Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Proactiveinvestors Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Mon, 27 May 2019 10:23:31 -0400 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Canadian cannabis workers wouldn’t be denied entry into the US under new House bill ]]> Canadian cannabis workers wouldn’t be denied entry into the US under new legislation introduced this week in Congress.

Called the Maintaining Appropriate Protections for Legal Entry, or MAPLE Act, the bill would would ensure that non-US citizens are not penalized under federal law for working in the cannabis sector of a foreign country, among other jurisdictions. The bill would create exceptions in U.S. immigration code. 

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) filed the bill on Tuesday, according to his press secretary. Oregon is one of 11 US states in which cannabis is legal for medical and recreational purposes. 

The congressman submitted an earlier version of the bill in December, about two months after Canada started to allow legal cannabis sales.

READ: Canadian cannabis workers could face a lifetime border ban but it’s not likely

The bill’s creation also comes after reports of Canadian cannabis executives and investors traveling on business and to conferences being barred from entering the US.

Currently, the US Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, maintains it would ban Canadian citizens visiting the US if they admit to working or even investing in the cannabis sector, which has been fully legal in Canada for adult recreational use since last October. 

The CBP deems any investment, even in medical cannabis, a crime because cannabis, like heroin, remains a Schedule I drug in the US and thus illegal at the federal level.

For example, according to Bloomberg Law, the CBP had questioned a Canadian investor in the cannabis industry who was traveling to Las Vegas to attend a marijuana industry conference and tour a new cannabis facility. The CBP then banned the investor for life from entering the US.

The CBP declined to comment on Rep. Blumenauer’s bill. 

Under the bill, visitors to the US wouldn’t be denied entry for engaging in the “trafficking, sale, or distribution of marijuana if the conduct was lawful or subsequently made lawful in the State, Indian Tribe, or foreign country in which it occurred.”

Contact the author:

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

Thu, 16 May 2019 14:38:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - PDS Biotechnology shares pop on positive medical journal article ]]> Shares of PDS Biotechnology Corporation (NASDAQ:PDSB) exploded Wednesday on news that an article supporting its signature cancer treatment platform will be published in the Journal of Immunology’s June issue.

The article explains how Versamune, the company’s cancer immunotherapy platform, activates T-cells to identify and attack cancer cells, while making the cancer cells more vulnerable to attack.

The New Jersey company’s stock soared 43% to US$8.80.

The piece examines a preclinical study conducted at University of Kentucky School of Medicine, which corroborated the results of earlier preclinical studies regarding the immunological activity of PDS’ proprietary lipid molecule.

"As a cancer immunologist who has spent the last decade performing translational and clinical research in immuno-oncology at the National Cancer Institute, the versatility of PDS’ Versamune technology, and the strength of this recently published data, demonstrates Versamune’s potential to provide significant advancements in the treatment of various cancers and debilitating diseases,” said Chief Medical Officer Lauren Wood. 

Contact Andrew Kessel at

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Wed, 15 May 2019 15:58:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - US mining industry loses 200 jobs in April after fourth months of straight gains ]]> Unemployment in the US mining industry, excluding oil and gas extraction, fell slightly in April after fourth months of straight job gains, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The number of net industry jobs dropped by 200 from last month for a total of 195,700, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Overall since April 2018, the mining industry has added 5,900 jobs.

Coal mining jobs fell by 400 to 52,400, but metal ore mining jobs rose by 200 to 41,400. Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying remained unchanged at 101,900. But support activities payrolls saw the biggest drop among the sub-categories, losing 1,400 jobs for a total of 359,800.

The oil and gas extraction sector saw no new job gains, remaining unchanged at 152,500.

US jobs report shows April payrolls handily beat the consensus estimate as unemployment rate falls

US non-farm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, compared with a consensus estimate of 180,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest rate since December 1969. The government noted job gains in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.

The April payrolls outpaced the 196,000 jobs created in March. For 2019, January marked the best gains so far, with payrolls swelling by 311,000.

Following the jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 151 points, or 0.58%, to 26,460.

Contact the author:

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

Fri, 03 May 2019 10:48:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - US Jobs Report shows April payrolls increased by 263,000 ]]> US non-farm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, compared with a consensus estimate of 180,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest rate since December 1969. The government noted job gains in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.

The April payrolls outpaced the 196,000 jobs created in March. For 2019, January marked the best gains so far, with payrolls swelling by 311,000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 88 points, or 0.34%, at the time the report was released.

Contact the author:

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

Fri, 03 May 2019 08:02:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - SPAR Group stock rockets after solid fiscal 4Q earnings on surging revenue ]]> SPAR Group Inc (NASDAQ:SGRP) stock rocketed in premarket trade Tuesday after the merchandising and marketing services company reported solid fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that showed revenue expansion.

Shares in the White Plains, New York company shot up 17.3% to $0.78   

For the financial quarter ended December 2018, the company posted earnings of $535,000, or $0.03 per share on revenue of $57 million. Revenue grew 14% on a year-on-year basis.

READ: Surge Components rockets after posting surge in fiscal 1Q revenue and profit

Excluding non-cash and one-time charges, net income for the SPAR Group during 2018 was approximately $1.3 million or $0.06 per share, compared with $918,000, or $0.04 per diluted share during 2017.

“During 2018 we made significant progress in addressing structural issues within our domestic operations, realigning our sales and marketing efforts and improving our technologies,” said SPAR Group CEO Christiaan Olivier. “These changes are making a difference and have resulted in improving financial operating results.”

The company said it logged double-digit top-line growth during 2018, with organic growth both domestically and internationally helped by the recent acquisition of Resource Plus.

“While improvements in profitability during 2018 were clouded by one-time charges, we made foundational improvements in our ability to deliver profitable growth,” said Olivier. “Our pipeline of business opportunities is strong, and we expect continued revenue growth during 2019. We expect to have even stronger growth in profitability during 2019, as we gain further benefit from structural changes.”

The SPAR Group’s services consist of syndicated services, as well as new store set-up, store remodel, and fixture installation services for a specific retailer or manufacturer. 

It also specializes in in-store services initiated by retailers and manufacturers linked to new store openings, new product launches, special seasonal or promotional merchandising, product recalls, and in-store product demonstrations, as well as inventory control and stand-alone project contracts.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 


Tue, 16 Apr 2019 07:46:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Copper 'a clear investor favourite' in the run-up to Mines and Money New York ]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:47:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Heavy Metals takes a deep dive with a look at Zinc ]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:02:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - US mining industry added 600 jobs in March for a fourth-straight month of gains ]]> Employment in the US mining industry, excluding oil and gas extraction, increased in March for a fourth-straight month, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The number of jobs in the sector rose by 600 from last month for a total of 196,100, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And since March 2018, the sector has added more than 11,000 jobs.

Coal mining jobs rose by 100 to 52,700, but metal ore mining was unchanged at 41,100 jobs. Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying increased by 500 jobs to 102,300. Support activities payrolls, however, decreased by 200 to 361,200.

The oil and gas extraction sector saw a boost of 700 positions to 152,600.

US jobs reports shows big rebound in March payrolls following a dismal February

Non-farm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March, compared with a consensus estimate of 170,000.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%. The government noted jobs gains in health care, professional and technical services.

The March job numbers mark a big rebound from last month when payrolls increased by a paltry 20,000 even though the unemployment rate fell -- the worst month for job creation since September 2017.

The consensus estimate called for 180,000 new jobs in February on the heels of 311,000 job gains in January.

Following the jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 29.45 points, or 0.11%, to 26,414.  

-- Updates with mining sector

-- Written by Patrick Graham --  

Fri, 05 Apr 2019 08:33:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors take a closer look at the Lithium market and where it's going ]]> Mon, 01 Apr 2019 16:51:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Retail sales data show surprise February dip ]]> US retail sales unexpectedly dropped in February, according to advance estimates released Monday from the Census Bureau.

Total retail sales were $506 billion, down 0.2% from January. Economists had expected growth of 0.3%, according to polling from Reuters. Year over year, retail sales grew 2.2%.

January’s figure was revised to $507 billion, shifting the December to January percentage change from to a 0.7% increase from a 0.2% increase.

The dip could be a result of a delay in processing tax refunds in the middle of the month, per CNBC. Tax refunds have also typically been smaller this year after the tax cuts passed last year.

For investors, its a sign of economic slowdown, particularly when considered alongside recent disappointing housing figures and manufacturing data, as well an inverted yield curve.

