The 5 best performing ASX healthcare shares of FY21, did yours make the cut?

These ASX shares had the healthiest gains in the last financial year…

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Healthcare is a constantly changing industry in which you may be asking yourself if your investments are up to date. While the healthcare sector underperformed the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) in FY21, there were still some ASX-listed showstopping shares in the mix.

We have compiled the five best-performing healthcare shares of FY21 to gain an understanding of the companies that performed where others slumped.

The pool of candidates is contained to constituents of the top 500 largest companies on the ASX – also known as the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO).

So, the question is… did any of your shares make the cut?

Healthiest returns from these ASX shares in FY21

You might notice it’s not the likes of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) or Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) making the list this time around.

Instead, the smaller end of the index produced handsome returns to shareholders in the last financial year.

Immutep Ltd (ASX: IMM)

The first healthcare company making the top 5 is also the smallest by market capitalisation at $400 million. Immutep is a biotechnology company that primarily focuses on the development of immunotherapy cancer treatments. The company’s main product is efti, which enables the immune system to kill cancer cells.

Investors rallied around positive developments for the biotech throughout FY21. Some notable steps forward included receiving fast track designation from the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in April; being granted a patent from China in May, and raising $65 million for further clinical trials in June.

As a result of all the excitement, this ASX healthcare share surged 244% during the 2021 financial period.

Telix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: TLX)

Telix is another biotech company trying to tackle cancer. However, Telix’s area of development is in the radiation therapy space, rather than immunotherapy. Despite annual revenues being sub-$6 million and the company experiencing widening losses, investors were buying up shares in FY21.

It appears several news events acted as a catalyst for the company’s shares. Back in May, Telix announced that its bone marrow conditioning drug TLX66 had “met study objectives” in patients during a clinical trial. On top of that, in January the FDA approved recruitment for a study involving Zirconium Imaging in Renal Cancer Oncology (ZIRCON).

By the end of the financial year, this ASX healthcare share had climbed 307%. It might be hard to believe, but Telix Pharmaceuticals now holds a $1.61 billion market cap.

Race Oncology Ltd (ASX: RAC)

Coming in at number three on the list, Race Oncology is another cancer drug developer. The company’s specific drug of focus is Bisantrene, which is a small molecule anti-cancer drug that is a less cardiotoxic chemotherapeutic.

Throughout the last financial year, Race announced some key data for progressing its treatment. In November, the company announced preclinical results for the use of Bisantrene in treating breast cancer. The evidence allowed the treatment to progress to human breast cancer trials. Additionally, in February Race Oncology’s treatment displayed encouraging preclinical results for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

These findings have been met with investor enthusiasm. For that reason, the Race Oncology share price surged 307% in FY21. That’s nearly 10 times as great of a return than what Cochlear shareholders enjoyed.

Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU)

Strap yourself in for this ASX healthcare share, the returns are about to get crazy… Our first official 10 bagger on the list is immune-oncology company Imugene. This company’s share price rose an astonishing 1009% during the course of the financial year.

There were a few milestones that set the pace for this company’s shares. To begin with, November saw Imugene announce positive survival results in phase 2 trials of its HER-Vaxx in advanced gastric cancer. Going on from that, the company then licensed an oncolytic virus from City of Hope to use as a therapy against solid tumours.

Finally, the last big push occurred when the executive chairman and CEO announced they were increasing their shareholding in the company in May.

Anteotech Ltd (ASX: ADO)

Lastly, crowning the very best performing ASX healthcare share in FY21… surface management technology specialist, AnteoTech. This company has surfed the COVID-19 wave, where other companies were dumped by it.

A major boom in the Anteotech share price occurred when its customers, Ellume, announced an agreement with the United States Department of Defence for its emergency use authorisation COVID-19 at-home test. The reason being is that AnteoTech supplies Ellume with its AnteoBind technology.

In addition to the company supply COVID test, it has its own rapid test platform dubbed EuGeni. The EuGeni reader received CE Mark registration for rapid diagnosis in April.

The market potential for rapid COVID testing catapulted this ASX share’s price 1,175% higher in the last financial year.

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Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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