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Proactive news headlines: Catenae Innovation, Open Orphan, e-Therapeutics, Conroy Gold ...

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors newswire

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Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) said it has begun trialling and finalising its Cov-ID app for tracking coronavirus (COVID-19) contact. On May 1, the group announced it had created an operational prototype of the GDPR-compliant identity documentation exchange system. Catenae is working with a consortium of companies led by the Z/Yen Group to develop a product that will be marketed to businesses and “other organisations”.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has confirmed that its coronavirus COVID-19 Antibody Microarray machine is on-site at hVivo's laboratory in east London and is undergoing testing. The move follows the company’s tie-up with Quotient Limited, announced recently. The machine, which will be fully operational in two weeks, can carry out 3,000 tests per day. In Monday's update, Open Orphan also said it is in discussions with channel partners to secure new business.

e-Therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) shares rose on Monday as the firm said it has begun experimental testing on the first set of compounds for the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) identified using its proprietary network-driven drug discovery (NDD) platform. The AIM-listed firm said the initial compound set, which it believes has the potential to address both viral replication and the associated excessive immune response, will be tested by WuXi AppTec utilising its relevant cell-based assays.

Separately, e-therapeutics also clarified arrangements for its upcoming annual general meeting that is still to be held at 11.00am on June 2, 2020. It said that in response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and stay at home measures in place, the 2020 AGM will now be held at 17 Blenheim Office Park, Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire OX29 8LN (which is the Company's registered office) and not at the offices of Stephenson Harwood LLP, 1 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7SH.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) has identified new geological and structural features on the Clontibret gold project which it says are important in regard to controls on high gold grades within the deposit. The geophysical survey centred on the Clontibret gold target area where the company proposes to develop its first gold mine. The Clontibret target is one of a series of gold targets on the 65 kilometre district-scale gold trend that the company has discovered, and has been granted licences over, in the Longford-Down Massif in Ireland.

OptioBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) said its revenues in the first three months of the year rose by 928% year-on-year boosted by its partnership agreements. The total invoiced sales of its LPLDL and SlimBiome offerings as ingredients or final product were £407,844, compared to £39,645 in the same period of 2019. On top of those revenues, the company, which is focused on developing compounds to tackle obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, also received proceeds of £162,500 of investment income from the disposal of shares in SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX). OptiBiotix pointed out that it had signed nine commercial agreements in the first quarter of 2020, with a further four deals in the subsequent months, making a total of 13 agreements for the year to date. These agreements aim to extend the company's geographic reach into 119 countries.

Westminster Group PLC’s (LON;WSG) said its aviation security training operations have been graded 'outstanding' in all areas audited by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA's Aviation Security Quality Assurance Framework requires regulator audits and the achievement of pre-determined grades. Only training providers registered with the CAA can provide Department for Transport (DfT) Aviation Security Training. In a statement, Peter Fowler, Westminster's chief executive added:  "Training is an important growing revenue stream for Westminster.  Whilst the current (coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the aviation industry worldwide, aviation security and training will remain an important and vital element for air travel. As travel restrictions begin to be lifted, we believe our training services will once again be in demand around the world."

Ergomed PLC (LON:ERGO) revealed that its pharmacovigilance division, PrimeVigilance, has signed a collaboration deal with Automation Anywhere, a leader in robotic process automation (RPA), and DataRobot, an enterprise artificial intelligence specialist, to accelerate its intelligent automation strategy. AIM-listed Ergomed said PrimeVigilance had completed a proof of concept and will now implement a cloud software solution to automate specific pharmacovigilance processes. The company noted that the productivity gains made possible by working with Automation Anywhere and DataRobot are expected to deliver organic growth more efficiently with the automation of manual, repetitive processes.

Norman Broadbent PLC (LON:NBB), which returned to profit in 2019, said it has continued to see a healthy increase in net fee income during the current year. Despite coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures affecting the group’s markets in March and April, the recruitment and executive search specialist said it recorded a 12% increase in net fee income (NFI) in the first four months of the year compared to the same period of 2019. The group revealed that it saw strong contributions from its Senior Interim Management and Talent Solutions activities, which offset challenging general market conditions for its Board & Leadership Search offerings.

In a separate statement,  Norman Broadbent also announced that Michael Brennan, its chief executive officer today purchased 25,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 6.12p per share. Following the purchase, the group noted, Brennan is beneficially interested in 1,120,481 ordinary shares representing approximately 2.08% of the company's issued share capital.

