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Proactive news snapshot – Sphere Medical, Iofina, Silence Therapeutics…

A glance at some of the stories on the Proactive newswire today...
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Point-of-care monitors and diagnostic devices company Sphere Medical Holding PLC (LON:SPHR) has said a “number of parties” have expressed an interest in taking part in an equity fundraising.

The details of any placing, subscription or the like are still being discussed but initial “market soundings” from existing and potential new investors were positive.

Sphere said it is exploring various financing options to make sure it has enough money to allow it to realise the full potential of its Proxima blood gases monitor.

Speaking of Proxima, which is now in its fourth generation, Sphere told investors there has been a “positive reaction” by the market, with the sales pipeline continuing to expand.

Over in the States, iodine producer Iofina plc (LON:IOF) revealed that production exceeded its expectations for the first half to end June, despite one of its plants being shut-in.

The resource group said output was 235.5 metric tonnes (MT) of crystalline iodine from its Oklahoma-based IOsorb plants in the six months - bettering expectations for between 215 and 230 metric tonnes.

Plant IO#3 was shut-in due to lack of brine supply but the firm continues its efforts to move this facility to a better location.

Elsewhere, Ali Mortazavi, the boss of gene silencing specialist, Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN), has been appointed as the non-executive chairman of artificial intelligence and healthcare firm, Ultromics.

Ultromics, which was spun out of University of Oxford earlier this year, is a platform technology that extracts thousands of data points from a single image.

It then uses machine learning, a form of AI, to determine which data points are specific to a certain disease.

Currently the technology has been applied to echocardiograms (ECGs) to improve the diagnostic accuracy of coronary artery disease from 80% to greater than 95%.

US-based Akers Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:AKER, LON:AKR) announced a raft of board changes that will be proposed at the group's forthcoming AGM.

Three new non-exec directors will be nominated - Bill J. White, Richard C. Tarbox III and Christopher C. Schreib.

Meanwhile, Thomas J. Knox, the current non-exec chair, Robert E. Andrews, Brandon Knox and Raza Bokhari, all non-executive directors,  will not stand for re-election and will retire from the board upon the election of the new directors.

Executive director and current vice-chairman Raymond F. Akers Jr, is proposed to be re-elected as a director, and it is anticipated that he will become executive chairman upon his re-election.

It is also proposed that current chief executive John J. Gormally join the board as director - a role he does not currently have.

In other news, under pressure Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) today launched its previously announced open offer to bring in up to around £188,000.

As reported last month, the firm pressed go on plans to raise up to £360,000 through a placing and open offer - both at 1p.

That price represents a 58% discount to the closing price of 2.38p per share on May 11 this year - the day before shares were suspended on AIM pending clarification of its financial position.

The placing brought in £180,000.

And finally, Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) said that, following a week of follow-up meetings with Government departments and other Tanzanian stakeholders regarding the further development of its Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP), there is no identified adverse impact on the development as a result of recent changes in the legislative environment.

The Tanzania-focused mineral exploration and development group added that, further, on the basis of these discussions, the company does not anticipate any future adverse impact on the development of the MCPP, although the firm will be diligently reviewing its position on the matter going forward.

Kibo reiterated that the completion of the Mbeya Coal special mining right application remains on schedule as does the environmental certification of the Mbeya Coal Mine and Mbeya Power Plant.

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