AKR Distribution Agreement, AVCT Affimer Binders, AVG Return of Funds, PRSM Interim Results, COG* Distribution Agreement, FISH Placing, FITB* Board Changes, Placing and Loan Capitalisation, FUM Agreements, HCM Phase II, IGE Agreement, LRM Selected, NWF Trading Updated, PLI* Fast Track, SCH Trading Update, TMT* Invests
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On this day:
1916 - The massive Allied offensive known as the Battle of the Somme began in France. The battle was the first to use tanks.
1979 - Sony introduced the Walkman.
1997 - The sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from Great Britain to China. Britain had controlled Hong Kong as a colony for 156 years.
Akers Bioscience (LON:AKR 100p/£20.11m)
Akers Biosciences, a developer of rapid health information technologies, signed its first distribution agreement for BreathScan OxiChek™ with Aero-Med, a division of Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 health care services organisation. OxiChek is the first disposable breath test to rapidly determine levels of oxidative stress in the body by measuring the levels of certain abundant free radicals. Frequent use of OxiChek may help health practitioners to monitor and adjust their clients' regimen of nutritional supplementation in order to manage oxidative stress - an indicator of the overall health and wellbeing of a person. OxiChek works with BreathScan Lync™, the new bluetooth-enabled reading device from Akers Wellness, to enable users to monitor oxidative stress via a mobile device. Aero-Med is targeting the large specific markets in the United States of anti-aging, functional and integrative health and wellness treatment practitioners and has already placed orders for OxiChek.
Avacta Group (LON:AVCT 90.00p/£62.22m)
Avacta Group, the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and research reagents, announced it has identified three Affimer proteins capable of binding to a recombinant form of a secreted Zika virus Non-Structural protein 1, which is diagnostic of Zika virus infection at the early, acute stage. These Affimer binders were identified and characterised within just thirteen weeks of receiving the virus target and have the potential to be developed into new rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for Zika infection. The three Affimer binders are highly specific to the Zika NS1 protein and can differentiate in human serum from five other closely related viruses that give similar symptoms: Dengue, Yellow Fever, West Nile, and Japanese and Tick-borne Encephalitis. Since these viruses are very similar, there is currently no validated antibody that detects Zika virus specifically, which is a limiting factor in the development of a reliable, quick diagnostic test. The ability to rapidly generate new diagnostic reagents in response to outbreaks of infectious agents is critical to meeting an urgent medical need, as recently evidenced by the SARS and Ebola virus outbreaks. The very high specificity of Avacta's Affimer technology, together with the speed with which new Affimer binders can be identified and characterised, makes the technology ideal for rapidly responding to the need for detection and monitoring of new outbreaks. The Group intends to commercialise Affimer based rapid diagnostics through co-development and licensing to third party diagnostics developers an example of which is Mologic, a UK rapid diagnostics developer, with whom a research and product development collaboration was recently announced.
Avingtrans (LON:AVG 197.00/£55.12m)
Avingtrans, a manufacturer of critical components and associated services to the global energy and medical sectors, provided an update to shareholders on the proposals for the return of capital to shareholders following the disposal of the Aerospace Division. As the Company announced on 27 May 2016, following the disposal of the Aerospace Division, the Company had net cash in excess of £47m. The Board announced that it intends to return almost £28m to shareholders by way of a Tender Offer, representing 100p for each ordinary share in issue. The Board expects to announce its final results for the year ended 31 May 2016 during September 2016 and at the same time post a circular to shareholders setting out further terms of the Offer, and also seeking the necessary shareholder approvals. The balance of the net proceeds will be used to pursue the Group’s new strategy to invest in the Energy and Medical markets served by its Metalcraft and Maloney Metalcraft businesses, and more specifically to strengthen Metalcraft's position in the nuclear sector and to pursue other related opportunities in the engineering sector.
