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Proactive news snapshot: OptiBiotix Health, Touchstone Exploration, Silence Therapeutics …

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors newswire

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OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) appears to be making significant commercial headway with its next-generation sweetener. Investors were told it has reached an outline deal with an unnamed US firm, which has funded pilot production of two batches of the SweetBiotix sweet fibre product.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) (TSE:TXP) chief executive Paul Baay, in 2018’s financial results statement, highlighted a substantial improvement in all key performance indicators during a year which saw his company cement its place as the most active onshore upstream group in Trinidad.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) has made a clinical trial application for its lead candidate, which is being developed to treat iron overload disorders. SLN124 already has orphan drug designation in Europe, which could shorten its timeline to market while providing the approved product with additional exclusivity.

Summit Therapeutics PLC’s (NASDAQ:SMMT) (LON:SUMM) prelims revealed the company is well-funded and well-backed after taking its next-generation antibiotic into the final and decisive stage of clinical trials. The phase III study of ridinilazole began last month (February).

Mining royalty group Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) saw a hefty uplift to revenues in 2018 from its investments in coking coal and vanadium. Total royalty income rose 16% to £46.1mln driven by a 13% rise to £32.6mln in the contribution from Australian coking coal mine Kestrel.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has acquired two gold and uranium focused companies in Australia in a move to expand its operations portfolio in the country. The exploration firm, which already has a portfolio of assets in tungsten, molybdenum, copper, and other metals, said it had acquired Pilbara Goldfields Pty Limited (PGL) and Hamersley Metals Pty Limited (HML), which together hold interests in two granted licences and seven licence applications at various stages.

Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) has provided a production update ahead of 2018’s financial results statement, due at the end of April. The Argentina-focused oil and gas firm said that output from the Fracción C and Fracción D licences amounted to 315,825 barrels oil equivalent, which translates to an average rate of 865 boe per day.

Accesso Technology PLC (LON:ACSO) has guided towards 2019 organic growth similar to that seen in 2018, in-line with consensus expectations, as it posted strong underlying full-year earnings. The group reported 36.5% growth in adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) grew to US$34.8mln for the year ended 31 December 2018, as revenue increased by 15.5% to US$118.7mln.

Frontier IP Group Plc (LON:FIPP) has reported a 27% increase in the value of its portfolio in the first half. The intellectual property investor reported that for the six months to 31 December 2018 the fair value of its portfolio had increased to £11.5mln from £9.1mln in the prior six months. Big Pic in November.

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) has paid out a total dividend of 6.5p for its latest full year, in line with its targets, following an increase in the average yield of its investment portfolio.

Korea gold explorer Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (LON:BMV) expects to finalise the extraction method for ore at the Kochang mine by the end of April. Samples so far indicate the ore is not problematic and does not require complicated or expensive extraction techniques, said Bluebird, which will allow for lower cost processing options.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) has acquired and leased a third new Airbus A220-300 aircraft to airBaltic, the Latvian hybrid carrier. The commercial passenger aircraft leasing company said the 12-year lease commenced on 26 March 2019.

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI), formerly known as Obtala, has raised around £960,000 from its institutional investor, Lombard Odier, as it also amended an agreement relating to the sale of its Tanzanian agricultural business. The forestry and timber firm said Lombard had subscribed for 16mln new shares at a price of 6p each, an 12% discount to its close price on Tuesday, taking its stake in Woodbois to 25.01%.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) has informed investors of a change to the memorandum of understanding concerning the group’s power plant development project in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. A new 2019 agreement changes the composition of equity holdings in the project, though Oracle’s stake remains mostly intact (it will now have 12% rather than 12.1%).

Active Energy PLC (LON:AEG) said it has completed its acquisition of the industrial site in Lumberton, North Carolina, which is to become its CoalSwitch base, with all outstanding conditions now satisfied. Active Energy announced the US$3.3mln (£2.5mln) acquisition of Lumberton from vendor Alamac on 4 March, with the deal to be funded by a US$3.41mln convertible loan note.

Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE) (ASX:BSE) has appointed Berenberg as its joint broker, with immediate effect, to work alongside its existing joint broker, Numis Securities, as well as the company’s nominated adviser, RFC Ambrian.

PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) said it has issued 26,145,552 ordinary shares in the company to various service providers for the settlement of fees, of which 21,838,750 are being issued at 0.5p and 4,306,802 are being issued at 0.5015p. In addition, the company said, it is issuing 1,808,333 ordinary shares in lieu of fees to its chief executive officer, David Ryan at a price of 0.6p per share, and 1,185,000 ordinary shares to its chief financial officer, Christopher Vanezis at 0.5p each.

Block Energy Plc (LON:BLOE), the exploration and production company focused on the Republic of Georgia, announced that the company's updated corporate presentation is available to view on its website.

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