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 10:35:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors looks at the Winners and Losers in Cannabis with Buds and Duds ]]> Fri, 29 Mar 2019 15:01:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - The residential Real Estate industry prepares for its day of reckoning ]]> I rarely write about bearish trends or companies that I believe are destined to fail, but not because I’m anti-short selling. It’s just more fun to be bullish, and, in my experience, it’s a lot easier to make money on the long side than the short side. 

However, earlier this month I stumbled onto a story about a group of exceptionally successful class-action litigators that want to disrupt the residential real estate industry by ending the decades-old practice of requiring home sellers to pay for the broker representing the buyer of their home. Suffice it to say if this class-action lawsuit goes the plaintiff’s way, the residential real estate industry will be turned upside down. And better yet, the next time you decide to sell your house, you could walk away with a whole lot more money in your pocket.

Now, if you’ve ever sold a home, you know how big a figure 6% can be. Between the 3% you pay your agent for representing you on the sell side, and the 3% you’re obligated to pay the buyer’s agent, you’re likely shelling out around $30,000 in commission fees if your home sells for around $500,000.

I, for one, would rather not have to pay thousands of dollars to the guy that’s negotiating against me and trying to get me to sell my house for less than I’m asking. And, if you’re buying a home but only need help filling out the home purchase agreement, is it necessary to pay a buyer’s agent $5,000, $10,000, or even $15,000?

The bottom line is we could be on the cusp of a radical shift in the costs associated with selling a home. And while this would likely benefit every American selling a home, it could take a painful bite out of the profits of public companies like Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE: RLGY) and Re/Max Holdings (NYSE: RMAX), and radically change the ways homebuyers go about buying their next home.

The Lawsuit

On March 6, 2019 a class action lawsuit was filed with the US District Court for The Northern District of Illinois that lists Christopher Moehrl, and all others similarly situated as plaintiffs, and The National Association of Realtors (NAR), Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE: RLGY), HomeServices of America — a Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, BRK.B) Affiliate — Re/Max Holdings (NYSE: RMAX), and Keller Williams Realty as defendants.

The lawsuit, which is being spearheaded by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, claims that the defendants conspired “to require home sellers to pay the broker representing the buyer of their homes, and to pay at an inflated amount in violation of federal antitrust law.”

The 30-page lawsuit filed by Cohen Milstein and Hagens Berman allege that the conspiracy “has centered around NAR’s adoption and implementation of a [1996] rule that requires all brokers to make a blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation (the “Buyer Broker Commission Rule”) when listing a property on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS).”

Here’s what Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman had to say about the suit:

“When you compare commission rates in these affected housing markets to those in countries with competitive real-estate broker markets, the numbers tell a very clear story. We believe that NAR and Big Four have devised a series of checks on broker commission rates to all but guarantee their goal of price-fixing, costing home sellers thousands in excessive commissions paid on each sale.”

While most licensed real estate agents would have you believe that this lawsuit, like others before it, is without merit and destined to be thrown out of court, there’s something you need to know about the two lead law firms in this case.

Steve Berman, the managing partner of Hagens Berman, is considered one of the fiercest attorneys when it comes to class-action lawsuits. Berman served as special assistant attorney general for 13 states in the late-1990s when the tobacco industry was ordered to pay the states $206 billion – the largest civil settlement in history. Hagens Berman was also successful in securing a $1.6 billion settlement in the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Litigation in (originally filed on March 15, 2010 and settled on December 26, 2012).

Cohen Milstein’s laundry list of courtroom settlements include:

A $400 million antitrust settlement in the 2014 eBooks price-fixing suit against Apple (NASDA:AAPL). $175 million stemming from a lawsuit that alleged British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) and two of its senior executives misled investors about the extent of the oil spill that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. An $835 million verdict against some of the largest chemical companies in the world for conspiring to fix the prices for certain chemicals used in the manufacturing of polyurethanes.

The takeaway here is neither Hagens Berman nor Cohen Milstein are poorly funded ambulance chasers.

These two firms have been awarded billions-of-dollars for their clients. And unlike many smaller class-action firms operating on a shoestring budget, Hagens Berman and Cohen Milstein aren’t strapped for cash. These two firms have the human resources and the money to see this lawsuit through to the bitter end.

