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CardieX (ASX:CDX) – Craig Cooper

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The CEO Mindset - Craig Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of CardieX (ASX:CDX)

Craig Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of CardieX (ASX:CDX), an ASX listed public company with operations in medical technologies, wearable devices, and telehealth solutions. We provide digital and device-based solutions for large-scale population health disorders with significant market scale. Our fundamental mission is to develop a significant and valuable healthcare ecosystem of complementary and strategic products and services in order to provide smarter tools to help identify, diagnose, and treat patients with confidence.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I’ve founded or co-founded multiple companies in the past in different sectors, most notably in energy (NRG Asia), and telecommunications (Boost Mobile USA). I’ve also been an active investor in the digital media and health-tech space through my venture capital funds which have raised over a billion US dollars. My path is a culmination of both my operating and investment experience over the last 25 years. Through my venture investments I’ve also been lucky to have an inside view of hundreds of companies (and their CEOs) and the tools and processes that have led those companies to success (or failure) and it’s that experience that underlies my own executive and management style.

In today’s world everything moves so fast so there’s no real time for “a journey in becoming a CEO”. Most CEOs in tech, for example, are the original founders, and for most of them it’s their first company at an age that 30 years ago you’d never consider appropriate for a CEO of a multibillion-dollar company. Steve Jobs was 21 when he founded Apple. Bill Gates was 16 when he founded Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook. There is no learning curve in today’s world – you sink or swim.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
We make devices and solutions for diagnosing and managing the #1 killer in the world today – cardiovascular disease. Our “XCEL”, a unique device that measures central blood pressure is the only FDA cleared device for measuring arterial stiffness and inflammation non-invasively in adults. Our technology is also the world leader in measuring central blood pressure waveforms which, in layman’s terms, allows physicians to get a complete picture of the state of a patient’s arterial health.

Our traditional focus has been on sales to pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and specialist clinicians such as Nephrologists and Cardiologists. Our future product strategy however, is focused on taking our technology into large scale consumer markets through home and clinician devices, wearables and smart watches, and software solutions that allow clinicians to better manage their patients’ health.

Our solutions are particularly relevant in the current market given that COVID-19 is being seen more and more as a cardiovascular disease rooted in arterial inflammation. Providing consumers and clinicians with better ways to detect the COVID-19 disease is a core focus of our product development efforts.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
When COVID-19 hit we saw some initial slowdown with some of our process and manufacturing partnerships which was to be expected – but it’s now back to “business as usual” for us. We’re lucky that, being a tech firm, we can all operate remotely at full capacity and, in fact, my team seems to be working harder and more efficiently than ever before in this virtual environment. I’ve set up my company office as a kind of Zoom command center with lighting and proper cameras as well as other features to enable better inter-company communications. I’m on video calls a lot with investors and other stakeholders so it’s important to look professional. I told my team from the start, “this is not a holiday so don’t turn up on Zoom in your pyjamas!”. Although it’s hard to think that I won’t have my team around a table in person for the foreseeable future, it is what it is. The top priority for us is to keep everyone healthy so we can all get back to some level of normalcy ASAP.

For me personally, it’s definitely been tough. Everyone is struggling in their own way (well, except maybe for the founders of Netflix, Amazon, and Zoom!). I live in Orange County, California which is currently experiencing some of the highest infection and death rates in the USA. I’m also physically separated from my daughters who live in Australia so that hasn’t been easy. I stay sane by focusing on my exercise, nutrition, and maintaining my social connections as best as I can.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The thing that gets me jumping out of bed every morning is the knowledge that we are making a massive positive impact on global health with our technology and solutions. We’re disrupting an industry that hasn’t seen any real innovation in over a hundred years and showing that there’s a better way to identify, diagnose, treat, and manage the #1 killer of humans. There couldn’t be a better mission than that.

How do you measure success?
Am I making a positive impact on humanity? It’s that simple to me.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
You need to be a ringmaster of multiple stakeholders. Not only do you have to run a business, which is hard enough in itself; you also need to run an entirely separate business of managing the public capital markets. When you’re private (unlisted) you’re free to build a business without the glare and oversight of your shareholders on a daily basis, which is not a luxury you have as a public company. The goal of so many companies in Australia is to list on the ASX but I would question whether 80% of them should even be there – especially if you’re a small-cap growth technology company. Companies in our sector, for example, are valued at 10-20x in the private sector in the USA with similar revenues and comparable market opportunities. I’m biased of course but I think we are the most undervalued company on the ASX today.

What is your favorite book?
I’m a voracious reader and always have a backlog of books sitting on my Kindle. At the moment I’m obsessed with The Atlantis Gene trilogy which I’m just finishing up. It’s a multi-layered time traveling exploration of the origin of humanity – set against the backdrop of a fight to control the universe and create a single species – and it spans millions of years of evolution across multiple galaxies. It’s not easy reading but it covers so many themes that I’m passionately interested in, particularly the origin of species and bio-genesis. It’s also relevant at the moment because the story on Earth revolves around a global plague that is pitting different political factions against each-other.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
We’re actively looking for partnerships and collaboration opportunities in Asia. We have a corporate office and team in Shanghai that curates our licensing and other partnerships in that country and we’re actively looking to expand those partnerships beyond the Chinese market. We currently have a (yet to be announced) manufacturing partnership in China, as well as our Joint Venture with Mobvoi, Google’s in-country partner in China for the Wear OS operating system. The Oscar 2 (24-hour blood pressure monitor with our SphygmoCor technology inside) is sold in China (NMPA approved) and we’re looking for distribution partnerships for our new range of blood pressure wearables and home devices which will be FDA and NMPA cleared in 2021.

We are also looking for strategic partnerships that share our vision of reducing the impact of cardiovascular and arterial disease and lessening the rates of hypertension related disorders.

How can people connect with you?
IR Email: cassie.geselle@mcpartners.com.au
Website: https://cardiex.com/

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

CEO Craig Cooper on one of his laboratories visit

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Health Care

Medical cannabis company to commence clinical trials in early 2021

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Medical cannabis company to commence clinical trials in early 2021

ASX cannabis stocks are gaining momentum, stimulated by significant developments in the global regulatory environments in recent months.

On the cusp of a potential rerate is $29M capped Neurotech International Limited (ASX: NTI), a stock with imminent newsflow.

NTI is a medical cannabis company focused on the clinical applications of unique cannabis strains to treat neurological disorders.

The last month has been an extremely rewarding period for the company, with stage 1 clinical product formulation and development studies commencing in mid-November, and an outlook to enter into clinical trials in the March quarter of 2021.

Management has also been able to report that further preliminary results of in-vitro human brain cell studies using its proprietary DOLCE/NTI leads, indicated that they can regulate multiple neuronal pathways that are directly involved in cell repair and rejuvenation.

This followed successful preliminary results of in-vitro studies in human neuronal cell studies, positioning the clinical product development program to optimise and develop the most suitable product for phase 1 clinical trial program.

The significance of the group’s achievements hasn’t been missed by investors with the company’s shares surging 130% to a high of 6.6 cents in the last fortnight, a level it hasn’t traded at for more than two years.

Global acceptance of cannabis growing

Neurotech’s recent success in this high profile industry has been driven by both individual and broader factors, as well as the company’s capacity to service high volume markets.

Clinical studies are assessing the neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory and neuro-modulatory activities of its proprietary DOLCE/NTI cannabis strains which include CBDA, CBDP and CBDB.

The strains are unique in that they contain minimal THC (<0.3%), which may result in a less onerous regulatory pathway to commercialisation (any cannabis strain with a THC level above 0.3% is regulated as a narcotic).

These developments are occurring during a time of increasing medical recognition of the benefits of medical cannabis in treating neurological conditions and assisting with mental health problems.

Regulatory authorities are also undergoing increased acceptance of the benefits of CBD, such that previous restrictions that made the drug difficult to access have been lifted and/or eased in many global jurisdictions, including the US, Canada, the European Union and indeed Australia.

This has prompted analysts to revisit forecasts regarding the industry’s growth profile in coming years, with such significant global developments rousing these numbers to increase further.

A significant drain on government health systems, both in human resources and the cost of development and supply of devices for neurological disorders suggests that regulatory bodies will increasingly embrace new technologies that are safe, efficient and less taxing on public medical services.

Neurotech to also benefit from home-based device boom

In addition, Neurotech is also commercialising Mente, the world’s first home therapy that is clinically proven to increase engagement and improve relaxation in children on the autism spectrum with elevated Delta band brain activity.

