Healthcare sector expert Brian Leedman presented the Broker Meets Biotech event in Perth
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Biotech tends to follow a four to five year market cycle and those in the sector say there are signals that the next upturn has begun.

That was the message today as four biotech companies and Life Sciences WA presented to 200 brokers and investors at the Broker Meets Biotech event in Perth.

It was hosted by Brian Leedman, a Healthcare sector leader who drove the development of ResApp Health- the company behind smartphone tech that analyses a cough to diagnose respiratory illnesses including pneumonia, asthma and bronchiolitis. That business, which began as a University of Queensland start-up, was acquired by Pfizer in a $179 million deal in 2022.

Mr Leedman is now chair of Blinklab, which has an app to assist in evaluation and diagnosis of conditions including autism and ADHD through measuring blinking rates and neurobehavior – again using a smart-phone.

Blinklab is listing on the ASX early next month after raising $7 million with 20 cent shares. There have been eight studies since 2020, and a feasibility study including 280 child subjects, found the Software as a Medical Device had sensitivity for identifying autism spectrum disorder at 85 per cent. The company is working towards US Food and Drug Administration approval by early 2026.

Other presenters today included Orthocell (ASX:OCC) chief operating officer Alex McHenry.

Orthocell has collagen-based devices for tissue and tendon healing, but now also for repairing peripheral nerve damage caused by injuries.

Company investors include Chris Ellison of Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and the McCusker Family, and the company has Professor Fiona Wood and Kim Beazley on the Board.

Meanwhile, HITIQ (ASX:HIQ) has a smart mouthguard with 15,000 data points to measure the forces experienced in the brain during hard impact and concussion. It’s been developed to support the identification, monitoring and management of sport-related brain injuries.

HITIQ chief commercial officer Damien Hawes discussed the company, which has secured a cornerstone agreement with the AFL. While it’s being adopted across professional contact sports and the military, the company is working to bring the mouthguards and accompanying subscription-based app, to grassroots players.

Also presenting today was Canadian-based clinical-stage psilocin company Tryp Therapeutics which has a Prospectus to raise $6.5 million with 2 cent shares, after being acquired by Exopharm (ASX:EX1).

Tryp MD and CEO Jason Carroll said Tryp was developing an IV infusion of psilocin – a compound from psychedelic mushrooms – to treat pain and anxiety disorders. He said the IV infusion addressed limitations of orally-administered psilocybin used by competitors. It has trialled its treatment for binge eating disorder and is also targeting conditions including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

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