Winners & Losers

While it’s difficult to say how this case ultimately plays out, there’s no denying that the buy-side of the real estate industry has been, and remains, ripe for disruption.

Think about the last time you were working with a real estate agent to buy a home. Your agent probably provided you with information on the current market conditions in your desired area, helped you figure out how much house you can afford, and researched homes for you using the MLS.

Well, thanks to the internet, sites like Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN), Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), and, you can do all that work on your own. And if you need to find information on school districts, tax rates, utility costs, and local zoning ordinances, that too is easily found on the internet.

All that’s left is price negotiation.

In my experience, buyers’ agents are great at relaying your offer price to the seller’s agent. Despite what you see on Property Brothers, House Hunters, and Million Dollar Listing, I don’t hear too many real-life stories of agents telling their buyers the exact price they should offer.

So, how much should a buyers’ agent expect to be paid for telling his clients to make an offer they’re comfortable with and is within their budget? I’d argue not much.

Now, while we are likely years away from receiving a verdict in this case, if Moehrl v. NAR, et al. goes the distance and a jury finds in favor of the plaintiffs, I’d expect the shares of RMAX and RLGY to take a substantial hit from what I believe will be a massive reduction in buyer-agent revenues.

Just as we saw when Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)  disrupted bricks and mortar, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) upended Blockbuster, and Uber took a bite out of the taxi industry, established business rarely welcome disruptive innovation. And while full-service real estate firms may view Moehrl v. NAR, et al. as nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit aimed at breaking up the old guard, the bottom line is Cohen Milstein, and Hagens Berman represent disruptive innovation. And I do not doubt that innovative entrepreneurs will be ready to pounce before the ink dries on this verdict. 

–At the time of publication, Byrne had no positions in the stocks mentioned–

Contact Bob Byrne:

Follow him on Twitter @PCYeti

Thu, 28 Mar 2019 14:45:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Tightening supply bodes well for new Vanadium projects ]]> Wed, 27 Mar 2019 13:17:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Heavy Metals gets stoned on diamonds ]]> Mon, 25 Mar 2019 12:49:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - New Jersey cancels vote on bill legalizing marijuana ]]> New Jersey state legislative leadership nixed a vote on a bill that would've legalized recreational marijuana in the Garden State.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on legalization, spent the past week reaching out to state senators, reported, but couldn't get the legislation over the finish line. Another vote is unlikely to be scheduled prior to the November elections.

The move pushes back the timeline for adult-use marijuana, an industry that would need about a year to get up and running after legalization passes.

The bill included a six-month buffer for regulations to be drawn up, and medical marijuana sellers would need approval before expanding to the public at large. 

Currently, there are six marijuana dispensaries in the state, per, which could double before sales begin. Those dispensaries would need to prove the have enough capacity to sell to all their patients before selling to the public. 

Contact Andrew Kessel at

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Mon, 25 Mar 2019 12:11:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - 'It's a brilliant time to have a tungsten project' - Roskill's Jessica Roberts ]]> Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:52:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Salt prices remain healthy despite record levels of trading ]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 13:17:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Lyft gets first Wall Street Buy recommendation ahead of listing next week ]]> Ride-share company Lyft Inc, which is Uber’s closest rival, won't list on the tech-laden Nasdaq until next week, but one Montana-based investment firm is already rating it a "buy."

The San Francisco company has only been on the road marketing its IPO for two days, but investors have already been informed that the listing is oversubscribed at the current price range. Reuters reported that it is likely that the ride-hailing startup will “fetch or even exceed” the $23 billion valuation it is seeking.

READ: Lyft takes IPO fast lane, zipping ahead of rival Uber

Meanwhile, DA Davidson isn’t holding its horses. According to CNBC, the Montana-based investment firm isn't waiting until the shares, which will trade under the symbol "LYFT," are ticking away, to recommend getting in. 

DA Davidson senior research analyst Tom White initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and a $75 price target on Lyft. The tech unicorn is expected to be priced at between $62 and $68 per share.

White is excited about the total addressable market for personal transportation, which he writes US consumers are spending $1.2 trillion on annually.

"On-demand services have already disrupted traditional ownership models in sectors like entertainment/computing," White wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "The continued population migration to cities and the rising costs of personal car ownership will further drive adoption of Transportation as a Service (TaaS) models over the coming years."