Blue Prism Group (LON:PRSM 117.00p/ £79.78m)
Blue Prism, a developer in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), announced its results for the six months to 30 April 2016, the first interim results as a listed Group following its IPO on 18 March 2016. Financial highlights showed total contracted revenue increased by 124 percent to £14.8m (H1 2015: £6.6m), group revenue growth of 21 percent to £4.0m (H1 2015: £3.3m) and recurring licence revenues now at 83 percent of total group revenues (H1 2015: 51 percent). Exit run rate (recognised, recurring license revenues) of £662k at 30 April 2016 (£252k at 30 April 2015), adjusted operating loss of £1.4m funded organically (H1 2015 adjusted operating profit: £72k) and Cash at the period end of £11.2m including £8.8m from IPO proceeds (H1 2015: £1.1m). Operational highlights showed strong new business wins in H1 2016 with 64 licence contracts signed in the period (40 licence contracts signed in the whole of FY 2015), underpinning future revenues. The group also won 33 new customers and total customer base is now at 90 (FY 2015: 57 customers). The channel partner ecosystem is gaining traction in line with strategy: 90 percent of new customers were acquired through or with channel partners
Cambridge Cognition (LON:COG 35.75p/ £7.05m)*
Cambridge Cognition, which develops and markets products and technologies for near-patient cognitive assessment, entered into a distribution agreement with UK healthcare technology company MANUS Neurodynamica Limited. The agreement provides Cambridge Cognition with sole rights to market the MANUS Parkinson's Pen, a sensor pen for diagnosis and monitoring of neuromotor impairments, in academic research, pharmaceutical clinical trials and occupational health markets. The CE Class I medical device uses non-invasive, patented technology to record and analyse limb and hand motion to assess underlying neuromotor processes, particularly for patients with Parkinson's disease. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease, which is predicted to more than double by the year 2040. The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson's is estimated to be nearly $25bn per year in the United States alone. Early diagnosis and timely access to specialist care for patients is essential. However, current diagnostic methods for Parkinson's disease are based on a clinician's subjective interpretation or neuroimaging techniques, which are expensive, invasive and require skilled operators. Following completion of final product enhancements, Cambridge Cognition expects to begin marketing the product initially for use in academic research through its existing global sales channels in Q4 2016. The product will subsequently be marketed for use by healthcare professionals to improve the certainty of differential diagnosis; in pre-symptomatic screening to identify and triage patients at risk and in monitoring disease severity in Parkinson's patients by GPs and specialists in Europe and the US. Use of the MANUS Parkinson's pen will provide a more accurate low-cost measure in clinical research and provide a direct cost reduction by assisting with a timely, accurate disease diagnosis to enable early treatment and avoid patient deterioration to the stage where intervention costs increase.
Fishing Republic (LON:FISH 38.60p/ £14.73m)
Fishing Republic, the fishing tackle retailer, announced that it has raised £3.75m through a placing at a price of 35p per placing share (to new and existing shareholders. The net proceeds of the Placing will be used to support Fishing Republic's continuing expansion as it seeks to build a significant market presence in the highly fragmented fishing tackle sector. In particular, the new funds will be used to develop Fishing Republic's online platform and digital strategy, and to support further store openings, including potential acquisitions. The Placing, which was heavily oversubscribed, and the placing price of 35p represents an 8.7 percent discount to the Company's 30 day volume weighted average price prior to 23 June 2016.
Fitbug Holdings(LON:FITB 0.250p/£2.96m)*
Fitbug Holdings, the technology developer and digital wellness pioneer, announced that Tyler Tarr, who has highly relevant experience of managing the finances of both growing and large cap technology companies, has joined the Board as part time Finance Director with immediate effect. This appointment has been made in line with the Company's strategy to become a provider of digital wellness services focussed on the B2B market. Tyler has spent more than 10 years providing mergers and acquisitions advisory, debt placement, management consulting and interim CEO and CFO services to a wide variety of tech, media and electronics businesses. The company also announce a proposed equity fundraising to raise approximately £2.61m. The Fundraising comprises a placing of 340,800,000 Placing Shares at 0.25p per share with institutional and other investors and an open offer of up to 703,626,325 Open Offer Shares at 0.25p per share. The Placing and Open Offer are being underwritten by NW1. In