MTI Wireless Edge Ltd (LON:MWE) has highlighted “solid revenue growth” in its first quarter and said it is “cautiously optimistic” for the rest of the year. For the three months ended March 31, 2020, the technology firm reported a pre-tax profit of US$717,000, up from US$562,000 a year earlier, while revenues climbed by 5% to US$9.56mln. MTI said its Summit radio frequency business had continued to perform well in the period thanks to “increased demand” in the Israeli market and from its office in St Petersburg in Russia.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) shares rose on Monday as the company highlighted “a return in consumer confidence” in its Chinese market as the world begins to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a statement to be made at the company’s annual general meeting on Monday, Alliance Pharma chief executive Peter Butterfield said while the company had seen “some impact on year to date revenues” due to the coronavirus crisis, it had been encouraged by the robustness of its product portfolio and anticipated that trading will be weighted to the second half of the year. The CEO also said that the firm’s supply chain remained “robust” and that it had not experienced “any significant supply disruption” due to the outbreak. In a separate statement, Alliance Pharma announced that all the resolutions, as set out in the AGM Notice of Meeting, were duly passed on a poll.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS) (NASDAQ:TLSA), a US and UK biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery and development of novel molecules to treat human disease in oncology and immunology, announced that it has allotted and issued 264,286 ordinary shares after the exercise of 264,286 warrants at a price of 50p each, yielding £132,143 in cash proceeds for the company. 

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said it has agreed to invest US$1mln in hemp-based wellness products firm Yooma Corp at a price of US$0.65 per share. The investment forms part of a US$5mln fundraising following FastForward’s sale of its holding in Entertainment Direct Asia to Yooma announced last April. Following the investment, FastForward will hold a 10.65% stake in Yooma with an implied value of US$2.33mln. Meanwhile, FastForward also announced that its chairman and chief executive Lorne Abony has agreed to step down with immediate effect to pursue other business interests, and will also be appointed as a non-executive director of Yooma. FastFoward said it has appointed non-executive director Ed McDermott as its new CEO with immediate effect, while fellow non-executive director Ian Burns will serve as non-executive chairman.

Polar Capital Healthcare Trust PLC (LON:PCGH) said that biotechnology is now one of its favourite sectors though it has also added sizeable stakes in pharma giants Roche and Bristol Myers-Squibb because of their strength in oncology. Issuing its half-year report, the trust added that the market slump due to the coronavirus crisis in March had also bought a great opportunity to acquire stakes in some high-quality businesses. That turbulence, though, meant Polar’s net asset value dropped by 6.4% to 221.7p in the half-year to March, with all the decline was seen in the final month, the FTSE 250-listed trust said

Adamas Finance Asia Limited (LON:ADAM) revealed that it increased its net asset value by 8% year-on-year in 2019 to US$100.9mln. The improvement was driven mostly by a new investment that was acquired in exchange for the issue of the company's shares, said the small business finance specialist. Portfolio income increased by over 500% year-on-year to US$2.2mln (GBP1.7mln), the AIM-listed group added, due to the continued repositioning of its portfolio, a trend that is expected to continue in 2020.

Coinsilium Group Limited (LON:COIN) said it has been appointed as an advisor to Kesholabs Limited, a Kenya-based venture builder and development studio focused on blockchain innovation and decentralised open finance solutions. The deal, the financial terms of which are confidential, will see Coinsilium’s chief executive Eddy Travia join Kesholabs’ board of advisors while the company itself will provide services including a review of and recommendations for Kesholabs’ business model, a business and marketing plan, connections to potential blockchain technology partners and investors, and strategic advice on fundraising options and expansion To date, Kesholabs has been developing three applications which it is planning to launch in the East African market within the next three to 12 months.

Directa Plus PLC’s (LON:DCTA) revealed that its graphene-based water treatment technology, Grafysorber, has won a notable industry award. Grafysorber received a Technology Innovation Award 2020 from global consultants Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan, in an accompanying report, described Grafysorber as a “remarkable step toward attaining sustainable and cost-effective environmental remediation.”

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) said it has received a rebate totalling £165,000 from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in relation to a research and development (R&D) tax relief claim in respect of geoscientific advances sought by the company through its exploration programmes. The claim is for the year ended December 31, 2019, and follows the company's successful claims for the previous three years, as a result of which it received a total of around £145,000. The claim is of significantly higher value than those of the previous three years, as a result of enhanced exploration activities undertaken during the period. The funds will be used to progress the company’s technical programme in Cameroon.

Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS) has revealed that several options remain open as its formal sales process continues, including the sale of the company. In a regulatory statement, the group told investors that it received indications of interest for a potential purchase of the whole company, a potential purchase of part of the business, and a refinancing of the company. “The company looks forward to engaging with relevant parties in a constructive and positive manner with a view to optimising value for shareholders,” Collagen said.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) told investors it has negotiated a six-year lease extension on an Asian flag carrier-operated Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The company noted that the rent is at market rate and the new agreement runs to June 2028. "We feel it is prudent in terms of risk mitigation to extend the duration of this lease to the year 2028, given the uncertain near term outlook for mid-life narrow-body commercial passenger aircraft," Avation chief executive Jeff Chatfield said in a statement.

Arkle Resources PLC (LON: ARK) has raised £250,000 via the issue of 33.3mln shares at 0.75p each.   The proceeds will be used for further exploration activities at the Stonepark zinc project in County Limerick, Ireland, and to fund other exploration activities, including on the company's 100% owned gold exploration projects. "The high grade of the Stonepark deposit, its relatively shallow depth and its strategic location next door to Glencore's Pallas Green deposit have generated significant interest leading to the transaction, which significantly strengthens Arkle's balance sheet going forward,” Arkle chief executive Patrick Cullen said in a statement.

Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH) has announced the financial impact of the termination of its MTD201 drug development programme and the closure of its Bilbao operations. The company, which instigated a strategic review of its business earlier this year, decided to terminate studies on MTD201 due to lack of funds. The estimated cash outflow from the termination of the programme and the closure of the Bilbao operations has been put at £4.6mln. The company expects to take non-cash impairments of £12.3mln.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has raised £900,000 via a placing and subscription of just under 61mln shares at a price of 0.15p each. The money raised will be used to accelerate and expand drilling and metallurgical test work process, following successful metallurgical results from the Baita Plai polymetallic project in Romania released on May 15. These showed elevated gold and silver grades, and are expected significantly to enhance the value of Baita Plai. Two directors, chief executive Andrew Prelea and finance director Paul Fletcher, subscribed for 30mln shares between them.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) shares have been promoted onto the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange effective from the start of trading this Monday at 8:00am. In a statement, DGOC's chief executive Rusty Hutson described the market promotion from AIM as “a significant milestone” showing the company’s growth over the past three years. Importantly it reflects our commitment to the strong governance, reporting and operating standards required by a Premium listing."

Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (LON:VOG) told investors on Monday that its finance director, Andrew Diamond, has tendered his resignation. Diamond will step down from the board with immediate effect, and, over a six month notice period will assist the company with the finalisation of its Annual Report 2019. He will also support the transition to a new finance director during this period, once someone is recruited.

Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX), the drug discovery and development company focused on cancer and fibrosis, has announced the appointment of Sarah Gordon Wild as an independent non-executive director, with effect from July 1, 2020. The company noted that Wild brings extensive investment experience in the biotechnology sector to her role at Redx and currently also serves as a non-executive director of Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Evox Therapeutics, as well as being a board member of Lone Pine Capital LLC's Offshore Funds where between1998-2003 she was managing director and senior healthcare analyst. Iain Ross, Redx chairman commented: "We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the Board. I am confident that Redx will benefit from her counsel and deep understanding of the biotechnology sector and capital markets as we seek to build a leading biotech company focused on novel medicines that have the potential to transform the treatment of oncology and fibrosis."

Honye Financial Services Ltd (LON:HOYE) said a company controlled by one of its directors has sold 5.065mln shares for 31p each Fush Financial Investment Co is 70%-owned Shao Zhi Ying. L&S Global Ltd, owned by YuXing Terry Liu, also a director of Honye, acquired 1.446mln shares from Fush Following the deals, Fush will hold 47.91% of Honye and L&S 8.07%.

Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG) has announced that, further to the guidance provided by AIM Regulation in "Inside Aim" on March 26, 2020, the company has been granted an extension of up to three months for the reporting and filing of its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019, such that it will publish these results as soon as possible, but by no later than September 30, 2020. It noted that due to the current restrictions imposed by the Government of the Republic of the Congo in respect of coronavirus (COVID-19), the company's auditor is unable to conduct the audit of its former subsidiary Anglo African Oil & Gas Congo and as AAOGC was a material subsidiary in the context of the group accounts to December 31, 2019, it will also be unable to sign off on the accounts until the audit of AAOGC has been completed. The Government of the Republic of the Congo has applied a 3 month extension to the deadline for companies to submit accounts for the year ending December 2019 from the end of May 2020 to the end of August 2020 to allow work to be completed at a time when it is hoped restrictions have been lifted, the company added.

