ASX healthcare shares struggled to make headway in February. Here are the 2 companies that managed to come out on top.
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Strong performing ASX healthcare shares came few and far between in February. The S&P/ASX Health Care Index (ASX: XHJ) was down 3% for the month, compared to the 1% increase in the ASX 200.
From respiratory devices, vaccine producers to hospitals and hearing aids, most large cap ASX healthcare shares finished last month in the red.
With the top end of town struggling, here are the 2 ASX healthcare shares that topped their peers in February.
1. Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPL)
The Starpharma share price pushed 37% higher from $1.50 to $2.08 last month. This follows a series of positive announcements from the dendrimer product (DEP) developer.
The first in a string of announcements came on 9 February where the company provided an update on its AZDo466 product. The update highlights AstraZeneca’s intention to expand the ongoing clinical program for AZD0466 to include a multi-centre global Phase 1 study. AZD0466 leverages Starpharma’s DEP technology to improve the characteristics and therapeutic index of anti-cancer agents.
Just four days later on 12 February, the company announced a research agreement with global pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Merck & Co is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, generating US$48 billion in revenue in 2020.
The final positive announcement for the month came on 23 February where the company provided an update on its Viraleze antiviral nasal spray.
Viraleze is an antiviral nasal spray that is also shown to be 99.99% effective against COVID-19 and stop infection when applied to cells before and after exposure to the virus. The update reveals that Viraleze has been successfully registered for sale in Europe.
2. Rhythm Biosciences Ltd (ASX: RHY)
Rhythm is working on a simple, affordable, and effective blood test for the early detection of colorectal cancer, the third-largest cause of cancer-related deaths globally. The company’s ColoSTAT technology has the potential to become a screening test for colorectal cancer.
Rhythm has advised of multiple hospitals joining its ColoSTAT clinical trials in recent months. More recently, on 11 February, the company announced that the Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Queensland will now participate in trials. This brings the total number of participating hospitals to 10. The trials aim to study the safety and effectiveness of the prototype test kits.
While the ColoSTAT product is in its early days, the company aims to address the global market through mass screening programs.
The Rhythm share price has delivered some explosive growth in the last 12 months surging from 6 cents to above $1.60 at various points. In February, the company added another 32% to close at $1.55.
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Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Starpharma Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Starpharma Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
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