order to provide Shareholders who have not taken part in the Placing with an opportunity to participate in the proposed issue of New Ordinary Shares, the Company is providing all Qualifying Shareholders with the opportunity to subscribe for the Open Offer Shares, to raise up to approximately £1.76m through the Open Offer, on the basis of 5 New Ordinary Shares for every 2 Existing Ordinary Shares held on the Record Date, at 0.25p each. At the same time, it is proposed that £8.4m of the Company's existing indebtedness to Kifin Limited and NW1 Investments Limited will be capitalised into 336,000,000 New Ordinary Shares at 2.5p per share. These activities will substantially reduce the Company's debt; provide it with additional working capital, stabilise its balance sheet and position the Company to further deliver on its turnaround strategy of enhancing and monitoring employee wellness using its innovative
Futura Medical (LON:FUM 21.35p/£21.40m)
Futura Medical, the healthcare company focused on advanced transdermal technology, announced that it has signed manufacturing and distribution agreements with TTK Protective Devices Limited, a pioneer in the condom business and part of the substantial Indian conglomerate TTK Group. Under the terms of the manufacturing agreement, TTK will manufacture CSD500, Futura's novel erectogenic condom for supply worldwide. A regulatory filing has already been made with EU regulatory authorities to grant TTK the relevant authorisation to manufacture the product. TTK will be one of two manufacturers of CSD500 as part of the Company's strategy to guarantee international supply. A European manufacturer already holds regulatory authorisation to manufacture the version of CSD500 currently marketed in the Netherlands and is awaiting regulatory authorisation for the extended shelf-life version of the product. Futura has also signed an exclusive licensing agreement with TTK for the marketing and distribution of CSD500 in India for the lifetime of the patents. Futura will receive an upfront payment and royalties on product sales over the duration of the agreement. TTK already owns the fastest growing condom brand in India, SKORE, which since its launch three years ago has achieved in excess of a 10 percent market share. TTK is attracted by the unique characteristics of CSD500 to further drive the growth of the SKORE brand. Subject to regulatory approval, CSD500 is expected to be launched by TTK in Q1 2017.
Hutchison China MediTech (LON:HCM 1,874.00p/£1,117.55m)
Hutchison China MediTech Limited announced the initiation of a Phase II expansion of the ongoing TATTON trial to evaluate the selective c-Met inhibitor savolitinib (AZD6094) in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Savolitinib has the potential to address major unmet medical needs in c-Met-driven subsets of NSCLC, a disease that is estimated to afflict approximately 1.7 million new patients annually worldwide. The trial is a single-arm global Phase II study of savolitinib in combination with Tagrisso (osimertinib/AZD9291) in advanced NSCLC patients who have developed resistance to approved EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This expansion was initiated following encouraging early data from a number of patients enrolled in the TATTON study who received savolitinib in combination with Tagrisso. The initiation of the expanded Phase II study has triggered a $10m milestone payment to Hutchison MediPharma Limited (HMP) (a 99.8 percent held subsidiary of Chi-Med) under the terms of the agreement with AstraZeneca PLC signed in December 2011. HMP and AstraZeneca are conducting Phase II studies in NSCLC with savolitinib in monotherapy, as well as in combination with either Tagrisso or Iressa. AstraZeneca continues to lead and invest in the global NSCLC development program for savolitinib.
Image Scan (LON:IGE 2.50p/£3.10m)
Image Scan, the specialist supplier of X-ray screening systems to the security and industrial inspection markets, announced that it has signed a distribution agreement for X-ray mail scanning systems with Todd Research, a leading manufacturer in the market. Furthermore, two orders totalling six systems have now been received. Under the agreement Image Scan will make use of its well developed and extensive global reach into the security market to find new customers for the Todd Research range of mail and security scanning systems. These systems are widely used to perform X-ray inspection of incoming mail and packages in embassies and other government buildings, as well as company headquarters and industrial facilities. Typical threats that have been encountered through the mail include letter or parcel bombs and powder based attacks. Advance image enhancement tools provide high detection performance against such threats. Todd Research is a leading company in this market with an installed base of over 600 systems. In early wins for the new partnership, Image Scan can announce orders from Africa and Asia in the form of six units of the MailScan-M model, the mid-size cabinet scanner, to customers in these important markets.
