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Biotech Daily covers the major announcements from more than 140 ASX-listed biotech companies as well as the major research institutes and developments in government policy.

Published shortly after the stock market closes five days a week - excluding public holidays - Biotech Daily is the only comprehensive daily source of information on the listed biotech sector.

The Biotech Daily Top 40 Index (BDI-40) is selected on the basis of interesting technologies, benefit to human health and investment potential. Market capitalization is important, but is not a sole arbiter.

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2018 BDI-40 Down 16%, ASX200 Down 7%
Big Caps Up 30%, NBI Down 9%

 Paradigm Up 332%, Volpara 199%; Airxpanders Down 89%, Impedimed 81%

January 2, 2019

There is no gilding the lily – December and the year to December 31, 2018 were not good for biotech. Or what CEOs, directors and brokers call “a buying opportunity”.
The Biotech Daily Top-40 Index (BDI-40) lost 16.3 percent in the 12 months to December 31, 2018 compared to the S&P ASX200 falling 6.9 percent and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NBI) down 9.3 percent, while the unstoppable three Big Caps of Cochlear, CSL and Resmed (which are not included in the BDI-40) climbed 30.4 percent for the year.
In the month to December 31, 2018, the BDI-40 shed 3.3 percent, the ASX200 lost 0.4 percent, the NBI fell 11.2 percent, but the Big Caps recovered 4.6 percent.
Just seven of the Biotech Daily Top 40 companies were up in December, 12 fell and one was unchanged. The most notable December rises were Cynata (28.7%), Avita (21.8%), Pharmaxis (21.8%) and Genetic Signatures (18.6%); while the worst falls were Impedimed (25.8%), Airxpanders (25%), Optiscan (24.0%), Starpharma (23.5%), Benitec (22.9%), Imugene (21.7%), Proteomics (20.5%) and Orthocell (17.6%).
But for the 12 months to December 31, it was a different picture, with 22 up and 18 down.
Paradigm was the BDI-40 best, up 332.4 percent from $34 million to $147 million. Volpara climbed 198.5 percent to $197 million, followed by Genetic Signatures (151.5%), Dimerix (132.1%), Clinuvel (121.5%), Proteomics (93.75%), Oncosil (53.9%) and Avita (52.2%).
The four US-based companies in the BDI-40 led the falls for the year and it is hard to understand whether it is a ‘Trump effect’, people not buying their innovations or something more substantial.
While Impedimed lost the most in 2018, shedding $312 million of its market capitalization (81.25%) to $72 million, Airxpanders was the worst, tumbling 89.0 percent or $186 million from $209 million to $15 million – despite having a very compelling post-mastectomy breast implant technology. Reva lost 77.9 percent to $62 million with sluggish sales of its state-of-the-art bioresorbable coronary stent, and a similar story for Osprey’s cardiac dye reduction system, with the company falling 64.0 percent to $50 million.
Neuren fell 56.0 percent, followed by Optiscan (55.8%), Prana (52.6%), Orthocell (48.1%) and Medical Developments (31.9%).
Outside the BDI-40, nine companies were up by more than 100 percent for the year, mostly from very low bases, while 12 fell more than 50 percent.
Invion was the best, up 1,000 percent from $9 million to $99 million followed by Biotron (518.2%), Bard1 (450.0%), Memphasys (233.3%), Respiri (157.9%), Recce (128.6%), Botanix (112.0%), Alcidion (100%) and Simavita (100%).
Factor led the falls, down 94.6 percent, followed by Medibio (94.2%), ITL (79.5%), Anatara (72.9%), Phosphagenics (70.4%), Bionomics (69.4%), Rhythm Bio (66.7%), Adherium (64.7%), Race (64.7%), Visioneering (63.4%), OBJ (54.2%) and Admedus (50.7%).
The collective value of the 15 Cannabis Corner companies was the lowest for the year at $1,176 million having peaked in February at $1,700 million. Thirteen of the 15 fell, with just Elixinol Global (yet to begin its promised medical marijuana research and development) up 88.5 percent since January 31, 2018 and Botanix up 112 percent for the year.
On the Nasdaq, Vaxart (formerly Aviragen, Biota) fell to $19 million, while Queensland’s Protagonist slumped 57.6 percent to $231 million. Eyepoint (formerly Psivida) climbed 279.1 percent to $254 million and Redhill rose 43.6 percent to $201 million.
BDI-40 v S&P ASX200 Jun 30, 2006 to Dec 31, 2018 
Big Caps (Cochlear, CSL, Resmed) Dec 31, 2015 To Dec 31, 2018


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Biotech Daily Top 40 With Market Capitalization At Dec 31, 2018


* Biotech Daily editor, David Langsam, owns shares in Acrux, Amplia, Benitec, Cynata, Mesoblast, Nanosonics, Neuren,
   Patrys, Polynovo, Prana, Telix and Volpara, as well as non-biotechnology stocks.
   Through Australian Ethical Superannuation he has an indirect interest in a range of biotechnology companies. 

   These holdings are liable to change: