Biotech and health companies form a key part of the ASX and are focused on developing the next generation of medicine and pharmaceuticals. These businesses may range from early stage developers seeking to validate their discovery, through to large multi-nationals with a portfolio of proven therapies and products.
For many early stage or pre-clinical biotech/health companies, investor capital would go towards preliminary studies around safety, synthesis among other ex vitro tests. The goal here is to provide all the necessary data and information to support an eventual clinical trial.
Once a company has an adequate level of confidence and data for their drug candidate, they may choose to advance to clinical trials. These clinical trials typically consist of 3 phases, each increasing in regulatory, safety, and technical requirements. These may involve both human, and non-human test subjects and can take last several years to complete. This is commonly the riskiest part of the biotech development cycle, but successful results may lead to favorable corporate activity.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there has been substantial interest in developing related treatments and vaccines. This has seen a substantial number of companies either develop new drugs or re-purpose existing treatments for potential coronavirus applications.
When a company successfully trails their product, they will then move to seek regulatory approval and ultimately marketing. This completes the company’s transition to a revenue generating business. At this step, the company may choose to conduct post-marketing surveillance, commonly known as stage 4 trails to monitor for long term effects.
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