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Thriving against COVID-19: ASX health stocks creating sanitisers

Despite many ASX companies struggling during this difficult and uncertain time, those in the health and wellness sector have seen the silver-lining.

Those that don't typically deal with sanitising products, such as Holista CollTech, have created their own sanitisers and are now leading the pack against reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Others such as Skin Elements, who have spent years working on a sanitiser product, now have their time in the spotlight.

Of the 177 health care companies that are listed on the ASX, these ones have either received the most coverage or have completely changed their tune to help fight COVID-19.

Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT)

About the company: Holista CollTech is a biotech company that began selling low-GI products such as noodles and flatbread.

According to the company these products have significantly lower GI levels than competitors which makes them a healthier alternative.

What they're doing: In January, Holista started seeing a spike in demand for its NatShield sanitiser product and it has been flying off shelves ever since.

The NatShield sanitisers contain Path-Away which is a plant-based active ingredient.

Path-Away works by crippling a virus' cell walls, causing bacteria to group together and destroy themselves within seconds.

On March 12, Holista began testing Path-Away at a microbiology laboratory in the United Kingdom.

This testing is being done in collaboration with Global Infections Control Consultants to determine Path-Away's effectiveness against COVID-19.

Tests are currently ongoing but they are expected to wrap up before the end of this month.

Until January 2020, the company's primary market was Malaysia, but now that the virus has spread worldwide, repeat orders have been seen in countries such as Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States.

At the end of February, Holista received orders for 210,000 bottles of NatShield which is nearly double the 107,000 bottles that were requested earlier in the month.

On March 19, the company appointed Health Therapies to distribute NatShield in the States for an exclusive three-year period and the order was extended on April 9.

This additional order will see Holista pocket almost $4 million and will be distributed across America in the upcoming months.

To keep up with demand, enforce social distancing rules, and expand its reach, Holista is currently developing online capabilities.

Wellness and Beauty Solutions (ASX:WNB)

About the company:Wellness and Beauty Solutions provides customers with non-invasive and non-surgical cosmetic treatments to enhance customers lives.

It offers face treatments such as brow-lifts, jaw slimming, and skin analysis, and others such as skincare, cosmetic, and beauty.

What they're doing: Even though Wellness and Beauty has had to temporarily close its doors, that hasn't stopped it from concentrating on helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 18 Wellness and Beauty launched its anti-bacterial MICRO19 product range.

"Within the current environment and the exponential spread of COVID-19, demand for anti-bacterial and sanitiser products is currently incredibly high and we expect this level of demand will be sustained for some time," Managing Director Christine Parkes said at the time of the launch.

This stock is one that dove in to the world of disinfectants only after other companies were clearly benefiting from COVID-19.

The MICRO19 range includes 50ml and 300ml hand sanitisers, and a 200ml room and surface spray.

The ingredients in these products have been tried and tested, and are reportedly able to kill 99.99 per cent of germs.

At the time of launch Wellness and Beauty was in discussions with additional retail partners in China. It is unsure yet if any have been reached.

Skin Elements (ASX:SKN)

About the company: Skin Elements is an organic health company that is focused on designing and formulating natural and organic health and wellness products.

According to the company, none of its products include any harmful chemicals.

Its products include sunscreen, cosmetics, skincare, and therapeutics.

What they're doing:For the past two years Skin Elements has been researching, developing and testing its own range of hand sanitisers, and in mid-March it launched its Invisi Shield hand sanitiser range.

The range includes the Extended Life Hand Sanitiser, the Natural Hand Sanitiser, and the Natural Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitiser.

Both the Extended Life and Natural hand sanitisers contain alcohol while the Extended Life sanitiser is alcohol free but can still protect against germs for 24 hours.

All of these sanitisers are deemed personal cosmetic products under the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) and therefore do not require TGA approval.

These products will be available both online and in-store from this month.

"The unprecedented demand for hand sanitisers has seen the company respond with a decision to proceed to launch the Invisi Shield hand sanitiser range," Executive Chairman Peter Malone said at the time of the launch.

Skin Elements has also partnered with Holista CollTech to combine the company's anti-microbial formula and Holista's Path-Away ingredient to produce a softer and more natural hand sanitiser.

Zoono Group (ASX:ZNO)

About the company: Biotech company Zoono Group has seen its exposure skyrocket after company produced a sanitiser that has shown to be 99.99 per cent effective against COVID-19.

This information has seen Zoono's become a household name in the past few weeks and its products in everyone's home.

What they're doing:Since the early stages of the coronavirus, Zoono has established itself at the front of the COVID-19 fight.

The company has developed a nanotechnology solution that bonds with any surface it is applied to and then attracts and destroys the bacteria and pathogens.

Since the bacteria and pathogens get destroyed, they cannot mutate and attract more harmful viruses.

In February, Zoono entered a distribution agreement to supply its product to childcare centres and hotels in China and a week later the company appointed Linco Investments to distribute its product in Singapore.

All these agreements and partnerships were finalised before Zoono's product was shown to be effective against COVID-19, which it was announced at the end of February.

Zoono's balance sheet has noticed all this good news as the company reported that it had received NZ$11 million in sales of its sanitiser products over the past 11 weeks.

To compare, Zoono made NZ$1.175 million in sales for the entire first half of the 2020 financial year.

To add onto Zoono's stellar performance, the company can now begin distributing its sanitiser products in the Middle East and Northern Africa regions after entering a distribution agreement with Al Rabban Capital.

What does the future hold?

While many companies are unable to benefit from COVID-19 these have shown that it's all not doom and gloom on the market, and that there is an upside to all this.

For the time being though, those who are unable to do anything need to sit tight and know that better times will be coming soon.


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