Lombard Risk Management (LON:LRM 8.37p/£34.26m)
Lombard Risk Management, a provider of integrated collateral management, regulatory compliance and reporting solutions for the financial services industry, announced that it has been appointed by two major banking firms in North America to supply its award-winning collateral management, clearing, inventory management and optimisation solution, COLLINE®. COLLINE® enables firms to move away from managing collateral in business line silos by supporting multiple asset types on a single, web-based platform. A single platform results in more efficient collateral management, enables collateral optimisation, and provides users with the capability to manage liquidity and trading book capital. Lombard Risk's COLLINE was chosen for its ability to quickly deliver agile and adaptable solutions for these highly complex organisations. As is the case across the world's largest banks, these new clients' decisions to move away from costly legacy applications in order to consolidate their systems and margining processes was a major driver in selecting Lombard Risk. By leveraging COLLINE®'s straight-through-processing (STP) and exception-based processing they can also reduce operational risk. The COLLINE® cloud computing service also enables faster deployment and a substantially lower cost of setup and ongoing maintenance, affording clients the ability to realise business benefits sooner.
NWF Group (LON:NWF 147.38p/£70.36m)
NWF Group, the specialist agricultural and distribution business, announced a trading update for its financial year ended 31 May 2016 and its notice of results. The Group reported that trading for the financial year ended 31 May 2016 was in line with the Board's expectations. In the Feeds division, profitability improved over the prior year in spite of continued challenging conditions in the dairy market, with further reductions in milk prices and volatility in key commodities. Feeds' share of the UK market has increased on an underlying basis and the acquisitions during the year of New Breed and Jim Peet Agriculture have been integrated and are performing in line with our expectations. In Food, the business remained at capacity throughout the year and delivered further improvements in operating efficiency and profitability. Some additional storage space has been created at the Wardle site and service levels remain high. The Fuels division increased volumes, even though demand for heating oil was reduced due to the warm winter weather impacting profitability. Staffordshire Fuels, which was acquired during the year, has been fully integrated and is performing in line with our expectations. The Group's cash generation has remained strong during the year. Net debt is significantly lower than anticipated, in spite of completing three acquisitions and investing development capital during the year.
ProMetic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI CAD2.81/ CAD1,726.41m)*
ProMetic Life Sciences, reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a Fast Track designation to ProMetic for its plasminogen drug candidate, currently in a phase 2/3 clinical trial in patients suffering from congenital Plasminogen deficiency. Fast Track designation is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions that fill an unmet medical need, with the main objective of getting important new drugs to the patient earlier. To gain Fast Track designation, Plasminogen therapy demonstrated a strong rationale for its use as a treatment for a serious, often morbid and potentially fatal, condition as well as for treating an unmet medical need which previously largely relied on repeated surgeries to remove recurring obstructive and debilitating lesions. A drug that receives a Fast Track designation is also eligible for a Rolling Review of the Biologic License Application (BLA) by the FDA, allowing the review to proceed more efficiently and facilitating earlier drug approval and access by patients. ProMetic's Plasminogen was also granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA and the European Commission for the US and the European markets respectively. As an orphan drug designated product, ProMetic's Plasminogen is also eligible for priority review of the BLA, which reduces the standard review period by 6 months and so also speeds the time to availability of this important medicine on the market.
SafeCharge International Group (LON:SCH 196.00p/£299.15m)
SafeCharge, the global provider of payments services, technologies and risk management solutions for online and mobile businesses, provided the following trading update for the first six months of 2016. The Group has enjoyed strong trading in the first half, as a result, adjusted EBITDA for the period will be comfortably ahead of $16m and the Directors are very confident of the outcome for the full year. The Directors confirm that the US dollar is the Group's functional and most significant currency in terms of contribution to revenues and that nearly 80 percent of the Group's cash is held in US dollars with sterling balances representing less than 5 percent.
TMT Investments(LON:TMT $1.95/$54.10m)*
TMT Investments, which invests in high-growth, internet-based companies across a variety of sectors, announced the completion of an additional investment in KitApps, Inc, as part of a $1m round led by Digital Future and TMT. Incorporated in Delaware and based in San Francisco, KitApps, Inc. offers a leading event app platform (Attendify), which delivers branded, social-first apps to thousands of meeting and event planners worldwide. Attendify makes it easy for event planners to create an engaging mobile app and dramatically reduces implementation and lead times through an elegant self-service platform. Every Attendify app includes private social networking features that boost attendee participation while simultaneously helping event planners capture data around in-person interactions to help optimise event performance. Attendify was founded by Michael Balyasny (CEO) and Artem Iaremchuk (COO) and is relied upon by such leading brands as Google, AstraZeneca, Chrysler, Tableau, and AOL to deliver differentiating mobile event experiences. Attendify will leverage this new round of funding to further accelerate growth and product development.
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