Thor Mining PLC LON:THR, ASX:THR) shares rose 12% to 0.56p as the market gave a warm welcome to its new non-executive director, Mark McGeough.

McGeough has worked with a number of Australian mining companies, including Chinova Resources and Toro Energy.

“Mark has an outstanding background as a geologist and manager of people and processes and has a wealth of experience with commodities which are a particular focus for Thor, including copper, gold, molybdenum, and uranium, and we are very pleased to add his strengths to our team,” said Mick Billing, the executive chairman of Thor Mining.

2.55pm:: New major stakeholder sparks interest in Marechale Capital

Marechale Capital PLC (LON:MAC) hardened 0.175p to 1.30p as a new significant shareholder was revealed on its share register.

Barry Reynolds has 57.68mln shares in the company, representing a 4.4% stake in the corporate finance company.

1.50pm: RedX the star of the show after AstraZeneca licensing deal

Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) soared 160% to 65p after it agreed on a licensing deal for a novel fibrosis treatment with pharma giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN).

The FTSE 100 giant will pay US$17mln for an exclusive licence to develop Redx’s RXC006, a porcupine inhibitor, for fibrotic diseases.

If the drug makes it to market, Redx will receive up to a further US$360mln in development and commercial milestones, plus tiered royalties.

12.45pm: Physiomics slides despite trading in line 

Physiomics PLC (LON:PYC) slipped 6.7% to 6.3p despite telling investors it is trading in line with analysts’ expectations.

The provider of technology-based solutions to predict the effects of cancer treatment regimens for the biopharma industry said trading for the current financial year has started well, with the company’s investment in additional marketing resulting in an increased volume of enquiries.

Net cash at the end of June stood at £1.1mln.

11.30am: Investors welcome BP bowing to the inevitable

BP PLC (LON:BP. has announced a dividend ‘reset’, slashing shareholder payouts by 50%, prompting market makers to mark up the shares by 7.9% to 303.15p.

The fossil fuels giant unveiled a new strategy to make the transition to “net-zero” carbon and become an integrated energy company.

Financial results for the second quarter saw BP report a US$16.8bn loss, including US$10.9bn of impairments, reflecting collapsed crude oil prices and low demand during the pandemic.

10.30am: Brave Bison sees revenues plunge during lockdown period

Brave Bison PLC (LON:BBSN) had retreated  by15% to 1.275p in mid-morning trading after a half-year report revealed how hard it had been hit by the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic.

The social video group that long ago was known as Rightster saw a reduction revenue to £5.5mln in the first half of 2020, down from £10.1mln in the corresponding period of 2019. The loss before tax widened to £1.4mln from £1.2mln the year before.

9.30am: AA fielding possible bids

AA PLC (LON:AA.) shares revved 12% higher to 28p in early trading after the roadside recovery firm revealed a bid for the company is in the offing.

The cash-strapped company said it is in discussions with a number of parties in relation to a wide range of potential refinancing options and as part of these discussions and the potential refinancing solutions, three parties have approached the company regarding possible cash offers.

The parties sniffing around are Centerbridge Partners Europe and TowerBrook Capital Partners (UK); Platinum Equity Advisors; and Warburg Pincus International.

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) shares, up 24% at 88p, were the second-best performers in London after the company announced a potentially lucrative collaboration olinked to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The UK company is teaming up with US life sciences firm Beckman Coulter to automate high throughput SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction testing.

The freeze-dried bead chemistry of the Genedrive 96 SARS-CoV-2 test is ideally suited for use on high throughput robotic platforms such as Beckman Coulter’s Biomek i7, genedrive said.

Proactive news headlines:

Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) more than doubled in value on Tuesday as it said it has agreed a licensing deal for a novel fibrosis treatment with pharma giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN). The FTSE 100-listed group will pay US$17mln for an exclusive licence to develop Redx’s RXC006, a porcupine inhibitor, for fibrotic diseases. If the drug makes it to market, Redx will receive up to a further US$360mln in development and commercial milestones, plus tiered royalties. The new drug will target diseases such as Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), where progressive scarring of the lungs (fibrosis) is usually fatal and the prognosis worse than many cancers.

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR), the molecular diagnostics company, has entered into a collaboration with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to speed up coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. The plan is to fully automate the entire laboratory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing process for COVID-19. The two companies are working to combine and validate the Genedrive 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit on the Biomek i7 automated workstation with saliva samples extracted using Beckman Coulter’s RNAdvance viral extraction chemistry. Once validated, Beckman Coulter estimates that this new turnkey solution could process around 1,000 PCR samples per Biomek installed during a standard eight-hour working day, overseen by a lab technician for the equivalent of half a working day.

