Proactive news headlines: Faron Pharmaceuticals, ANGLE, CMC Markets, Bango …

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Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) (First North:FARON) has shared observations of its precision cancer drug, bexmarilimab, that suggest its immune-stimulating effects may be broader than first thought. Researchers assessed data from the phase I/II MATINS clinical trial of the treatment, which targets Clever-1, a receptor known to be expressed on immunosuppressive macrophages. They did so working with Kaiku Health, a data science company that uses an artificial intelligence platform to analyse patient results following treatment with cancer immunotherapies. Faron said the latest scientific observations from the trial included the identification of a new role for soluble Clever-1 related to its capacity to control T-cell activation.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) has shared research that shows its Parsortix liquid biopsy is able to identify a certain type of cancer cell that is indicative of the spread of the disease throughout the body – a process called metastasis. It was also better in a head-to-head in this regard than the current antibody-based gold standard for isolating circulating tumour cells (CTC). The two systems were on a par in identifying an epithelial breast cancer line; however, Parsortix harvested “significantly more” mesenchymal prostate CTCs than the traditional method.

CMC Markets PLC (LON:CMCX) said it is confident that full-year profits will be at the upper end of market forecasts after trading remained strong in its third quarter. The group continued to perform “very well” as a whole in the three months to end-December, 2020, the FTSE 250 firm said in a trading statement on Wednesday, with active client numbers staying “high” and resulting in client trading activity being “strong”, although at lower levels than earlier in the financial year. CMC put the strong performance down to its ability to attract and retain “premium clients”, with a strong flow of newcomers showing similar qualities to prior cohorts of customers.

Bango PLC (LON:BGO) said it has formed a strategic partnership with TPAY MOBILE, a digital payments platform for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, to increase access to digital commerce and accelerate its entry into new markets. The AIM-listed firm said the collaboration with TPAY will allow its merchant partners to “more quickly” gain access to around 1.5bn people thanks to TPAY’s “massive footprint of carrier billing and wallet providers” which are now available through Bango’s platform.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has opened two new walk-in recruitment centres to screen potential volunteers for challenge trials in East London and central Manchester. The new sites, which are part of a planned expansion of trials in 2021, include a repurposed former coffee shop at the street level of Queen Mary BioEnterprise Innovation Centre (QMB) in Whitechapel, East London. The QMB centre currently houses subsidiary hVIVO’s current 24-bedroom quarantine clinic, but the new site is the first to be located at street level where volunteers can walk straight in for screening. With the new site, the QMB facility can offer 520 volunteer recruitment visit slots per week. The central Manchester site will have the capacity for 100 visits per week.

Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) said it has completed recruitment of 120 coronavirus (COVID-19) patients for its Phase II trial evaluating the performance of its inhaled formulation of interferon-beta-1a (SNG001) treatment in the home. Results from the trial are expected in the second quarter of 2021. Synairgen is undertaking a two-part trial of SNG001 on 101 patients in hospital and 120 at home.

Argentex Group PLC (LON:AGFX) told investors that trading has continued to improve, since its last update in November. The company, which provides bespoke foreign exchange services, noted that the full effect of the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has yet to be felt but suggested a more positive outlook for the coming months. In a trading update, the group said that “the recent Brexit trade agreement and the successful implementation of the vaccine programme for Covid-19 provides the board of Argentex with confidence that this encouraging trend, driven by a return to historic client trading behaviour, will continue for the remainder of the financial year to 31 March 2021.” The company also announced the appointment of Jo Stent as chief financial officer with effect from February 1, replacing Sam Williams, who is leaving Argentex to pursue other opportunities.

Tirupati Graphite PLC (LON:TGR) has highlighted progress being made at the Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre (TGMRC) in India. The facility is focused on the development of graphene manufacturing and applications, and it is seen in the overall business model as a stand-alone, revenue generative part of the company. “The model is designed to catalyse the commercialisation of graphene applications by developing commercial/bulk scale manufacturing of consistent, high-quality graphene at affordable costs,” said Shishir Poddar, Tirupati chief executive in a statement. “With the global market for graphene forecast to reach over US$1 billion by 2023 as techno commercial bottlenecks are overcome, we intend to be a significant contributor to this growth.”

