MediaZest PLC (LON:MDZ), the audio-visual company, shot up 78% to 0.04p as a stock overhang disappeared.

The company received notification that Paul Greenhalgh has disposed of his holding of 62mln shares in the company, representing his entire stake in the company.

Greenhalgh has held the shares since July 2013, when his stake represented 10% of the issued share capital of the company.

2.30pm: Circassia soars as AstraZeneca does it a favour

Circassia Pharma PLC (LON:CIR) saw its value rise by a third to 23.45p after it handed back the US rights to two respiratory drugs.

AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) will resume ownership of the two drugs – Tudorza and Duaklir – and has agreed to waive loans and interest of US$149.mln though it will retain the 18.9% stake in AIM-listed Circassia that was part of the original deal..

Ian Johnson, Circassia’s executive chairman said the primary focus now would be on the group’s Niox respiratory diagnostic platform.

12.45pm: “Van Elle of a fall” after engineering company places shares at a big discount

Van Elle Holdings PLC (LON:VANL), an engineering company focused on the construction industry, shed 11% at 28p after announcing fund-raising plans.

The company is undertaking a placing to raise gross proceeds of roughly £6.67mln a 25p a pop.

The shares issued represent about 33% of the company’s existing issued share capital.

11.45am: Warpaint London warns on revenues

Warpaint London PLC (LON:W7L) tumbled 13% to 41.5p after warned on revenues for the current year.

The cosmetics group said retail customers are cancelling or deferring orders due to shop closures.

It said it continues to supply retailers that are still open as well as operating an online platform for individual customers.

10.35am: Pressure Technologies hit by knock-on effects of lower oil price

Pressure Technologies PLC (LON:PRES) lost a sixth of its value at 75p as it said orders are likely to be depressed by depressed oil prices.

Given the level of uncertainty in the outlook, the board of the oil services provider has decided to withdraw guidance and forecasts.

The group has currently used £9.3mln of its £12.0mln revolving credit facility. It continues to evaluate government support measures available to it and in the meantime, it is cash conservation mode.

9.30am: Tiziana and Omega Diagnostics soar after announcing COVID-19 initiatives

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS, NASDAQ:TLSA) shares soared 80% to 67.5p in early London trading on Thursday as it announced investigational new technology to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

The biotechnology company, which is focused on innovative therapeutics for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, said the new technology consists of the direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibodies into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebuliser.

Development of this new technology is a step forward toward expediting the development of TZLS-501, a fully-human anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody for the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus, Tiziana said.

Meanwhile, Omega Diagnostics Group Plc (LON:ODX) rocketed 73% higher to 19p on news it is to team up with three other UK companies and the University of Oxford to jointly develop and manufacture a COVID-19 point-of-care antibody test.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium, as the alliance has been dubbed, comprises Omega, Abingdon Health Limited, BBI Solutions Limited, CIGA Healthcare Limited, and the University of Oxford and was formed at the request of the UK government to support the development and manufacturing scale-up of a COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test to determine whether people have developed immunity after contracting the virus.

Once the COVID-19 rapid test design is finalised, the specification and standard operating procedures will be shared with each party of the consortium to enable manufacturing and/or assembly to be undertaken at each site, including at Omega’s manufacturing facility in Alva, Scotland, according to capability.

Proactive news headlines:

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA) has developed a handheld inhaler that will allow the rapid delivery of TZLS-501, its drug to treat inflammation of the lung caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). “The technology, we think, provides immediate relief thanks to the delivery speed,” said chairman Gabriele Cerrone in a statement. It has submitted a provisional patent application for the investigational new technology, which could also be used to transport other similar treatments rapidly to the affected areas. Currently, doctors administer life-saving drugs intravenously.

Circassia Pharma PLC (LON:CIR) has said it is to hand the US rights to two respiratory drugs back to AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) and focus on diagnostics. Astra will waive loans and interest of US$149.mln when it takes back the two drugs – Tudorza and Duaklir – though it will retain the 18.9% stake in AIM-listed Circassia that was part of the original deal. In a statement, Circassia said it had carried out a strategic review of the business and the options for the two drugs and concluded it was ‘highly unlikely’ it would be able to refinance the loan from Astra.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) has unveiled plans to raise £75mln through the issue of new shares as it eyes a number of “attractive opportunities across the marketplace”. The investment trust said that it will raise the funds through the issue of shares at a price of 103p each, a 5.7% discount to its closing price on Wednesday. The company said the funds should allow it to purchase two assets with a value of around £115mln, while the company has also identified a further pipeline of assets with an approximate value of £180mln.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) has reported “another record year” for its business with double-digit revenue growth across the group. In an update for the year ended March 31, 202, the secure payments specialist said trading for the period had been “in line with market expectations” with revenue growth across both its UK and US businesses. The group also reported record order levels for the year with 10% growth to £35.9mln.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT), the global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, expects to continue to see growth in its life sciences business in 2020. In a business update, the company said it made a strong start to 2020 and, although the coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic has the potential to hit revenues, the MaxCyte business remains resilient due to strong recurring revenues including from consumables and instruments in place under long-term leases with cell therapy partners. Significant growth in the life sciences business segment is expected from 2019’s levels, it added.

Frontier IP Group PLC’s (LON:FIPP) said its portfolio firm, Alusid has launched a new luxury brand of furniture, named Block, incorporating its surfaces made from recycled glass and ceramic waste. The IP investor said the brand, which has been launched by Alusid through an exclusive Kickstarter campaign and in collaboration with design consultancy Collective HQ, will initially make small-to-medium-sized occasional tables.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) said it has repurposed equipment at its Berlin site to produce critical reagents for coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic test kits currently in short supply. The work is being carried on a cost-only basis for a firm called TIB Molbiol and it is hoped Silence’s specialist equipment help significantly increase its partner’s capacity to produce test kits on short notice.

Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR) has said it recognises that market conditions may expose value-accretive growth assets, that are a strategic fit, and it will remain open to such opportunities. The explorer, in a statement, meanwhile highlighted its focus on the Anchois gas development in Morocco – whilst maintaining capital discipline. It noted that it had US$9.6mln of cash at the end of 2019 and it is tied to no work commitments on any of its licences, plus it is debt-free.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) (TSE:CAL) said production at its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe was up sharply year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020. During the quarter, Caledonia said 14,233 ounces of gold were produced, up 19% on the 11,948 ounces produced in the first quarter of 2018.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has repeated that it does not expect to incur any costs from the drilling of the Charlie-1 well, which saw “mixed” results. In a quarterly activities update, 88 Energy also said it would launch a new partnership programme for the Charlie asset. Whilst partner Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) has chosen to exit the project, AIM-quoted 88 Energy confirmed that US$23mln was deposited into the joint venture bank account (in accordance with the JV deal) and the well costs remain within the expected budget.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) executive chairman Christian Schaffalitzky has said the company’s mining operations are “ongoing without any impact of [coronavirus]” as it updated investors on its progress. The AIM-listed miner said while the pandemic had not affected its operations, it was maintaining its £600,000 cash position as well as a currently unused credit line of US$1mln (£806,505) from its largest shareholder.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) described its production performance in the first quarter of 2019 as “strong”, though the present quarter is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. South Africa entered a 21-day lockdown on March 25, and, since April 6 mining activities have continued on a ‘reduced’ basis, just using the 300,000 tonne per month Voyager plant. “We are pleased with the stable performance over this past quarter which was in line with reaching our Vision 2020 targets for the end of calendar 2020,” Phoevos Pouroulis, Tharisa chief executive said in a statement.       

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) has raised £15mln through a direct subscription with new and existing shareholders in the cancer treatment pioneer. The issue price of 25p is in line with last night’s closing price, with the group’s directors subscribing for £190,000 worth of shares. Advanced Oncotherapy said work on its first proton beam therapy site in Harley Street has been halted due to coronavirus restrictions, but it will use the money raised to get regulatory approval of its novel technology.

US Oil & Gas PLC (USOP) has announced a US$83,295 equity raise, issuing shares to private investors. A total of 222,714 new shares in the company are being sold at a price of 31p per share, the company said in a statement. “The proceeds of the placing will be used to provide US Oil with additional working capital, including the funding of drilling operations,” it said.

Location Sciences Group PLC’s (LON:LSAI) has said its first-quarter performance was in line with expectations but added that the second quarter will see some impact from the coronavirus pandemic and it has offered its services to the government during the lock-down period. The location data verification company noted that while half of its revenues are from fixed monthly fees, the other half are based on the volume of location advertising, which looks certain to decline during the lock-down.

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSX:APY) has announced that, as a result of the UK government’s coronavirus measures, and the knock-on effect following compliance with the Financial Conduct Authority’s request to delay the publication of its audited 2019 Annual Report and Accounts, its Annual General Meeting (AGM) will now be held at 2:00pm on May 27, 2020, at the company’s registered office, 1 Savile Row (entrance via 7 Vigo Street), London W1S 3JR. However, in order to comply with the government’s “Stay at Home” measures, shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM in person and should, therefore, vote by proxy. The group also said payment of its final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019, of 4.125p, subject to shareholder approval at the AGM, is now expected on June 18, rather than on June 4 as previously indicated.

Condor Gold (LON:CNR) (TSX: COG) has announced that its Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 11:00 am at the company’s registered office: 7/8 Innovation Place, Douglas Drive, Godalming, Surrey. However, it added, due to current restrictions imposed by the UK government, shareholders will be unable to attend the meeting in person and should participate electronically by registering with the company beforehand.

SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC), the AIM-quoted buy-and-build construction materials group, announced it has appointed Peel Hunt as joint broker to the company with immediate effect.