A blockbuster stock on AIM this week was Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG), which rocketed 412% higher to 189p following positive results from a clinical trial of its drug to tackle the severe symptoms of coronavirus.
The data revealed that patients receiving SNG001, an inhaled form of interferon beta medicine, had a 79% lower risk of developing severe symptoms of the disease compared to those given the placebo, a development Synairgen said “could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised patients”. Those receiving the treatment were also more than twice as likely to recover from the illness.
CEO Richard Marsden noted that the results of the trail, part of a research collaboration with the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, were “a clearer signal then we could have dared to hope for”.
Synairgen is now working with regulators to progress the treatment as rapidly as possible. If it is approved, analysts at broker finnCap said quantifying the coronavirus opportunity was “nigh on impossible” and their current valuation of Synairgen “could go substantially higher”.
Looking to the wider market, the FTSE AIM All-Share was up 0.78 per cent at 884.5, while the FTSE 100 fell 2.9 per cent to 6,109.
Another biotech soaring during the week was Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH), which climbed by 98% to 39.5p after unveiling a new research collaboration for the Q-Sphera platform with a European affiliate of a global pharmaceutical company.
Ecommerce infrastructure specialist Mobilityone PLC (LON:MBO) also notched up hefty gains, rising 178% to 12.5p after winning a contract with US money transfer giant MoneyGram Payment Systems.
Meanwhile, miner Conroy Gold & Natural Resources PLC (LON:CNGR) shot 40% higher to 20p after inking an agreement with peer Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) for the latter to acquire a 55% interest in the Longford Down Massif gold project in Ireland. Anglo’s shares rose 6.8 per cent to 141.5p on the news.
Explorer Karelian Diamonds PLC (LON:KDR) climbed 45% to 3.3p after the company was granted access to the Lahtojoki diamond deposit in Finland, over which it has been granted a mining concession.
Mattress maker Eve Sleep PLC (LON:EVE) bounced 40% higher to 2.1p after it cut underlying first-half losses by around 80 per cent to roughly £1.2 million on sales of £12.2 million, attributed to a strong homeware market and its online-focused proposition.
Gear4Music PLC (G4M) also hit the right notes, rising 29% to 510p as the online musical instrument seller upgraded its profit guidance following a sales boom during lockdown.
Among the fallers, infection prevention specialist Tristel PLC (LON:TSTL) tumbled 10% to 412p after saying demand for disinfecting surgical instruments, its main revenue source, had been hit by the cancellation of procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Resource explorer Empire Metals PLC (LON:EEE) sank 29% to 2.4p following news that Australian miner Artemis Resources, from which the company is planning to acquire a stake in the Munni Munni palladium project, is facing legal action from its joint venture partner Platina.
Research tools maker Abcam PLC (LON:ABC) dropped 5.5% to 1,314p over the week as it said demand for its products had declined as laboratories closed or reduced their activity levels during the pandemic, although this has showed signs of recovery as more countries began to reopen.
Elsewhere, risk management software group KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) fell 12.5% to 28p after the company said it had lost four institutional customers in its first half, worth around £300,000, for a number of factors including coronavirus.
W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) also saw its operations impacted by the pandemic, with the shares falling 30% to 0.16p after the Spain-focused group reported a 7 per cent fall in production in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year.