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Midatech soars after entering research collaboration with big pharma

A look at some of the major movers in London on Tuesday

Deep cleaning

Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH, NASDAQ:MTP), up 148% to 52p, was the top riser in London after unveiling a new research collaboration.

The drug delivery technology company has entered into a research collaboration for the Q-Sphera platform with a European affiliate of a global pharmaceutical company.

Within the multi-project collaboration, Midatech will deploy its in-house expertise and proprietary drug delivery platforms towards assets nominated by the pharmaceutical company.

2.30pm: Conroy Gold gets into bed with Anglo Asian Mining

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PC (LON:CGNR) shot up by a third to 20p after it hooked up with Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ).

Anglo Asian is to acquire up to a 55% interest in the Longford Down Massif gold project in Ireland, hitherto held and worked solely by Conroy.

Anglo will invest in stages with the initial 17.5% to be earnt by Anglo Asian investing €2mln in further exploration.

1.30pm: RPS Group sees second-quarter revenues slump

RPS Group PLC (LON:RPS) fell 4.9% to 50.5p after a second-quarter trading update showed a steep decline in revenue.

The environmental consultancy group said fee revenue in the quarter fell to £107.0mln from £131.7mln in the same quarter of 2019.

RPS said it generated more than 55% of fee revenue from government or quasi-government organisations, “which is providing some resilience to the impact of COVID-19”.

12.30pm: Synairgen tries (and fails) to rein in investors' optimism

Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) which quadrupled in price yesterday rose a further 9.5% to 208p today after it clarified some things about its coronavirus (COVID-19) trial.

The respiratory drug discovery and development company tried to get investors from getting too carried away by noting, as it had done in at least two previous announcements, that the trial of its SNG001 treatment in hospitalised COVID-19 patients is a Phase II trial, designed to test the efficacy of a drug. The trial takes place before the drug is approved or able to be marketed, the company stressed.

As per the announcement of yesterday, the company will be working with the regulators and other key groups to progress this potential COVID-19 treatment as rapidly as possible. As with any drug undergoing clinical trials, Synairgen will require regulatory approval before SNG001 can be marketed on a commercial basis.

11.30am: No Turkish delight for GVC

GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) shares slumped 13% to 759.4p after the group revealed the taxman has taken an interest in its affairs.

The men and women from “the revenue” have ordered the bookie to hand over information relating to its former Turkish gambling business.

The owner of Ladbrokes said prior to July 20 it understood that no GVC entity was subject to the investigation, but its understanding appears to have been wrong.

10.30am: Audioboom runs into profit-taking

Audioboom Group PLC (LON:BOOM), the podcast pedlar, lost a tenth of its value at 202.5p after its half-year report disappointed.

The shares have been on a good run since the UK lockdown restrictions were imposed on March 23, rising from 142.5p, but ran into profit-taking after the company posted an adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of US$1.2mln, which was only a slight improvement on a first-half loss of US$1.4mln in 2019.

Revenue increased by 20% to US$11.8mln from US$9.8mln a year earlier, thereby outperforming the US podcast industry, according to figures provided by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

9.30am: REACT wins 12 deep-clean contracts, none of them related to the coronavirus

REACT Group PLC (LON:REAT), the decontamination specialist, announced multiple contract wins on Tuesday, sending its shares surging 9.5% higher to 1.15p in early trading.

One of the company’s facilities management customers has called on REACT to provide specialist deep cleaning services to several UK sites.

The batch of twelve contracts, worth just over £350,000 will run for five weeks through to the end of August 2020. REACT said the work is not related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kape Technologies PLC (LON:KAPE), the digital security and privacy software business, climbed 5.3% to 207p after its latest trading update.

The group continued to trade strongly through the first half, in line with management's expectations. Kape benefitted from higher demand for its privacy-based software solutions due to increased remote working and a full six months of contribution from Private Internet Access (PIA), the US rival it acquired last year.

Revenue in the first six months of 2020 is expected to be around US$59.0mln, almost double the US$29.9mln seen in the first half of last year. On a proforma basis (i.e. assuming PIA had been part of Kape in the first half of 2019), revenue was up 12%. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) is tipped to rise to US$16.1mln or thereabout, up from US$5.8mln the year before.

Proactive news headlines:

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) and Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) have formed a joint venture for the further development of the Longford Down Massif gold project in Ireland, hitherto held and worked solely by Conroy. Anglo Asian is to acquire up to a 55% interest in the project by investing in stages. The initial 17.5% will be earned by Anglo Asian investing €2mln in further exploration. Its interest will increase progressively to 55% if it develops the Clontibret gold deposit to mine construction-ready status.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) said it has traded ahead of expectations in the first four months of its current year as book sales surged despite disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. In an update for the four months to June 30, 2020, the publishing group reported that year-on-year sales in the period had risen 18% to £49.5mln, boosted by a 28% rise in consumer revenues to £31.5mln. The strongest region of growth was the US, where revenues expanded 38% in the period. The UK, meanwhile, increased 16% while Australia fell 1% and India declined by 70% due to the impact of government lockdowns.

