Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU), the investing company with a focus on esports, payments, technology and its applications within media and gaming, has provided an update in respect of its esports portfolio as well as its investee companies – The Drops Esports Inc and Diemens Esports PTY Ltd. The group said that since making its initial £900,000 investment in six esports opportunities in November 2019, Blue Star has invested in total approximately £1,680,000 across seven companies. Follow on investments have been made in Guild Esports PLC, Dynasty eSports Pte Ltd and most recently in FORMATION Esports SaaS. Based on the current valuation of Guild, which was admitted to the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange’s main market on October 2, 2020, and the higher valuation achieved by Dynasty in its subsequent fundraises, Blue Star’s esports portfolio is now valued at £3,715,890, showing an unrealised gain of £2,035,890 and an increase of approximately 120%.

Amryt Pharma Inc (LON:AMYT) (NASDAQ:AMYT) has said therapy AP103 has received an orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the condition Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (DEB). AP103 is based on Amryt’s gene-therapy platform technology and offers a potential treatment for patients with DEB, a subset of EB, Amryt said. Orphan drug status is granted to rare diseases that affect fewer than one in 200,000 people in the US and allows a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity on approval and a waiver of some drug licence fees.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said PrEP Biopharm Limited, in which it owns a 62.6% stake, has completed a 12-week toxicology study for its novel pan-viral prophylactic asset, PrEP-001. The pharma services firm said the animal model study provides safety data needed to move PrEP-001 into longer duration dosing in clinical studies, adding that PrEP Biopharm intends to move forward with a real-world, field trial that is aiming to validate the efficacy of PrEP-001 against all circulating respiratory viruses including coronavirus (COVID-19), influenza and the common cold. PrEP-001 is a synthetic RNA ‘viral mimic’ which is designed to stimulate the body’s innate immune response in the upper respiratory tract to stop respiratory viruses. The treatment candidate is designed to be administered via a once-daily nasal spray.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has said it expects financial results for its core life sciences business to be ahead of schedule, citing momentum in “transformational cell therapies” and milestone payments from licence partnerships. In the same update, the group said it continues to work with the life sciences transactions specialist Locust Walk on a strategy for and future funding of the group’s CARMA business. This subsidiary is developing immuno-oncology drugs using MaxCyte’s cell engineering technology and is aiming to become self-funding.

World High Life PLC (LON:LIFE) (OTCQB:WRHLF) said its subsidiary Love Hemp Limited has launched its 10 SKU Love Hemp product line across 880 Holland & Barrett stores across the UK and Ireland as well as on the retailer’s website. The cannabidiol (CBD) specialist said the 10 SKUS products available include multiple sprays and capsules which contain a variety of strengths from 600 milligrams (mg) CBD to 3,000mg CBD.

Skinny Tonic (PRIVATE:SKTON), the company behind the UK’s first zero-calorie, zero sugar, and 100% natural mixer has been given a nice Christmas box, having raised £1.85mln so far in its latest funding round, which closes in seven days’ time. The company announced on November 23 that it smashed its target of raising £1mln in less than 24 hours after launching its latest crowdfunding campaign to the public via the Seedrs website. Now the multi-award winning company’s Seedrs campaign is 185% over-funded, with 933 investors taking part.

Sureserve PLC (LON:SUR), the compliance and energy services Group, said it has noticed that certain investor bulletin boards are incorrectly reporting that its subsidiary Aaron Services has won energy efficiency and heating services contracts with values of between £100mln and £500mln. The company said it wishes to clarify that whilst Aaron Services have been successful in being added to a number of Framework Agreements and although there is no guarantee of any future work, the value of the future work which Aaron Services would expect to be awarded is in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds and not several millions.

Critical Metals Plc (LON:CRTM) said it has “narrowed down its search” to a smaller number of potential acquisition targets that it believes have the potential to produce a combination of cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, titanium, or vanadium as the group reported its first financial results as a public listed company. In a statement accompanying its results for the year to June 30, 2020, the chairman of the mining investment firm Russell S. Fryer said preliminary discussions are ongoing with a number of “exciting opportunities” and the company will provide updates on any material developments.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) said its joint venture at the South Ghanzi Project in the Kalahari copper belt has identified concentrations of zinc in soil samples. Zinc is a recognised pathfinder element for the less mobile copper ions in the soil, Power Metal added, with elevated levels of zinc a potential indicator of shallow strata-bound copper mineralisation.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) said it has managed to maintain profitability despite a “challenging year” affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that it is “optimistic about the medium term opportunity for air travel”. In a trading update, the commercial aircraft leasing firm reported a pre-tax profit for the year to June 30, 2020, of US$14.7mln, adding that lease revenue in the period rose by 14% to US$135.3mln. Reporting on its operations from July 1, Avation said it has provided support to 14 of its airline customers during the pandemic with agreements to defer a total of US$13.7mln in lease payments, adding that it has mitigated the impact of this on its cashflow by rescheduling US$26.5mln of loan amortisation. As of December 23, the company said seven airline customers of a total of 19 have returned to normal monthly rental levels. In a separate statement, Avation advised that all resolutions put to shareholders at its 15th annual general meeting held on Wednesday in Singapore were passed.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG), the growing oil and gas company with a portfolio of production, development, exploration and appraisal assets, has announced the appointment of Tom Hickey as an independent non-executive director with effect from January 1, 2021. The group noted that Hickey is known across the oil and gas industry and beyond as a significant contributor to the success of Tullow Oil PLC in his role as CFO from 2000-08. During this time he was central to the successful conclusion of major acquisitions and exploration discoveries which helped shape that company into a leading Independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Hickey is currently CEO of Boru Energy Limited, the West African focussed private oil and gas company, which is supported by The Carlyle Group.