Lyft started its IPO road show on Monday and has spent the last two days meeting with investors in New York. Books close next week as it is set to price the IPO on March 28.

Company's financials

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company’s filing lifted the hood on its financials. Lyft's revenues doubled in 2018 to reach $2.2 billion, according to the contents of its S-1 registration with the SEC. That is up from $343.3 million in 2016 and $1.1 billion in 2017.

But like Uber, Lyft is hemorrhaging money. Its net loss climbed to $911.3 million in 2018 from two years of steady losses of $682.8 million in 2016 and $688.3 million in 2017.

Lyft claims its ridesharing market share grew to 39% in 2018, up from 22% in 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2018, it had 18.6 million active riders and 1.1 million drivers.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:13:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Heavy Metals takes a look at an emerging gold market: Japan ]]> Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:27:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Dermira stock rises after positive trial for its lebrikizumab dermatitis treatment ]]> Dermira Inc (NASDAQ:DERM) extended its gain Tuesday a day after the biotech reported encouraging results in a mid-stage trial of lebrikizumab, its treatment for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a condition that makes a person’s skin red and itchy.

A Phase 2b trial of lebrikizumab met its primary endpoint of demonstrating greater improvements in the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score. Dermira said all three doses evaluated in the dose-ranging study — 125 milligrams every four weeks, 250mg every four weeks and 250mg every two weeks — met the primary endpoint of showing greater improvement in the EASI index at week 16 compared with a placebo.

Investors sent shares in the Menlo Park, California-based company up 1.8% to $12.84 in Tuesday's premarket trading after soaring almost 85% Monday.

READ: PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals jumps on rosy Phase 1 trial for ticagrelor reversal agent

The safety profile was consistent with prior studies.

"I have many patients for whom current therapies do not adequately address their needs," Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky, a leading study investigator, said in a statement. "These data show that lebrikizumab may offer a targeted, effective and well-tolerated therapeutic approach." 

Lebrikizumab is a potent inhibitor of interleukin-13, or IL-13, a substance secreted by certain cells that causes type 2 inflammation, leading to itching, skin thickening and infection.

In September 2017, Dermira acquired the exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize lebrikizumab for atopic dermatitis and other potential indications pursuant to a licensing agreement with Roche.

–This story has been updated to give the latest stock price–

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:12:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Semtech stock climbs after 4Q earnings beat Street expectations ]]> Semtech Corporation (NASDAQ:SMTC) stock climbed Friday after the company, which develops and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates on strong revenue.

Investors sent shares in the Camarillo, California company up 6.14% to $55.17.

Semtech posted fourth-quarter January 2019 earnings of $0.55 per share on revenue of $160 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.54 per share on revenue of $159.8 million. Revenue grew 13.8% on a year-over-year basis.

READ: Global Gaming's X2 Games to share a booth with Amazon at the Game Developers Conference

The semiconductor chip supplier said it expects first-quarter earnings of $0.30 to $0.36 per share on revenue of $125.0 million to $135.0 million.

“We are proud to deliver fourth quarter results that were in-line with our guidance despite the challenging environment,” said Semtech Corporation CEO Mohan Maheswaran in a statement. “We are also pleased to deliver a record financial performance for FY2019 with net sales growth of 7% year-on-year and earnings growth of nearly 2x net sales.”

Maheswaran said that while the near-term visibility is impacted by “China demand softness,” as well as weakness from both the smartphone and data center end markets, it believes the long-term sustainability of its growth drivers in the “IoT, data center and mobile markets should drive a second-half rebound.”

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 


Fri, 15 Mar 2019 11:20:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Akari Therapeutics' stock flies after 'positive' FDA meeting for pediatric thrombotic microangiopathy ]]> Akari Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:AKTX) shares rocket Thursday after the company said it plans to start trials in European and US pediatric patients this year for its treatment of pediatric thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), defined by low blood platelets, and organ damage due to the formation of microscopic blood clots in capillaries and arteries.

Investors sent shares of the company up 25.76% to $7.42 in midday trading.

New York-based Akari Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focusing on the development and commercialization of treatments for a range of rare and orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

READ: Neovasc announces public offering, aims to raise almost US$4.25M

Its lead drug candidate is Coversin, a second-generation inhibitor that is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Akari said it had a “successful,” pre-investigational new drug (IND) meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its pivotal clinical trial program for pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant-related thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA).