This therapeutic technology in home element is particularly interesting in light of the success of numerous ASX-listed and global enterprises that have met the demand for home use services and devices due to mobility restraints resulting from COVID.

Mente uses personalised audio feedback and earphones to gently guide the brain into a more relaxed state.

It is a soft, easy to use and portable headband that was developed to help those on the autism spectrum better self-regulate attention and mood, which has been based on autism research and a successful clinical trial.

Mente’s daily 40-minute sessions are personalised to the user’s current brain activity and have been designed to minimise any disruption to their daily routine, allowing them to continue with quiet activities (reading, drawing, school work etc) whilst still receiving therapeutic benefits.

This makes Mente perfect for use both at home and within an educational setting.

DOLCE/NTI leads more effective than use of CBD alone

Further data has demonstrated the potential uniqueness of the DOLCE/NTI leads in their mode of action and their differentiation when compared to CBD alone.

Neurotech has been collaborating with high profile medical research organisations in completing in-vitro human brain cell studies using its proprietary DOLCE/NTI cannabis leads, with subsequent results proving very promising.

The studies, conducted at Monash University, University of Wollongong and RMIT University are assessing the neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory and neuro-modulatory activities of the proprietary DOLCE/NTI cannabis leads which include, CBDA, CBDP and CBDB.

Studies have indicated that the DOLCE/NTI leads regulate multiple neuronal pathways which are directly involved in cell repair and rejuvenation.

These leads indicate significant increased potency in repairing neuronal cells when compared to CBD alone.

More importantly, concentrations five times lower of the DOLCE/NTI leads are needed to achieve these results when compared to CBD alone (2ug/ml versus 10ug/ml respectively).

DOLCE/NTI leads work through a novel (different to CBD) mechanism, and they were shown to work through the powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme known as Arginase-1.

Conversely, CBD alone did not produce any significant anti-inflammatory properties.

DOLCE/NTI leads also increased the presence of beta-tubulin, an essential protein in the maintenance and healthy survival of brain cells, while CBD did not produce an increase.

Beta-tubulin is a vital protein in the management of a number of chronic neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

Final in-vitro results expected in coming weeks

Neurotech is positioned well to finesse its upcoming clinical program, selecting the optimum dose and patient parameters.

Commenting on the highly promising results as well as pointing to the potential for applications in other areas, Leedman said, “These preliminary trial results continue to be very encouraging, in particular the unique mode of action of our strains compared to CBD alone.”

“These results indicate that the DOLCE/NTI leads may have a broader application in relation to the management and treatment of a number of neurological disorders”.

Even with significant stock price upturn over the past month, there is potential for further share price moment as final in-vitro trial results are imminent.

The transition to clinical trials from preliminary tests is a major milestone, providing share price rerating’s as well as being the source of positive news flow throughout the trial process.

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Creso Pharma ready to take on recreational cannabis market as purchase orders mount up

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Creso Pharma ready to take on recreational cannabis market as purchase orders mount up

Last week, Creso Pharma Limited’s (ASX:CPH; FRA: 1X8) wholly-owned Canadian cannabis cultivation subsidiary, Mernova Medicinal Inc. received three purchase orders with a combined value of C$275,023 (A$288,159).

These new purchase orders are part of a trend this year, which has seen CPH generate more consistent revenue through product demand, whilst substantially trimming operating costs.

The first of the new purchase orders was valued at C$232,826 (A$243,841) and came from Truro Cannabis Company, a licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis products.

The Truro order is a bulk order for three of Mernova’s high quality, indoor grown, hand trimmed, hang dried, cured, artisanal cannabis strains, in dried flower form, specifically HPG13, Lemon Haze and Mimosa.

Truro is well established throughout Canada, and will sell Mernova’s products via its well-established distribution channels.

Creso Pharma also received a maiden purchase order from the Yukon Liquor Corporation (‘Yukon’), opening a new Canadian market with the company anticipating further orders in the future.

The purchase order for the HPG13, Lemon Haze and Mimosa strains, in dried flower form is valued at C$24,333 (A$25,436).

These products will be sold under the Ritual Green brand in 3.5 gram and 7 gram units, through leading retailer Triple J’s Canna Space.

A Notice to Purchase from the Province of Ontario, also marks Creso’s entry into Canada’s largest recreational cannabis market.

These developments serve as confirmation of the significant demand for Mernova’s high-quality cannabis products in the rapidly growing Canadian retail recreational market.

This has been evident since October, when Creso announced that repeat purchase orders totalled more than $2 million on a year-to-date basis following a repeat purchase order from South African-based Pharma Dynamics.

In Europe, CPH continues to sell its CBD products in the animal health market via its Swiss operations, with a total of A$975,000 in Purchase Orders confirmed in 2020.

Total purchase orders continue to grow across CPH’s operations.

Commenting on these recent developments and expressing his confidence regarding the likelihood of further strong order flow, Mernova managing director Jack Yu said, “Mernova continues to make very strong progress in the Canadian recreational market.

“The three most recently secured purchase orders will contribute to Creso Pharma’s growing revenue profile and we expect additional orders to materialise in the very near term.

“Mernova has now become part of a very select group of licensed producers with cannabis products for sale in the Yukon.

“This is a major achievement for us, and we expect growth to continue across Canada and, with our pending entry into Ontario, Canada’s largest recreational market, we expect rapid growth to continue.”

Recreational markets across the globe could open up

Legal recreational marijuana has been available in Canada for two years now, however it looks as though other nations are following suit.

Last Friday, the US House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act – an Act that intends to decriminalise cannabis on a national level.

The decision is expected to have far reaching effects on the cannabis industry in North America, encouraging investors and corporate America to fully unlock the value of a multi-billion dollar industry, expected to surge to $130BN by 2024.

Mernova, Creso’s 24,000 sq.ft cannabis growing facility in Canada is only 1,700 miles from the US border.

Creso is now exploring near term opportunities for entry into the US recreational cannabis space right now, in readiness for legalisation. It is being assisted by Canadian cannabis icon Bruce Linton, who has come to Creso as a Strategic Advisor.

Mr Linton was the founder and CEO of Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED | NYSE: CGC), which he built from a tiny start up into a US$15BN market cap powerhouse at its peak.

Given these developments, CPH is currently trading at levels not seen since February 2020, prior to COVID sending global markets tumbling.

Looking globally, the United Nation’s Commission for Narcotic Drugs voted to reschedule cannabis, effectively removing it from a list including ‘hard’ drugs, such as heroin.

Furthermore, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that member states must not prohibit the marketing of lawfully produced CBD and ruled that CBD is not considered a narcotic.

As a result, CBD can be freely sold in the European Union (EU).

Even Australia is getting on board.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will shortly bring down its final decision regarding a major regulatory change in the distribution of cannabidiol (CBD) products in Australia.

The changes recommend that CBD products be down scheduled from schedule 4 and classified as schedule 3 medicines in Australia, which would allow Australian consumers to purchase CBD products over-the-counter (OTC) through pharmacies without the requirement of a prescription.

That announcement may already be paying off for Creso, which late last week announced it has secured an exclusive Heads of Agreement with leading natural, sustainable health and lifestyle brand supplier Martin & Pleasance Pty Ltd.

Under the agreement, Creso will manufacture a range of cannabidiol products in Switzerland, which would be sold under new and existing Martin & Pleasance brands in Australia.

Martin & Pleasance was established over 150 years ago and provides an extensive range of natural remedies and medicines to consumers.

Four products are earmarked from Creso’s proprietary nutraceutical range in lozenge and tea form, which are all manufactured at the GMP Certified Mernova facility.

With regulations around cannabis opening up across the globe, and well established global operations, Creso Pharma looks well placed for growth.

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Health Care

Q&A With StockPal – Race Oncology (ASX:RAC)

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Q&A with StockPal - Phil Lynch, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Race Oncology (ASX:RAC)

Watch Phil Lynch, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) and Jared Sim, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of StockPal in this engaging Q&A with the following questions:

0:15 – What is Race Oncology about and how has the Phase II trial been?
2:48 – How did your company cope during the COVID-19 pandemic?
3:40 – What are the current ongoing projects and could you describe the three-pillar strategy?
6:35 – What is the timeline for commercialisation?
7:40 – What is Race Oncology’s competitive advantage?
8:40 – How are you currently engaging with your investors?

Visit RAC’s website to learn more about their story: https://www.raceoncology.com/

Email editor@stockpal.asia if you are or represent a listed-company and is keen to be in our interviews.

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

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