A medical worker in a blue glove inspects a vial representing a HIV positive sample. Source Adobe Stock
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Shares in otherwise thinly traded healthcare microcap Biotron Limited (ASX:BIT) jumped 14.6% to 5.5cps on Wednesday following the release of Phase 2 HIV trial results using BIT225-011.

Notable also in today’s share price move is a massive volume spike in shares trading hands.

The 4 week average share trade turnover volume per a service that ports Morningstar data was 532K shares per day as at lunchtime on Wednesday. But looking at overall volumes up to that same point on Wednesday, nearly 15M shares had traded hands.

The company has been using its product BIT225 on patients with HIV who have not achieved “full immune constitution despite long-term suppressive antiretroviral treatment.”

BIT225 is described by Biotron on its website as a “novel first-in class HIV-1 … protein inhibitor” which the company anticipates can inhibit viral replication in the human body.

However, Professor Anthony Kelleher from the University of NSW (and Director at the Kirby Institute), cooperating with Biotron on the trial, noted that targeted outcome results from the Phase 2 trial were, perhaps, lacking.

“The laboratory changes seen in this exploratory study, while not demonstrating a rise in CD4 cells, are of interest and may portend clinical impact,” Prof. Kelleher said.

“Individuals who do not achieve full immune reconstitution following fully suppressive antiviral therapy represent an important portion of those with HIV infection.

“Studies suggest that immune non-responders (INR) represent 20%-40% of those on current antiviral therapy … [there is] a clear unmet need … requiring testing in the clinic.”

Biotron MD Michelle Miller acknowledged data is early-stage.

“This study was a particularly complex and time-consuming trial. The results reported here are preliminary, and ongoing analysis of this BIT225-011 trial and the BIT225-010 HIV-1 trial in a treatment-naïve population will be reported when complete,” Miller said.

The news follows a release from unrelated peer Atomo Diagnostics (ASX:AT1), the only ASX-listed company with a TGA-recognised HIV self-test kit, that it had become the beneficiary of a Federal budget grant to roll-out self-testing kits in each state and territory.

BIT last traded at 5.5cps.

BIT by the numbers
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