HSCT-TMA is an orphan condition with an estimated fatality rate of more than 80% in children

A framework for the trial design was agreed with the FDA. 

“Akari plans to commence a trial in European and US pediatric HSCT-TMA patients in the fourth quarter of 2019,” said Akari CEO Clive Richardson in a statement. “We see HSCT-TMA as a gateway indication into a range of other poorly treated orphan TMAs, and are enthusiastic about the potential of Coversin to offer an improved standard of care for patients with these rare and usually fatal conditions.”

—(This story was updated to reflect share price)— 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 



Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:20:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Brexit process remains unclear as Parliament votes against a no-deal exit ]]> How Britain will exit the European remained unclear Wednesday as Parliament voted to reject a no-deal Brexit.

Members of Parliament voted 321 in favour to 278 against on a government motion that they do not want to leave without a deal - a move that has been dubbed a "cliff-edge" departure.

Before that, they voted 312 to 308 on an amendment to reject leaving the bloc without an agreement under any circumstances.

It was one of a series of votes on Brexit and means lawmakers can now get a vote (planned for Thursday) on extending the process, meaning the March 29 date touted for the past two years is no more.

In addition, MPs voted 374 in favor to 164 against to reject a plan to delay the exit until May 22, so there could be a "managed no deal"

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 15:58:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Airbnb to buy last-minute hotel booking site HotelTonight ahead of potential IPO ]]> Airbnb is to buy hotel booking site HotelTonight as it seeks to further expand the business beyond short-term home rentals ahead of a potential initial public offering.

HotelTonight partners with hotels to provide last-minute deals on accommodation.

The acquisition of the business will bring Airbnb, which is an online platform for people to rent out their homes or rooms to holidaymakers, into the traditional hotel industry.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. HotelTonight was valued at US$463mln in its last fundraising round in 2017.

The two sites will continue to operate separately but Aibnb said some HotelTonight listings will become part its platform in future.  Airbnb users will be directed to HotelTonight if no accommodation is available in areas they are looking to stay.

Airbnb, which was valued at US$31bn in a 2017 fundraising, is considering an IPO in the next two years.

Revenue Source

The deal will give Airbnb another source of revenue and customer growth, making it potentially more attractive to investors. It will also help the group tackle competition from other travel sites like Expedia and Priceline.

“Welcoming more boutique hotels to our platform will help us deliver on our commitment to make Airbnb for everyone, providing guests with the authentic, local experience they have come to expect on every trip,” said Airbnb co-founder and chief executive, Brian Chesky.

Airbnb has in recent years added premium and luxury home rentals to its platform and allowed boutique hotels to list their rooms on its site.  The group has more than 6mln listings for accommodation but most are privately owned homes or rooms.

Airbnb said it more than doubled the number of listings on its site for boutique hotel rooms, bed and breakfasts, hostels and resorts in 2018. 

The company expects to reach 500mln guest arrivals since it was founded in 2008 by the end of the first quarter.  It is aiming for 1bn guests a year by 2028.
HotelTonight’s co-founder and chief executive, Sam Shank, will run Airbnb’s boutique hotel division following the completion of the deal.

Fri, 08 Mar 2019 08:27:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Heavy Metals shines bright with a look at Copper ]]> Mon, 04 Mar 2019 11:38:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Karyopharm Therapeutics stock falls after FDA committee votes to wait for more data on cancer drug selinexor ]]> Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:KPTI) stock fell Wednesday after a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted to wait for more data on cancer drug selinexor.

The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) reviewing Karyopharm’s selinexor for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma voted 8 to 5 recommending the FDA wait for results from Karyopharm’s Phase 3 BOSTON study, before making a final decision regarding approval. 

Karyopharm Therapeutics stock tumbled 14.8% to $4.16.

READ: Baird ‘more cautious’ on Karyopharm Therapeutics getting quick FDA approval for cancer drug selinexor

The BOSTON study is evaluating selinexor in combination with Velcade (bortezomib) and low-dose dexamethasone compared to bortezomib and low-dose dexamethasone in patients with multiple myeloma who have had one to three prior lines of therapy.