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX) said it has passed another important milestone with confirmation that the US regulator has accepted its new drug application (NDA). The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said the review of the company’s drug‑device combination product using hyperpolarised xenon-129 gas to enhance magnetic resonance imaging in pulmonary medicine will follow a “standard time frame”. That means the target Prescription Drug User Fee Act or PDUFA date is October 5, 2021. This is the deadline by which the FDA must review all new drug applications and is traditionally 10 months from submission. In the same announcement, the company confirmed the planned retirement of chief operating officer Ken West, who will continue as a consultant and a non-executive director of Polarean.

Powerhouse Energy Group plc (LON:PHE) said it has noted the recent increase in the company’s share price and confirms that there are no new material developments beyond those previously notified to the market. The company provided an update on operational developments in an announcement last week. Shares in Powerhouse Energy jumped by around 50% on Tuesday to close at 7.65p, having opened trade at 5.00p.

A £20.6mln share purchase agreement between San Leon Energy PLC’s (LON:SLE) chief executive Oisin Fanning and major shareholder Toscafund is to be unwound, the AIM-listed oil group has said. Fanning had agreed to buy 98mln shares from the fund manager in May at 21p, but San Leon said today that due to movements in financial markets since then he has been unable to raise the money required.

Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) has updated investors on its recent placing which raised £5mln, as announced on December 18, as well as recent actions of Gareth Cave, a substantial shareholder in the company and a director of its subsidiary Pharm2Farm (P2F). The AIM-listed firm said it considers the recent placing to be in the best interests of shareholders and the proceeds raised will allow the company to meet its immediate working capital requirements and also accelerate projects to allow it to exploit the full potential of its technologies.

Guild Esports PLC (LON:GILD), a UK-based owner and developer of esports teams said it has received from Andrew Drake, a non-executive director of the company, notice of the exercise of warrants over 1.5 million ordinary shares in the company at an exercise price of 1.00p per share. The aggregate gross proceeds of this exercise are £15,000. The warrants are being exercised within the three-month exercise period, which expires on January 2, 2021. The new ordinary shares will be subject to a 24-month lock-in period from the date of admission, as set out in the company’s prospectus dated September 29, 2020.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR), the gold exploration and development company focussed on Australia, said it has received notice to exercise warrants over 16,597,647 new ordinary shares in the company. Of this number, 10,071,429 new ordinary shares are being issued pursuant to the exercise of warrants at 1.125p per share, and 6,526,218 new ordinary shares pursuant to the exercise of warrants at 2.1p per share. Aggregate subscription monies of £250,354.16 have been received by ECR in respect of the exercise of these warrants. In addition, ECR said notices to exercise options over 1,000,000 shares at 1.125p has been received and funds of £11,250 have been received by the company in relation to these.

Tirupati Graphite PLC (LON:TGR), the fully integrated, revenue generative, specialist graphite and graphene producer with operations in Madagascar and India, said that at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday all resolutions were duly passed.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Ireland and Finland, announced that all resolutions put to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday were duly passed.

Karelian Diamond Resources PLC (LON:KDR), the diamond exploration and development company focused on Finland, announced that all resolutions put to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday were duly passed.

Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) (TSX:COG) has said the following an exercise of warrants, it is issuing 68,493 new ordinary shares with a nominal value of 20p each in the capital of the company at a subscription price of 40p per share. The company has received gross proceeds of £27,397.

Touchstone Exploration Inc. (LON:TXP) has announced that on December 22, 2020, certain executive officers exercised share options representing a total of 700,000 common shares of no par value in the company, which were set to expire on January 7, 2021. As part of this exercise, Touchstone president and chief executive officer Paul R. Baay exercised share options representing 300,000 common shares, chief financial officer Scott Budau exercised share options representing 200,000 common shares, and chief operating officer James Shipka exercised share options representing 200,000 common shares, all at a price of C$0.33 (approximately 1p) per common share. Further, on December 22, 2020, Baay sold 300,000 common shares, Budau sold 200,000 common shares and Shipka sold 200,000 common shares at a weighted average price of C$2.01 (approximately 117p) per common share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

KR1 PLC (LON:KR1) said it has invested US$200,000 in Tidal Finance, a decentralised insurance marketplace, in return for around 222.2mln Tidal tokens as part of a funding round.