ADM Energy PLC (LON:ADME) announced that Align Research Limited has initiated coverage on the company. The research note is available from Align's website: http://www.alignresearch.co.uk/cpt-company/adm-energy/ Additionally, the company said it intends to host an investor meeting via a conference call on May 28, 2020, at 4.00pm BST hosted by its CEO, Osamede Okhomina and chairman, Peter Francis, followed by a question and answer session. In the call, the company said it will provide an operational overview of the business and the drivers for the industry and ADM although there will be no new material or trading information provided on the day. Investors can attend the call using the following link: https://forms.gle/mpvC2iYuWwCbwQHc7. Shortly following the conference call, a recording of the meeting will be made available from the company's website.

SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC), the AIM-quoted buy-and-build construction materials group,  said that at its annual general meeting held on Monday all resolutions were voted on by shareholders and duly passed.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) has said its annual general meeting (AGM) will be held at 10am on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at the company's head office, Surrey Technology Centre, 40 Occam Road, Guildford, GU2 7YG. The group said its board has been closely monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and recognises that UK Government guidance continues to require social distancing and prohibition of mass gatherings, so only the minimum number of directors who are shareholders will attend in person to ensure a quorum is present. Accordingly, so as to ensure their vote is counted at the AGM, all shareholders are asked to submit a Form of Proxy, instructing the chairman of the meeting on how they wish to vote on the proposed resolutions. The company said it will be providing a video conference call link to enable shareholders to follow proceedings of the meeting and potentially ask questions about the resolutions.  Any shareholders who wish to follow the meeting by video conference should contact the company secretary prior to the day of the meeting at [email protected] in order to request video conference dial-in details and to provide the requisite identification documents.

Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOC) said its annual general meeting will be held at 10.00am on June 18, 2020, at 48 Warwick Street, London W1B 5AW. Given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the associated UK government measures, including restricted travel and prohibition on public gatherings of more than two people, it pointed out that it will not be possible for shareholders to attend the AGM and the company will not be able to grant entry to anyone seeking to attend the AGM in person and the meeting will convene with the minimum necessary quorum of two shareholders. Shareholders are encouraged to vote via completion of a Form of Proxy and the results of the poll votes on the proposed resolutions will be published on the company's website immediately after the conclusion of the AGM. Shareholders are also invited to submit any questions for the AGM to [email protected] or to Owen Roberts ([email protected]) by Monday, June 15. A presentation and answers to the key questions will be posted on the company's website on the day of the AGM.

Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) said its 2020 annual general meeting will be held at 11.30am on June 11, 2020, at the company's offices at Regus House, Highbridge, Oxford Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1HR In light of the UK government's current restrictions on gatherings of persons from different households and the rules regarding social distancing relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, shareholders are requested not to attend the AGM and are instead encouraged to vote by proxy and to appoint the chairman of the meeting as their proxy. In addition, shareholders can also submit questions relating to the business of the AGM by email to [email protected] and the company will answer such questions via its website at www.corero.com/who-we-are/investor-relations/shareholder-information on a regular basis up until 11.30am on June 9, 2020. Alongside the ordinary course resolutions set out in the Notice of AGM, and in order to ensure that share options in issue continue to act as an effective incentive and staff retention tool, the company said it is seeking shareholder approval at the AGM for the cancellation, and subsequent regrant, of certain existing share options granted to various of its directors and employees.

Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON: BCN), a lithium exploration and development company, has announced that the company's annual general meeting (AGM) will be held at The Clubhouse, 8 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4JU, at 11am on June 11, 2020. As a result of the current measures implemented by the UK government, attendance at the AGM will be limited to two persons and shareholders may not attend in person.  Shareholders wishing to vote on matters of business are urged to do so via the completion of a proxy form. The final poll vote on each resolution will be published immediately after the AGM on the company's website. Appropriate questions should be emailed to  [email protected] before June 9, 2020, and responses will be posted on the company's website on the morning of the AGM. Bacanora said it will be hosting a shareholder update call after June 30, 2020, in order to give a detailed project update.

H&T Group PLC (LON:HAT) announced that at the company's annual general meeting, held on May 7, 2020, that each of the resolutions set out in the Notice of Meeting circulated to shareholders on April 14, 2020, was duly passed.

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) has said the latest investor presentation for their integrated 300MW thermal coal power plant and mine project located in the Tete Province, Northern Mozambique is now available from the company's website.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR), the African-focused minerals exploration company, has announced that it will be attending the 121 Mining Investment Online EMEA conference, which takes place between May 19 and May 21, 2020. An updated presentation for the conference will be made available on the company's website: https://www.ironridgeresources.com.au/presentation. More information on the conference can be found at: https://www.weare121.com/121mininginvestment-london/

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