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) (NASDAQ:AMYT) noted that support groups for people suffering from eating disorder leptin deficiency said they were ‘ecstatic’ after its treatment for the condition, Myalepta, was approved for the use by the NHS. NICE, the UK’s pharma regulator, has approved Myalepta for reimbursement as an adjunct to diet as replacement therapy for two forms of the condition, generalised (GL) and partial lipodystrophy (PL). In a statement, Joe Wiley, Amryt Pharma’s chief executive, said: “We are very excited to report NICE’s approval which will now give all England and Wales based patients suffering from lipodystrophy the opportunity to access Myalepta.”

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) has said its underlying pre-tax profit for 2020 is expected to be “marginally ahead of market expectations” as its consumer healthcare brands continued to perform strongly despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a trading update for the year to December 31, 2020, the AIM-listed group said its see-through revenues for the year were down 5% at £137.5mln as a result of the pandemic. One bright spot were revenues for consumer products, which rose 1% to £93mln year-on-year, although this was offset by a 14% decline in prescription medicines to £44.5mln as COVID-19 impacted the delivery of routine treatments.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) (LON:MXCL) has said its 2021 revenue growth is likely to accelerate after it weighed in with a better than expected performance for the year just gone. The cell engineering specialist said turnover for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020, advanced by 21% to US$26.2mln – a rise it attributed to the “increasing adoption and use” of its technology. The numbers were also buoyed by the launch of an expanded ExPERT range of disposables. Cash and equivalents at the year-end were a very healthy US$34.8mln following the company’s successful US$30.5mln financing last May.

InnovaDerma PLC (LON:IDP) has unveiled plans to raise up to £4.5mln in a bid to strengthen its balance sheet as well as enhance its ecommerce infrastructure and accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy. The beauty and personal care products group said the fundraising is comprised of an oversubscribed placing of around 11.4mln new shares at a price of 35p each, a 28% discount to its closing price on Tuesday, to raise £4mln as well as an open offer to qualifying shareholders for up to 1.45mln new shares at the same price to raise up to £500,000.

Capital Limited (LON:CAPD) has appointed Giles Everist as the company’s new chief financial officer (CFO, commencing March 1, 2021. Everist replaces André Koekemoer who is leaving the company and returning to South Africa for personal reasons. The company noted that the majority of Everist’s career of over 30 years has been spent in CFO, executive and non-executive roles across the international mining sector.

Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS), the UK Clinical AI company, said it has signed a five-year non-exclusive Strategic Research Agreement (SRA) with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.  The agreement will enable the ethical application of clinical AI research to improve patient care and accelerate research into new medicines. The RWT dataset covers 700,000 unique patient records from a patient population of approximately 470,000 people. The new SRA brings the combined total of anonymised data available for analysis by Sensyne to 6.8 million patients.

Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) said it has agreed to acquire San Francisco-based performance management software provider Reflektive Inc for US$14.2mln (£10.4mln) in cash. The digital learning group said Reflektive, which specialises in engagement and analytics tools used by corporate teams to boost productivity, will be incorporated into LTG’s PeopleFluent talent management portfolio and provide what the firm said will be cross and up-selling growth opportunities.

Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) said the first holes drilled at the Scallywag project in Australia have intersected prospective target lithologies and pathfinder element anomalism. Exploration work at Scallywag is focussed on the discovery of intrusion-related gold-copper deposits such as Havieron, Telfer and Winu. Greatland completed seven drill holes at Scallywag in the second half of calendar 2020, testing targets at the Kraken, London and Blackbeard prospects.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) has flagged a deal between two of its investee companies, EMMAC Life Sciences Group and Yoona Corp. Under the new agreement, Asia-focused CBD and wellness social commerce company Yooma Corp has been given an exclusive license to EMMAC’s wellness brands, including Blossom, MYO, Hello Joya and What the Hemp, for distribution and sale in China, Japan, Taiwan and Australia, as well as non-exclusive distribution rights in certain other global markets. EMMAC’s Blossom brand is a premium quality CBD skincare and wellness products, MYO is a nutritional supplements brand combining high-quality plant ingredients with cannabinoids and other active ingredients, while What The Hemp and Hello Joya are both plant-based hemp snack brands currently sold in France and the UK.

Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) has confirmed 625,000 ounces of group-wide gold reserves and 3.2mln ounces of resources. The reserves are defined across two projects in Tanzania whilst the resource inventory is made up across all three projects in Tanzania and Kenya. Last year’s exploration drilling at the NLGM project contributed some 173,000 ounces to reserves whilst the Porcupine South deposit contributed during the year with a 64,000 maiden resource.