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO, the immersive entertainment group, has said its largest installation to date opened for business on August 1 in Las Vegas. The ‘Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality Theater’ in the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, is a 36-seat virtual reality (VR) theatre complete with a full immersive pre-show area. Historically, Shark Reef Aquarium has enjoyed more than 500,000 visitors a year who purchase the standard aquarium ticket package. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a timed-entry ticketing system has been introduced at Shark Reef to facilitate physical distancing but the aquarium is still pulling in around 1,000 visitors a day.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) said its technology used to deliver pain medication and sexual health treatments through the skin barrier is proving successful in the field of cannabidiol (CBD). It has just completed initial laboratory and optimisation work on a gel called CBD100 using its DermaSys discovery to carry the payload. The lab work on human epidermis demonstrated “highly efficient penetration of cannabidiol into and through the skin”. Futura has now started to explore commercialisation options for CBD100 with joint-venture partner CBDerma as stability work continues in parallel.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has followed its recent vaccines testing success with a clinical trial contract expected to deliver “significant revenue” over the next 12 months for its Venn Life Sciences business. Its team in Breda, in the Netherlands, will be working with client Carna Bioscience to oversee the first-in-human pharmacology study, providing expertise in areas such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In the same announcement, it was confirmed that Venn’s chemistry, manufacturing and control team, also based in Breda, had won a contract extension with an unnamed Dutch firm.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) has announced the appointment of Mark McGeough to its board as a non-executive director with immediate effect. McGeough has worked with a number of Australian Mining Companies, including Chinova Resources Pty Ltd (formerly Ivanhoe Australia) where he was General Manager – Geology, and Toro Energy Limited where, as General manager Exploration, he was responsible for teams exploring for uranium in Australia and Namibia. Prior to these roles, he worked as Manager – Geological Survey with the South Australian government department of Primary Industries and Resources, and with Mount Isa Mines, Xstrata Copper and Zinc. Mick Billing, Thor Mining executive chairman commented: “Mark has an outstanding background as a geologist and manager of people and processes, and has a wealth of experience with commodities which are a particular focus for Thor, including copper, gold, molybdenum, and uranium, and we are very pleased to add his strengths to our team.”

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has noted the opening on Monday, August 4 of the new Genoa San Giorgio Bridge in Genoa which was constructed using Iterchimica’s Gipave asphalt supermodifier for its road pavement, which contains graphene and a specific type of technically-selected plastic which is usually sent to waste-to-energy plants. The new bridge, replacing the old Morandi Bridge structure that collapsed on August 14, 2018, was completed just 22 months after the disaster to designs by Genoa born Renzo Piano.  Gipave was developed by Iterchimica with the support of Directa Plus and resulted from a three-year research programme with a patent filed in 2017. To date, two trials have been initiated or completed in the UK in Oxfordshire and Kent and seven more were carried out at various sites in Italy.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA) (LON:TILS) said it has signed agreements with four contract research organisations (CROs) to expedite clinical development of COVID-19 treatment TZLS-501. The company said it intends to initiate the clinical study in the first quarter of 2021. TZLS-501 is a novel fully human mAb that binds to both the membrane-bound and soluble forms of IL-6R and rapidly depletes circulating levels of IL-6 in the blood. 

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has told investors that drilling is due to kick off in “the next few weeks” at the West Newton project, where an appraisal well will follow up last year’s successful discovery. The plan also includes the combined testing of the new well, West Newton B-1 (WNB-1), and the existing West Newton A-2 (WNA-2) discovery well. The base-case estimates for the project see some 146.4mln barrels of oil initially in place and 211.5bn cubic feet of gas, whilst the upside version anticipates 283mln barrels of oil and 265.9bn cubic feet of gas.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), a provider of services to the video game industry, saw its organic revenue grow by 8% in the first half of 2020. In a trading update, the group said it expects to report first-half revenues of about €173.5mln, representing an increase of around 13% on the prior year’s €153.2mln, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) are expected to be in the region of €30.8mln, representing an increase of around 19% on the €25.8mln reported for the first half of last year. Adjusted profit before tax is expected to be around €21.7mln, up 18% or so from €18.4mln in the corresponding period of 2019.

NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF) (OTCQB:NQMIY) said it produced record levels of metals concentrate from its Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania, Australia during July. The new plant at Hellyer delivered throughput of 106,365 tonnes of ore, or 1.25mln tonnes annualised, to produce record monthly lead concentrate of 4,075 tonnes. It also produced 1,509 tonnes of zinc concentrate, 461 ounces of gold and 89,854 ounces of silver.

Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) produced 26,960 ounces of gold equivalent from its Kapan mine in Armenia during the first half of 2020 and expects to produce 55,000 ounces of gold for the year. The company said it also took several steps to help alleviate the impact of coronavirus in its areas of operations in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, including donating beds and equipment to the medical centre of Kapan, providing diagnostic kits and masks, and providing computers to school children. It has had its first case of the virus at Tulkubash in Kyrgyzstan, and is taking all possible precautions there.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, said it has received notice to exercise warrants over 18,112,139 new ordinary shares in the company. Of this number, 10,612,139 new ordinary shares are being issued at 1.125p per share, and 7,500,000 new ordinary shares at 1p per share. Aggregate subscription monies of £194,386.56 have been received by ECR in respect of the exercise of these warrants.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) said it has allotted and issued 571,309 depositary interests of no par value each in the company Geodrill Limited, as partial satisfaction of invoiced costs to date associated with drilling at its projects in Cote d’Ivoire.

Curtis Banks Group PLC (LON:CBP), one of the UK’s largest independent SIPP operators, said it will announce its full-year results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, on Thursday September 3, 2020. There will be a presentation at 9.30am for analysts that will be held virtually. Those wishing to attend should contact: