clinical trial protocol.
Synthetic Biologics anticipates initiating the Phase 3 clinical program after securing additional potential financing via a strategic partnership. In parallel, the Company is evaluating opportunities to advance ribaxamase through the pursuit of a more focused clinical indication in a specialty patient population with multiple potential disease endpoints associated with IV beta-lactam-induced gut microbiome damage.
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACRX) continued to climb after its move on Tuesday. AcelRx is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the use in medically supervised settings. This month the company announced an upcoming presentation at the 17th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA). The presentation is part of the Emerging Technology Moderated Poster session.
The Company has one approved product in the U.S., DSUVIA (sufentanil sublingual tablet, 30 mcg), known as DZUVEO in Europe, indicated for the management of acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic for adult patients in certified medically supervised healthcare settings, and one product candidate, Zalviso® (sufentanil sublingual tablet system, SST system, 15 mcg) being developed as an innovatively designed patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) system for reduction of moderate-to-severe acute pain in medically supervised settings. DZUVEO and Zalviso are both approved products in Europe.
Novelion Therapeutics Inc. (NVLN) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing new standards of care for individuals living with rare diseases. Novelion has a rare disease product portfolio through its subsidiary, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The company announced an upcoming presentation at the 17th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA). The presentation is part of the Emerging Technology Moderated Poster session
In addition, the company reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2018. In a separate press release on November 8, 2018, this month. Novelion's Chief Financial Officer Michael Price commented, "In the third quarter we saw a positive impact from the cost reduction initiatives that we implemented throughout 2018, reflecting significant improvements in our operating expenses and bottom line, with GAAP net loss improving by approximately 50% and non-GAAP net loss improving by approximately 79% when compared to the same period in 2017. Additionally, we are pleased that our operating subsidiary, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Aegerion"), was able to secure the bridge financing that we announced yesterday, which we believe positions Aegerion to achieve a more comprehensive capital restructuring - our primary near-term goal."
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