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ASX Runners: Lumos rockets 1491 per cent after FDA approval

Updated: Mar 21

Entry in the lucrative US healthcare market has sent Lumos Diagnostics’ stock flying nearly 1500 per cent. Credit: File.

Those who have sat through seemingly never ending hours of Harry Potter flicks alongside the kids would know all too well that “Lumos” is one of the better known spells of the Potter-verse and allows wizards to light up their wands as they lurk around the darkened corridors of Hogwarts.

And for those holding shares in Lumos Diagnostics this week, it would indeed appear the wizards and their wands have been hard at work.

The medtech’s stock lit up the ASX boards with Lumos’ share price assenting the giddy heights of 17.5c after cellar dwelling last week at just over a cent.

The massive hike came as the all powerful United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) played the role of Potter’s Dumbledore for Lumos, giving it the power to fly after Lumos managed to convince it of the merits of its acute respiratory system test.

Management says the FDA approval allows its “FebriDX” point-of-care test to be used by healthcare professionals to aid the diagnosis of bacterial acute respiratory infection. It is designed to be used in addition to other laboratory findings to improve the accuracy of diagnosis.

With its test already registered for use in a host of countries such as the UK, Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Australia, Lumos went knocking on the door of the FDA in January this year before submitting a new application which passed muster, allowing the company to now lean into the ultra-lucrative American health care market.

"We are delighted to finally secure clearance to market our FebriDx rapid, point-of-care test in the US as we continue to believe it has an important role to play in antibiotic stewardship. With this clearance in hand, we anticipate securing our first commercial orders in the US before the end of calendar year 2023. In the meantime, we are continuing to work with distribution partners and potential licensees, as well as establish our own focused sales effort, as we prepare to launch FebriDx in the US". Lumos Diagnostics chief executive officer Doug Ward

They say a rising tide lifts all boats and that certainly was the case this week as the Lumos news dragged fellow medtech Atomo Diagnostics along by a whopping also 354 per cent to hit 10cents after ending last week at just 2.2c

It seems that some canny investors worked out that Atomo is a supplier to Lumos and the FDA approval for Lumos also saw Atomo’s share price get a touch of the magic wand.

On the flipside, Australian Mines’ ensured the explorers got some attention this week when its shareprice also went pop after the grant of a nickel/cobalt mining lease in Queensland. That little move caused its stock to hike from 1.6 cents to 6 cents, up 275 per cent.

Rounding out the Runners of the Week this week was cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge who climbed 192 per cent after a move to revoke its Medicare coverage in the US was delayed indefinitely. That news saw its shares touch 22.5c off last week’s close of just 7.7.

The company successfully reversed a decision by two private health care insurers in the US who, under the local system, had been granted jurisidication to process Medicare claims and had deemed that Pacific Edge’s Cxbladder would no longer be eligible for Medicare coverage from July 17.

That decision has been reversed and no timeline has been provided for the new process.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, national healthcare expenditure in the United States reached US$4.3 trillion (AU$6.48 trillion) in 2021, or US$12,914 (AU$19,465) per person and is estimated to reach $6.2 trillion (US$9.34 trillion) by 2028.

The US spent nearly 16.8 per cent of gross domestic product on healthcare in 2019. Germany was the second-highest ranking country, spending 11.7 per cent, followed by Switzerland, spending 11.3 per cent.

Deloitte estimates that, if the current trajectory continues, health spending will triple to nearly US$12 trillion (AU$18 trillion) by 2040, or 26 per cent of the GDP.

By any measure the health-care pie is huge and even a little piece of that big pie can be lucrative – hence it was a big week for ASX medtechs doing interesting things this week.

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