Could Medibio Ltd be a speculative buy?

Credit: Oberazzi

Medibio Ltd (ASX: MEB) shares are locked in a trading halt as the medical technology company cops a grilling from the ASX.

The company, which says it has pioneered the use of objective biometrics to assist in alleviating depression and other mental health conditions, recently announced it has entered an agreement with a Japanese pharmaceutical company.

Medibio stated it will work with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc to “characterise key circadian, autonomic, and sleep biomarkers related to serious mental illness”.

Medibio CEO and Managing Director Jack Cosentino said he is excited about working with Otsuka, which will pay Medibio for services provided.

“We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration,” Mr Cosentino said.

But there’s more to the announcement, prompting the ASX to ask questions concerning a breach of the listing rules.

It appears information in the ASX announcement on October 9 appeared first in The Australian newspaper, owned by News Corp (ASX: NWS).

The next day, on October 9, the ASX asked Medibio to explain how the information contained in the announcement appeared in the newspaper.

Medibio said: “It was supplied on the understanding that it was embargoed and the announcement would be released at the earliest possible time which was pre-market opening Monday 9 October 2017.”

Medibio then requested a trading halt “pending the announcement to the market of the completion of a placement in its securities to professional and sophisticated investors”.

Despite the recent complications, it seems the future for Medibio looks positive.

In addition to the deal with Otsuka, Medibio has recently entered an agreement with Mayo Clinic, a medical research group, to conduct clinical trials.

And the interest from sophisticated investors could amount to more good news for Medibio, with a market cap of $63.26 million.

It seems that Medibio director Franklyn G Prendergast is optimistic as he recently acquired more than 77,000 Medibio shares, as announced to the ASX on October 4 when the share price closed at $0.40.

The Medibio share price closed at $0.40 on October 10, well down from the $2.71-mark it was trading at in November 2009.

Analysts also seem optimistic about Medibio, setting 12-month price targets ranging from $0.55 to more than $1.00.

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Motley Fool contributor Steve Holland has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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