Ergomed PLC (LON:ERG) said it has made “exceptional progress” as it told investors underlying earnings (EBITDA) for the full-year would be “materially ahead of market expectations”. The group, which provides services to the pharma industry such as contract research and drug monitoring, gave the update after assessing its first-half performance – a period in which revenues grew by 14.8% to £40.4mln. Like-for-like service fee revenue was up 18% year-on-year in the first six months, while the order book expanded by 22% to £151.4mln in the period from January 1, 2020, providing “high visibility” for the remainder of the year “and beyond”. Debt-free, the company had £14.1mln in the bank as of June 30, 2020.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR)(ASX:THR) has revealed the results of grade uranium and vanadium assay results from the Colorado mineral claims held by American Vanadium Pty Ltd, which it is in the process of acquiring. American Vanadium holds interests in uranium and vanadium focused projects in Colorado and Utah in the United States of America. These final high-grade uranium assays are from 13 outstanding samples deemed too radioactive for the original laboratory. The 13 assay results averaged 0.706% U3O8 and 1.36% V2O5. Four samples assayed 1.0% U3O8 or greater with a best uranium assay of 1.25% U3O8. Three samples assayed over 2% V2O5 with the best vanadium assay of 3.47% V2O5.

Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS) has said it is in “a strong position to deliver a successful financial year” after landing new contracts, according to chief executive Jamal Rushdy. The regenerative medicines specialist now has orders or contracted development milestones for the 2021 financial year of £4.3mln, or 108% of the sales in the last financial year. Providing the boost to the top line was a supply agreement with Novabone, announced on July 7, and a new supply agreement with an existing at larger volumes announced on July 15.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) has said it “remains encouraged by its pipeline of opportunities” into the second half of its current year, adding that it expects to close agreements with two further tier one banks. In a trading update for the six months to June 30, 2020, the risk management software group said it “remains confident of meeting management expectations for the year” and that the approval its UK brokerage will add another £300,000 in annual recurring revenues (ARR) once complete. For the trading period covered, KRM22 said it had been impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic but had made progress with two new customer wins and cost and debt reduction. The company said the wins and cost reduction actions implemented had resulted in a “substantial reduction” in its adjusted (EBITDA) loss at the period end.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) said it expects full-year revenue and underlying profit before tax to be in line with market expectations despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The healthcare group said the fall-out from COVID-19 had affected revenue in the first half of 2020, mainly in its prescription medicines business but sales of its consumer healthcare products have remained robust. Revenue for the first half of £65.3mln was down 7% on the £70.3mln seen in the same period of 2019. Free cash flow clocked in at £10.5mln, versus £14.5mln in the same period of 2019, with net debt reducing by £7mln to £52.2mln, and a further reduction expected in the second half of the year.

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) has told investors that demand for in-game advertising has increased significantly in recent months amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a trading update for six months ended June 30, 2020, the video game-focused ad-tech firm said it landed advertising campaigns from the United States, mainland Europe and the UK. And, it added, a recent ‘Gold Standard’ certification by the Internet Advertising Bureau is opening up new opportunities. Over the six months, it ran eleven campaigns for major advertising agency groups. Through its emerging business model the company generated £275,000 of revenue, and, it ended June with some £5.9mln of cash.

BB Healthcare Trust PLC (LON:BBH) saw its net asset value (NAV) per share rise to 159.4p as at the end of May 2020, up from 143.11p six months earlier. The investor in global healthcare companies said in its half-yearly report, covering the six months to the end of May, that its share price increased by 10.3% over the period, which was slightly less than the 11.4% increase in NAV. Factoring in the final dividend in respect of the previous fiscal year, the company’s shares delivered a total return of 12.2% while the total NAV return was 13.3%. Over the same period, the benchmark index against which the company measures performance rose by 12.0% in sterling terms.

LIVE Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) said it has signed a new contract with Powderham Castle in Devon for its BRICKLIVE Outer Space exhibition. The media group said the exhibition is set to be installed in the coming weeks and will be run through September. Live Company also said it's BRICKLIVE Brickosaurs exhibition at the Holon Toto Arena in Israel is now open.