Scirocco Energy PLC (LON:SCIR) has noted the positive update provided by Helium One Limited (LON:HE1) in which Helium One announces that work has commenced to mobilise surface geochemical exploration at the Eyasi Project (Helium One 100%) in southern Tanzania. Scirocco holds an interest of around 4.3% in the share capital of Helium One, and 1 million share options.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) (JSE:THA) has said the parties involved in its plans to acquire a 90% shareholding in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe have agreed to extend the option to March 31, 2021. Tharisa acquired the option from Leto Settlement, a related party, in May 2018, and subsequently updated the market twice on the transaction later that year.

[email protected] Capital PLC (LON:SYME), the innovative fintech platform which provides a unique, market-leading Inventory Monetisation service to European manufacturing and trading companies, has said the authorisation process for its Shariah-compliant Inventory Monetisation Platform has been successfully completed. Following the announcement the groups of November 3, 2020, the company said that with the support of the Shariah Funding Specialist and iMASS, it was told that  “an official pronouncement has been released by Sheikh Dr Mohamed Elgari and Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo in their capacity as members of the Shariah scholar board in relation to the inventory monetisation service.”

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) has announced a fully underwritten call for the exercise of warrants which will raise £3,793,019 in new capital, before costs, to assist the company’s ongoing project exploration and development efforts within Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Chad. The African-focused minerals exploration group said under approval granted by shareholders at the company’s General Meeting of June 25, 2020, it has remaining in issue 31,608,492 warrants issued to participants in the company’s capital raising announced on May 11, 2020. Each warrant is exercisable at a price of 12p into one Depositary Interest shares of no par value in the company. The company noted that it has the ability to call on the holders to exercise their warrants in the event that the company’s ordinary shares trade at a Volume Weighted Average Price at or above 16p per share for a period of five consecutive business days, which was achieved on August 12, 2020.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA) (LON:TILS), a biotechnology company focused on innovative therapeutics for oncology, inflammation, and infectious diseases has said that, as previously announced, the last day of trading of the company’s ordinary shares on AIM will be Wednesday, January 20, 2021. and the AIM delisting will be effective from 7.00am on January 21m 2021.  Admission of Tiziana’s shares to the Official List and commencement of dealing in the ordinary shares on the Main Market will be effective from 8.00am on January 21, 2021. Tiziana Life also announced that its CEO and CSO, Dr Kunwar Shailubhai, will participate in a fireside chat via a video link on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 3.00pm ET / 8.00pm GMT to provide updates on the company. The chat will be webcast at: https://b-riley-oncology-investor-conference.events.issuerdirect.com/signup

Albion Enterprise VCT PLC (LON:AAEV) has announced the appointment of Rhodri Whitlock as a non-executive director of the company with effect from January 19, 2021. On appointment, the trust said Whitlock will succeed Lord St John of Bletso as its Audit Committee chairman following his decision to step down from the board on November 30, 2020. Albion Enterprise noted that Whitlock, a chartered accountant, has over 25 years’ experience as a partner providing a range of assurance services and advice to listed and private companies. For 20 of those years, it added, Whitlock worked closely with the non-executive boards of a significant number of investment and infrastructure funds with aggregate assets under management of £1.5 billion. He has assisted with IPOs of companies and investment trusts and has experience of valuations. The group also announced that the Dowager Lady Balfour of Burleigh who has been on its board since 2006 has been appointed Senior Independent Director with effect from January 19, 2021.

Coinsilium Group Limited (LON:COIN) said since a previous update on December 21, the value of its fully vested cryptocurrency and token treasury, excluding cash at bank, has increased by around 40% to US$1.5mln thanks to what it said was “ongoing buoyancy in the global cryptocurrency markets”.

Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company focused on responsible resource development announced that it has received notice of exercise for warrants (issued in October 2020) to subscribe for 1,308,227 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each at a price of 0.6875p per ordinary share.

Proactive Research has issued a note on Sirius Real Estate Limited (LON:SRE). Analyst Ed Stacey says: “Sirius Real Estate has been a stand-out performer within the UK listed commercial real estate sector over the last three years, delivering a total shareholder return of 107%. The shares also offer a valuable portfolio diversifier for investors, with a geographic focus on Germany, and a focus on property classes that are underrepresented in the listed peer group.”

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