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Why I would add Althea and these small cap ASX healthcare shares to your watchlist

James Mickleboro
ASX healthcare sector drugs healthcare

Due to a number of positive tailwinds such as ageing populations, increased chronic disease burden, and better technologies, I believe demand for healthcare services will grow strongly over the next decade.

In light of this, I think the healthcare sector could be a great place to look for small cap shares to buy and hold.

Three growing healthcare shares that I think are worth looking closely at are listed below. Here’s why I like them:

Althea Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AGH)

I think this cannabis company could be worth keeping a close eye on. Especially given the impressive progress the company has made in respect to patient growth in the United Kingdom and Australia. In respect to the latter, Althea reported a record-breaking month in July with 334 new patients added. Pleasingly, the strong patient additions have continued in August, with the company averaging more than 19 patients per business day as of last week. In light of this, 1,523 patients have now been prescribed Althea medicinal cannabis products in Australia and 245 healthcare professionals have prescribed its products.

Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL)

Another small cap healthcare share to watch is Starpharma. It is a dendrimer products developer which has really caught the eye this year thanks to a series of positive developments. One was the launch of its VivaGel BV in Europe under the brand name Betadine BV. The product has been launched in several countries in Europe, including Germany, with further roll-out in additional European countries due during the year. In addition to this, Starpharma recently received the necessary regulatory and ethics approvals and will commence its phase 1/2 clinical trial for DEP irinotecan. This will determine anti-tumour efficacy of the product in select tumour types and is just one of a number of promising products in its pipeline.

Volpara Health Technologies Ltd (ASX: VHT)

Volpara is healthcare technology company that provides software which uses artificial intelligence imaging algorithms to assist with the early detection of breast cancer. The company has been growing its market share in the United States at a rapid rate in recent years, leading to strong annual recurring revenue growth. And thanks to recent acquisitions and a growing footprint, it appears well-positioned to continue its meteoric growth in FY 2020 and beyond.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Starpharma Holdings Limited and VOLPARA FPO NZ. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Starpharma Holdings Limited and VOLPARA FPO NZ. 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 Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019