Separately, LIVE Company said that further to its announcements on April 30, 2020, and May 5, 2020, regarding cost-saving initiatives implemented by the company as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its intention to make up for the decrease in pay for all staff, including directors and those who have been furloughed, via the issue of new shares in the company, it will, as a result, issue 141,412 new ordinary shares at an issue price of 10p per share, to certain of the applicable staff. To continue to conserve working capital the company added, it will also issue 693,770 new ordinary shares at a price of 10p each to certain contractors in settlement of work completed.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP), a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, has raised roughly £2.33mln through the issue of shares at 55p each. The share placing and retail offer via the PrimaryBid platform were “comfortably oversubscribed”, the company said. The intellectual property investor said it intends to use the funds raised to support the working capital needs of the business, including taking on more staff to increase the group’s capacity to provide commercialisation and development services for its portfolio companies.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) announced that its joint venture in Nigeria has extended the deadline to conclude documentation for a settlement in the dispute with its partner Essar Exploration & Production. An agreement was previously reached in principle and a new deadline of August 4, 2020, has now been set. "With the commercial terms settled in the agreement in principle, the legal language over a number of agreements has largely been agreed upon,” Arthur Millholland, COPL chief executive said in a statement.

88 Energy Ltd’s (LON:88E) quarterly activities report, released today, highlighted the group's takeover of XCD Energy PLC (LON:XCD). In the report, which is regulatory in nature, the Alaska explorer detailed the soon-to-complete takeover among the features of the period ended June 30, 2020, along with April’s end to the Charlie exploration well - which was plugged and abandoned. 88 Energy is combining with Alaska exploration peer XCD to expand its footprint and prospect inventory. In early July the transaction was set to go to compulsory acquisition as a key shareholder acceptance threshold was passed.

Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR) told investors that Larry Bottomley has stepped down from his position as chief executive and will leave the company with immediate effect. Adonis Pouroulis, a non-executive director and a founder of the business, will become acting chief executive and the management team will be strengthened with chief financial officer Julian Maurice-Williams and exploration director Duncan Wallace joining the board with immediate effect. The company noted that it has a strong cash position, with around US$9.6mln in the bank and no asset commitments, and, given the current lack of market appetite for exploration activity, it plans to evaluate other opportunities.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB), the leading publicly-traded cryptocurrency miner has announced the appointment of Dr Marco D'Attanasio as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect. The group said he and brings over 20 years experience in international capital markets, fund management as well as entrepreneurship in the technology sector. It noted that D'Attanasio is currently the chief investment officer at Hadron Capital, an investment management firm he co-founded based in London, which currently holds 13,548,000 ordinary shares in the company. Before co-founding Hadron Capital, D'Attanasio served as a managing director at the Royal Bank of Canada in London and was responsible for the Europe and Asia Relative Value Group, a 10-man proprietary trading unit based in London and Hong Kong. Peter Wall, chief executive of Argo commented: "We are excited to welcome Marco to the board as an independent director after a rigorous selection process in which he immediately stood out as an exceptional candidate. His broad experience in corporate finance and capital markets will benefit Argo as the company progresses its strategic objective to become one of the largest publicly-traded cryptocurrency mining companies."

Inspired Energy PLC (LON:INSE) said a general meeting (GM) of the company will be held on July 28, 2020, at 11.00am at the offices of Gateley Legal at Ship Canal House, 98 King St, Manchester M2 4WU. In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) measures imposed by the UK government, the board has taken into consideration the guidance and shareholders are therefore requested not to attend the GM as the company will not be able to allow entry to anyone seeking to attend in person. The meeting will be held with only two shareholder directors in attendance in person at the venue for quorum purposes to conduct the business of the meeting. Shareholders are instead invited to submit questions to the company, by no later than Monday, July 27, 2020, to [email protected] with details of their name and shareholding, and the company will endeavour to respond to the key themes of the questions.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON: SLN), a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases, has announced that its management will be participating in the following three virtual conferences: William Blair Biotech Focus Conference on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 2.00pm EDT (7pm BST) on a Panel: ‘30 Years of RNA-Targeted Therapies - Where Are We Now’; the BTIG Virtual Biotechnology Conference on Monday, August 10, 2020, at 9.30am EDT (2.30pm BST); and at the Canaccord 40th Annual Growth Conference on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 11.30am EDT (4.30pm BST). It noted that live webcasts of the BTIG Virtual Biotechnology Conference and the Canaccord Growth Conference can be accessed via the Investors section of the company's website - www.silence-therapeutics.com – and an archived replay of the webcasts will be available for 60 days on the company's website after the conference.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) announced that, in line with the company's investor communication programme, a recording of a shareholder Q&A session with Naheed Memon, CEO of Oracle, can be found on the company's website at www.oraclepower.co.uk

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