And yes, the agreement does relate to the COVID-19 vaccine candidate everyone is talking about, with Croda contracted to provide novel excipients used in the manufacture of the vaccine.
“The application of our innovative capabilities is testament to the strong progress we have made to create industry-leading drug delivery systems, focused on developing speciality excipients and adjuvants to improve the effectiveness and stability of complex drug actives and vaccines. It is another example of why our purpose – “Smart Science to Improve Lives” – sits at the heart of our strategy and will continue to drive our priorities and ambitions in the years ahead,” said Steve Foots, the chief executive officer of Croda.
1.50pm: Tern loses altitude after portfolio update
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tern portfolio company Wyld Networks has recognised an additional application of its technology to monitor, alert and measure social distancing to help reduce the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and influenza in multiple sectors. This technology combines Wyld Mesh and Wyld Connect.
Wyld Networks has specifically developed technology with support from NHS Highland and Highland Health Ventures for deployment into care homes. The first care home deployment is expected to commence in late November 2020, Tern said.
12.45pm: Zenith pulls out of Azerbaijan
Zenith Energy Limited (LON:ZEN), down one-eighth at 0.35p, was at a low point after it pulled out of Azerbaijan.
In agreement with SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), the contract exploration area of Zenith’s 25-year rehabilitation, exploration, development and production sharing agreement has been terminated.
The oil and gas producer also announced that it has terminated the non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with a consortium of Arab investors first announced to the market on March 31, 2020.
11.40am: LandSecs to rejoin the land of dividend payers
The value of the office and retail property giant’s portfolio, which includes Bluewater and One New Change shopping centres, was written down by £945mln to £11.8bn in the six months to September 30, 2020, with the EPRA net asset value per share sliding 9.5% to 1,079p.
A valuation decline of 8% on a like-for-like basis was driven by a 5.7% decline in rental values, with regional shopping centres falling 20.4%.
10.45am: Online Blockchain slides as full-year results underwhelm
Revenue in the year to the end of June more than doubled to £109,000 from £50,000 the year before.
The loss before tax narrowed to £201,000 from £666,000 the previous year.
9.50am: Revenues rise at Capita
The company said revenue reductions in its previous quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been mitigated by cost actions as the outsourcing group also reported higher revenues during the period.
In a trading update for the three months to September 30, 2020, the FTSE 250 firm said the business had performed in line with its expectations and reported adjusted earnings (EBITDA) of £115mln, up from £111mln a year ago, while revenues fell to £803mln from £902mln.
9.00am: ProPhotonix looking to clean up with new ultraviolet-C lamp
ProPhotonix Limited (LON:PPIX) jumped by 12.5% to 4.5p in early trade on Tuesday after the firm announced the launch of a lamp to be used for disinfection purposes.
The designer and manufacturer of light-emitting diode (LED) illumination systems and laser diode modules announced the launch of the COBRA Clean FX1, a 265nm UVC (ultraviolet-C) LED-based lamp.
UVC is a proven method in the disinfection of water, air, and surfaces that has shown to be effective against pathogens such as E. coli, L. innocua, and coronavirus (COVID-19), ProPhotonix said in a statement.
It said the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to accept a submission made by Avion Pharmaceuticals supporting a request for a Type-A meeting that would provide clinical guidance for a phase III trial of the ImmuPharma-developed drug Lupuzor.
The information for the Type A meeting was forwarded to the FDA on November 6, 2020, and, normally, a meeting would take place within 30 days; however, this cannot be guaranteed, ImmuPharma said.
Proactive news headlines:
ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) said its licensing partner has made headway with the regulatory authorities in the US ahead of a new optimised phase III study of the former’s lupus treatment. It said the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to accept a submission made by Avion Pharmaceuticals supporting a request for a Type-A meeting that would provide clinical guidance for a phase III trial of the ImmuPharma-developed drug Lupuzor. The information for the Type A meeting was forwarded to the FDA on November 6, 2020, and, normally, a meeting would take place within 30 days. However, this cannot be guaranteed, ImmuPharma said.
Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) said its investee company Paraytec has the resources required to bring its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kit to the market with the need for a fast and effective Covid screening technology undiminished by the discovery of a vaccine. Braveheart welcomed the vaccine success of Pfizer and BioNTech, which it said was “hugely encouraging”. But it added: “[The] directors believe that the rollout of a vaccine will not lessen the urgent need for a fast, specific and sensitive test for COVID-19 which is what Paraytec is focusing on bringing to market as soon as possible.“
Plexus Holdings Plc (LON:POS), the owner of the proprietary POS-GRIP friction-grip method of wellhead engineering, has entered into a licence agreement with Cameron International Limited, a Schlumberger group company, the world’s leading oilfield services provider. The agreement grants a non-exclusive licence to enable Cameron to use the company’s POS-GRIP and HG metal-to-metal seal method of wellhead engineering for the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas surface wellheads. Cameron will pay a royalty based on the number of wellheads sold, leased, rented or otherwise supplied in each calendar year in the range of 3% to 6%, which shall apply up to the end of the 2029 calendar year.
88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E, ASX:88E) has released an updated assessment of the conventional resources for Project Icewine, defining some 1.77bn barrels of oil equivalent across multiple features. The Lima Fan prospect in the Seabee formation, notably, is seen to have substantial volumes of oil with prospective resources estimated at 1.4bn barrel, equating to most of the newly stated resource. Project Icewine’s remaining resources are estimated across a series of six Torok formations, the Stella F1 to Stella F6 prospects.
Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) has said its South Korean partner, Doosan, is to jointly develop a solid oxide fuel cell system with shipping company, Navig8. The solid oxide fuel cell system (SOFC) will provide cleaner power for ships and will be based on Ceres’s proprietary SteelCell SOFC stack technology. Doosan will develop and install a SOFC power and propulsion system in a 50,000-ton chemical tanker owned by Navig8 as a pilot programme for commercialisation.
Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) said its portfolio company Alusid, in which it holds a 35.6% stake, has received a £125,000 investment from the UK government’s Future Fund as part of a £250,000 fundraising via a convertible loan. The investment firm said the investment from the Future Fund, which was established to support innovative UK businesses currently affected by the coronavirus, has been matched by £100,000 from Frontier IP and £25,000 from a private investor. Frontier IP said the funds will be used to accelerate the development and commercial scale-up of Alusid’s patented technology to create premium quality tiles and other surfaces from recycled ceramic, glass and other industrial waste.
Tavistock Investments PLC (LON:TAVI) has announced a sharp increase in half-year adjusted underlying profits (EBITDA) despite the challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s reported adjusted EBITDA in the six months to the end of September 2020 rose by 25% to £1.26mln from £1.01mln the year before, despite revenues easing 7% to £13.38mln from £14.31mln the previous year. The directors of the wealth management firm said they plan to resume dividend payments this (fiscal) year.
Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has relayed a statement from Egdon Resources which is operator of the Biscapthorpe project, where a planning application is slated for February. Egdon’s statement noted that it will, on behalf of all partners, submit an application for planning permission for side-track well drilling, associated testing and, in a success case, long-term oil production. The project operator added that its application will be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment, after the Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) sought opinion on the need for such a study. Union Jack owns a 30% economic interest in Biscapthorpe.
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) and Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR) said that Red Rock Australasia Pty Ltd, a company jointly owned by the two firms, has been notified that a further seven of its license applications have been accepted and have been given a highest ranking, following the notification in respect of the first three applications received in early July. Red Rock Australasia will now advertise the seven applications in newspapers with statewide and local circulation, and after a three-week exposure period, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions of the State of Victoria will begin the application assessment process.
City Pub Group Plc (LON:CPC) has announced the appointment of Toby Smith to its board in the newly created role of chief operating officer with effect from November 10, 2020. The group noted that Smith is a very experienced and senior operator with over 25 years’ experience in UK hospitality. He has held CEO roles with Stonegate Pub Company, Novus Leisure and Town and City Pub Company. Prior to these, he also held senior roles at Laurel Pub Company, Spirit Group and Scottish and Newcastle Retail.
DeepVerge plc (LON::DVRG) has announced, following the offer for Modern Water PLC being declared unconditional in all respects on November 9, 2020, the appointment of Dr Nigel Burton as a non-executive director of the company with effect from Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Burton is a non-executive director of Modern Water, and since 2017 has been instrumental in restructuring and recapitalising several AIM quoted companies, including two successful reverse takeovers. His earlier career included over 14 years as an investment banker at leading City institutions including UBS Warburg and Deutsche Bank, including as the managing director responsible for the energy and utilities industries, and 15 years as chief financial officer or chief executive officer of a number of private and public companies. Ross Andrews, chairman of DeepVerge commented: “I’m delighted that Nigel has accepted our invitation to join the Board and I very much look forward to working with him as DeepVerge moves through its next phase of growth.” Burton added: “I’m pleased to join the team at DeepVerge, who I have enjoyed working with as relationships with Modern Water strengthened, and look forward to supporting them as they create further value in the next exciting phase of the growth of DeepVerge.”
Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust PLC (LON:SIGT) said it has renewed its £10 mln revolving credit facility with The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited, London Branch for a further two years. The facility bears interest at 1.05% over LIBOR and may be used for the acquisition of investments in accordance with the company’s investment policy and for the funding of share buybacks and dividend payments.
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 3,750,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 0.7p per share. Subscription monies of £26,250 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.
Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) said that on November 9, 2020, it granted a total of 77,603,512 options over ordinary shares of 0.01 pence each in the company under its existing share incentive scheme. The group said 38,801,756 options were granted to Trevor Brown, executive director of the company, and 38,801,756 were granted to Paul Ryan, non-executive chairman of the company. This grant of options accounts for approximately 5% per cent. of the company’s total issued share capital. The options have an exercise price of 1.40p per share (being the closing mid-market share price on November 9, 2020), vest immediately, and are exercisable for a period of 5 years. In a separate statement, Remote Monitored noted that Ryan has exercised warrants representing 10,000,000 ordinary shares in the company, at 0.5p per warrant shares and has also sold 6,700,000 ordinary shares in the company. Following these transactions, Ryan’s shareholding in the company will increase to 70,893,249 shares, representing 4.57% of the enlarged issued share capital and total voting rights of the company.
H&T GROUP PLC (LON:HAT) has announced that, following a thorough, competitive tender process, it has appointed PKF Littlejohn as auditor to the company with immediate effect. PKF replaces Deloitte which has formally resigned as the company’s auditor and has confirmed to the company that, in accordance with Section 519 of the Companies Act 2006, there are no circumstances in connection with its resignation which it considers need to be brought to the attention of the company’s members or creditors. The group said PKF will conduct the audit of the company’s financial statements for the financial year ending December 31, 2020. The appointment of PKF as auditor for the following financial year will be subject to approval by shareholders at the next annual general meeting of the company to be held in 2021.
Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) has said it intends to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) electronically on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, commencing at 2.00pm GMT. In light of the compulsory government measures in force in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and with the health and well-being of colleagues, shareholders and the wider community in mind, the AGM this year will be run as a virtual meeting in accordance with the provisions of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020. Shareholders are therefore not able to attend the AGM in person. The group said its board is arranging a listen-only webinar facility to allow shareholders to attend the AGM and follow proceedings remotely. The webinar details will be published on the homepage of the Company’s website – www.allergytherapeutics.com – approximately 72 hours before the date and time of the meeting. Shareholders can submit questions for the board in advance of the AGM by email to email@example.com and the board answer such questions at the meeting.
Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP), the AIM-listed precious and base metals exploration and development business, has announced that it’s annual general meeting (AGM) will be held virtually on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at 9.30am. Shareholders can attend the virtual AGM by clicking on the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/greatland-gold-plc/register-investor.
Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR), the AIM-quoted exploration company focused on West Africa, said it will hold a virtual investor event on “Senala: Oriole’s prime position in a richly endowed mining district”, where the company’s UK management team will give a live presentation on its Senala project in Senegal, followed by a Q&A session. The virtual investor event will take place at 3pm GMT/10am EST on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and can be accessed by registering at the following link: https://my.6ix.com/bYj5LEYf