Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP, NASDAQ:VRNA) has raised US$200mln from new and existing investors, which it will use to fund the clinical development of its breakthrough treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The private placement and subscription, which was open to US and UK shareholders, was oversubscribed. It received backing from companies such as RA Capital, one of America’s leading biotech investors, along with a number of other highly regarded industry names. The cash will be used to fund Verona’s phase III ENHANCE clinical programme for the inhaled nebulised drug, ensifentrine.

ClearStar Inc (LON:CLSU) said it is “encouraged by the strong recovery in revenue” since the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that it has not lost a single customer during the crisis. In a trading update for the six months ended June 30, 2020, the background check and medical screening provider said while the pandemic had impacted its business in the period due to widespread job losses and recruitment freezes, its revenue run rate experienced “a significant uptick” from the end of May which continued throughout June and into July. As a result, ClearStar said revenue for its first half was US$8.9mln compared to US$11.6mln in the prior year, while revenues in June were 74% higher than April and returned to the same levels seen in February.

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD), the freight management services company, has said transportation volumes are moving back towards pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis levels. Having made a solid start to the year before the pandemic hit Europe, the group’s performance over the first half of the year was only marginally behind expectations management had before the massive disruption to travel conditions. The group said it has performed robustly during the pandemic with a steady recovery since April. Activity in the logistics division has remained broadly stable while transportation services, after a period of reduced sales, are gathering momentum.

Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) has said it is running the rule over the potential acquisition of a company operating in the medtech and biosecurity sectors. In a brief statement, the company said that if it pulls the trigger on the acquisition, it is likely that the consideration would be satisfied through the issue of new shares. Both parties are currently performing due diligence on the proposed deal, it added.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) told investors it has subscribed for A$500,000 of shares in Artemis Resources Limited, taking up 7.14mln new shares at 7 Australian cents per share. The investment is part of a larger A$5.6mln fundraise being undertaken by Artemis. Metal Tiger’s shareholding in Artemis will amount to 0.6% of the company. “We are pleased to make this investment in Artemis as it progresses its aggressive exploration plans at Paterson and Carlow Castle,” Michael McNeilly, Metal Tiger chief executive said in a statement.

Inspired Energy PLC (LON:INSE) said it has now completed its acquisition of the outstanding 60% of associate Ignite Energy. The AIM-quoted energy utilisation firm is taking up the portion of Ignite that it didn’t already own. It is paying £11mln in an upfront payment, split as £5.5mln of cash and £5.5mln of shares, supported by the group’s recent £35mln fundraise.

Adamas Finance Asia Limited (LON: ADAM), the pan-Asian small-cap investment group, is to raise £3.13mln from a placing and open offer and change its name to Jade Road Investments Limited. Adamas said that its portfolio has undergone a transformation over the last few years and it is seeking to establish an identity that more fully represents its pan-Asian small and medium-sized enterprise focus. Adamas said it is pursuing the open offer fundraise, at an issue price of 25p per share, to enhance further its balance sheet and to enable it to pursue a wide range of investment prospects.

Power Metal Resources Plc (LON:POW) told investors that it has now converted its loan notes in Kavango Resources PLC (LON:KAV). The company converted its entire £38,000 loan note holding into 4.75mln shares priced at 0.8p each. It realises a 2.46% shareholding in Kavango. The move follows a deal agreed in April that saw Power Metal Resources acquire a controlling 51% stake in Kavango’s Ditau rare earths project in Botswana. Under the terms of the prior loan note agreement, Power Metal Resources will be issued with warrants for a further 4.75mln Kavango shares with an exercise price of 1p.

Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) has said it noted media reports relating to major shareholder Aeturnum Energy PTE Limited but added that its financial position is sound and it continues to operate as normal. An article published by Bloomberg on Friday highlighted that Aeturnum Energy PTE, a Singapore-based commodity trader, is being sued by French bank Natixis over oil contracts worth US$86mln. Aeturnum took a 19.9% stake in Asiamet in March when it subscribed for the bulk of a placing that raised £3.36mln for the mining junior. In May, Asiamet said Aeturnum had indicated it wanted to enter talks for a partial or full acquisition of the KSK project and in June it added that Aeturnum had made a conditional offer.

MaxCyte Inc. (LON:MXCT) (LON:MXCS), the global cell-based medicines and life sciences company, has announced that Doug Doerfler, chief executive officer and founder of the company and Ron Holtz, its chief financial officer, have in aggregate exercised options over 575,000 shares of common stock of $0.01 of the company which were then sold at a price of 220p each. The sold shares represent approximately 11.0% and 11.2%  of Doerfler’s and Holtz’s total equity and option holdings in the company’s equity, respectively. This share sale is the first sale of any of Doerfler’s or Holtz’s equity in the company since its founding in 1999 and both have no current intention of making further sales of MaxCyte shares, the group said. Following the options exercise and sale, Doerfler’s holding in the company remains unchanged at a total of 433,197 common stock and Holtz’s holding of remains unchanged at a total of 150,251 common stock, representing 0.57% and 0.20%, respectively, of the enlarged issued share capital of the company and following the exercise, Doerfler and Holtz hold a further 2,813,480 and 1,239,892 options over common stock.

Honye Financial Services Ltd (LON:HOYE) said it has received notification from Fush Financial Investment Co that on July 16, 2020, it sold, an aggregate of 5,627,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 35p per share for a total consideration of approximately £1.97mln. Following the transaction, it added, Fush will hold 6,193,590 ordinary shares in Honye which is equivalent to a 25.1% shareholding. Xu WanBao, a director of Honye, holds 70% of the issued share capital of Fush and the balance is held by Shao Zhi Ying.

ADM Energy PLC (LON:ADME), a natural resources investing company, said it has received notification for the exercise of warrants from one of the participants in the £200,000 loan facility announced on April 27, 2020. The exercise of warrants is over 2,083,333 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 2.4p each. The proceeds of the warrant exercise amount to £50,000 and have been applied against the original loan amount from the lender which it redeems in full. The company has also issued an additional 208,333 ordinary shares at a price of 2.4p each to the lender to settle the £5,000 interest accrued on the lender’s original loan.

Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA), the AIM-quoted provider of digital media and technology, has announced the transfer of 3,750,000 warrants from Brian Thompson, a director of the company to Guy Meyer and John Farthing, also directors of the company, and the subsequent exercise of the warrants and issue of equity. It said Thompson has transferred warrants over 2,500,000 new ordinary shares to Meyer and warrants to Farthing over 1,250,000 new ordinary shares, with all the warrants exercisable at a price of 0.4p per new ordinary share. Following the warrant transfer, the group added, Thompson holds warrants over 26,931,818 new ordinary shares in the company, exercisable at 0.4p per share, which may be exercised at any time prior to May 14, 2022. The company also said it has received notification of the exercise of the warrants over 3,750,000 ordinary shares, providing the company with proceeds of £15,000.

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL), an investment trust specialising in secured debt investments, announced that yesterday RM Capital Markets Limited, its investment manager acquired 25,000 ordinary shares in the company at 76.84p per share. Under the Investment Manager Agreement (as amended on May 12, 2020), commencing on a quarterly basis from Q2 2020 the investment manager must apply up to 10% of its management fee received quarterly (subject to a minimum of £10,000 being so applied) in subscribing to and/or purchasing shares in RMDL. Following the purchase, the investment manager’s total holding of RM Secured Direct ordinary shares is 1,224,825. 

European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) (ASX:EMH) said it has issued 1,049,825 new ordinary shares, represented by depository interests (DI’s) in the company at a price of 13.176p per DIs in relation to the first drawdown of the fund facility agreement between 6466 Investments Pty Ltd and the company as announced on July 14, 2020.  The issue of new DIs is in respect of the first advance of A$250,000. The funds will be used to assist in funding new initiatives and ongoing operations.

AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, announced that at its general meeting held on Friday all resolutions were duly passed, including Resolution 1 to approve the issue of the conditional fundraising shares which are part of the fundraising announced on June 30, 2020. The results of the proxy voting will be made available on the company’s website

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) announced that at its annual general meeting (AGM) held on Thursday and all resolutions put to shareholders were duly passed. It said questions submitted to the board prior to the AGM will be answered by way of a written summary, which will be posted on the company’s website at

An influential Wall Street analyst has spoken of the “intriguing implications” of Tiziana Life Sciences PLC’s (LON:TILS) (NASDAQ:TLSA) expansion of its cancer portfolio into CAR-T therapy. On Thursday, the company submitted a patent application covering the potential use of its lead drug candidate, Foralumab, a fully-human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, to improve the success of the cutting edge treatment. “In our view, foralumab could in future be of strategic interest to a number of CAR-T developers with regard to broadening the commercial potential of their products,” said Raghuram Selvaraju, of HC Wainwright, reiterating his ‘buy’ advice and US$25 price target.

Proactive Research has also issued a research note on Tiziana Life Sciences pointing out that its lead programme Foralumab “is notable in that not only is this the only fully human anti-CD3 specific mAb in clinical development, with broad potential for a range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, but also due to the novel proprietary formulations being developed by TILS for nasal and oral administration.” Analyst Emma Ulker says: “These ground-breaking approaches can not only reduce the toxicity seen with systemic treatment they may also be more efficacious than standard injected biologics. Broadly, if clinical study outcomes are positive, this can potentially revolutionise treatment in the mAbs market which has a projected value over $130bn by 2025, comprising the best-selling drugs in the world.”