In the selinexor arm of the study, both selinexor and bortezomib are administered once per week, while in the control arm bortezomib is administered at its currently indicated, twice per week schedule.

Karyopharm said patient enrollment in the BOSTON study is now complete and topline data is expected by the end of 2019, or into 2020 and is linked to “progression-free survival events,” a primary endpoint in the trial.

“While we are disappointed with ODAC’s recommendation to delay the potential approval of selinexor, we plan to work with the FDA to evaluate the best path forward as they continue to review our NDA,” said Karyopharm Therapeutics CEO Sharon Shacham. “We are committed to working with the FDA, patients, and the myeloma community with the goal to provide selinexor as an option for those patients with no other options of known clinical benefit.”

Karyopharm’s new drug application (NDA) was earlier made based on Part 2 of the Phase 2b trial dubbed STORM. The FDA accepted the application on October 5, according it Priority Review status, cutting the review period to six months.

Although there are dampened expectations linked to speedy approval, analysts at Baird maintain an Outperform rating on Karyopharm Therapeutics shares.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Wed, 27 Feb 2019 08:38:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Baird ‘more cautious’ on Karyopharm Therapeutics getting quick FDA approval for cancer drug selinexor ]]> Baird analysts saw slimmer chances of Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:KPTI) getting accelerated approval for its new cancer drug selinexor aimed at treating multiple myeloma.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released disappointing selinexor briefing documents highlighting “limited efficacy and significant toxicity.”

Shares in the Newton, Massachusetts, pharma company nosedived Friday after the FDA briefing documents were released but recovered some ground Monday, rising 5.5% to $5.30 in morning trade.  

READ: Humanigen study of monoclonal antibody in CAR-T therapy presented at Houston conference

“As such, we are more cautious on accelerated approval in triple class-refractory multiple myeloma and await clarity from the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) panel (February 26),” wrote Baird analysts Michael E Ulz and Colleen M Hanley to clients in a note over the weekend.   

“However, based on the draft questions, the FDA seems to suggest waiting for data from the randomized, Phase 3 BOSTON study (2L+: SVd vs. Vd) YE19 as a potential option, which could address many concerns, in our view,” they added.

The analysts at Baird maintained an Outperform rating on Karyopharm Therapeutics shares.

“Though we expect near-term volatility, given potential for approval, we maintain our Outperform rating,” wrote the analysts. “Overall, at current levels, limited value is being assigned to selinexor (cash: approximately $3/share) even in the more meaningful 2L+ population and any signs of positive developments could drive upside.”

Status of New Drug Application

Karyopharm Therapeutics submitted a new drug application for a combination of selinexor and dexamethasone that is being evaluated for penta-refractory multiple myeloma. Selinexor functions by binding with and inhibiting the nuclear export protein XPO1, resulting in the accumulation of tumor suppressor proteins in the cell nucleus.

The new drug application (NDA) was made based on Part 2 of the Phase 2b trial dubbed STORM. The FDA accepted the application on October 5, according it Priority Review status, cutting the review period to six months.

However, the FDA’s concerns highlighted on Friday have dampened expectations linked to speedy approval.

“The FDA highlighted selinexor’s toxicity profile, indicating 60.2% of Part 2 STORM patients experienced a serious adverse event, 88.6% required dose modification due to a treatment emergent adverse events (TEAE) and 28.5% discontinued due to a TEAE,” wrote the analysts.

Additionally, 23 deaths occurred within 30 days of study treatment, and the FDA indicated 10 were due to treatment emergent adverse events, although only two of these were assessed as related to selinexor by the investigator, said the analysts.

“The FDA also used data from a prior study in acute myeloid leukemia (development discontinued) to highlight toxicity, where selinexor resulted in a worsening trend on overall survival compared to physician's choice (HR=1.18). Overall, given selinexor’s safety profile, we are not surprised by the FDA’s focus on toxicity,” wrote the analysts.

The FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee is set to discuss the NDA at a meeting on Tuesday, February 26.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Mon, 25 Feb 2019 10:53:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive's Heavy Metals takes a deep dive on zeolite ]]> Mon, 25 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Buds & Duds: Cannabis stocks tumble, but GW Pharmaceuticals up after Guggenheim rates it Buy ]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2019 16:13:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Buds & Duds: Cannabis stocks stay green as Emerald Health Therapeutics and MYM Nutraceuticals shine ]]> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:31:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Cobalt has had a stormy year, does the blue metal have blue skies ahead? ]]> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 11:47:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Buds & Duds: Tilray gains ground after buying world's largest hemp food manufacturer ]]> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 15:35:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Buds & Duds: Namaste shares jump on settlement with former CEO Sean Dollinger ]]> Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:51:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Buds & Duds: Cannabis stocks climb after Canopy Growth reports 3Q revenue surge ]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:58:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Buds & Duds ]]> Wed, 13 Feb 2019 20:15:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - BIO looks to increase diversity in biotech companies ]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 16:36:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - BIO President & CEO discusses the Trump administration's policies on drug pricing ]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 12:01:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors looks at the Buds and Duds of the Cannabis world ]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:32:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Ellie Mae to be acquired by Thoma Bravo in deal valued at $3.7 billion ]]> Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI), a cloud-computing software company that processes more than a third of US mortgage applications, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm. The all-cash agreement values Ellie Mae at about $3.7 billion.

The news sent Ellie Mae shares surging 21% morning trading Tuesday, to $99.44.

Shareholders will receive $99 per share, a 21% premium over Monday's closing price and a 47% premium over the stock's 30-day average. Over the past year, shares of the Pheaston, California, company have fallen 5.3%.

The deal includes a 35-day “go-shop” period during which Ellie Mae can seek superior bids from other companies.

Ellie Mae’s board of directors unanimously approved the agreement. The tie-up is expected to be finalized during the second or third quarter of 2019.

The company recently lost a third of its value following a disappointing third-quarter earnings report in October, but shares rebounded by 20% in January after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the Fed will be patient in raising interest rates.

Continued low-interest rates could bring potential homebuyers into the market, meaning more mortgages for Ellie Mae.

--Written by Andrew Kessel

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:47:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Media files - Alliance for Aging Research CEO says older patients should be involved in clinical trials ]]> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:56:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - T1D Exchange building 'largest, most integrated' type 1 diabetes data platform in the US ]]> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:13:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive's Heavy Metals takes a closer look at graphite ]]> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 13:37:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors takes a look at the Buds and Duds of the Cannabis World ]]> Fri, 08 Feb 2019 13:32:00 -0500 <![CDATA[Media files - Is the price of Gold on the rise? Proactive's Heavy Metals takes a deep dive ]]> Mon, 04 Feb 2019 16:01:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - PotBotics’ unit Ryah Medtech partners with Green Revolution to bring dose-measuring vaporizer to Washington state ]]> PotBotics Inc’s wholly owned subsidiary Ryah Medtech said Friday that it has entered into a partnership with Green Revolution to launch a portable medicinal dose-measuring vaporizer in the Washington state market.

Washington state legalized medical and recreational marijuana in 2012. The legal age to consume marijuana in Washington is 21.

Ryah Medtech creates smart devices to personalize medication specific to an individual’s needs and operates an artificial intelligence platform that gathers insightful data on cannabis from seed to consumption.

READ: Namaste says it’s scouting for Namaste Café locations in Toronto and Montreal

Green Revolution is a leading producer and processor in Washington State with a track record of creating innovative cannabis-based products.

“This will come as exciting news for a lot of people who have been following Ryah and who were waiting for it to launch in the Pacific Northwest, particularly patients within Washington that are eager to adopt the Ryah dose-measuring vaporizer in order to properly create a cannabis dosing regimen,” said PotBotics CEO David Goldstein.

New York-based Potbotics has three cannabis-related products. It has created a software and technology platform called PotBot that is able to talk to patients and educate them about what strains are actually best for their ailments. It is used in dispensaries and medical facilities where marijuana patients can ask questions and get information. 

The medical marijuana recommendation engine uses neural-net algorithms to recommend cannabinoid levels and custom strains.

Seizing marijuana opportunities

The company also has BrainBot, a wireless electroencephalography helmet that allows general practitioners to capture brain waves and analyze a patient’s neural response to cannabinoid stimulants to recommend the right strain and cannabinoid level. The brain-scanning technology enables physicians to pick a marijuana strain that is most suited for their patients' needs. It also provides NanoPot, an advanced DNA reader that scans cannabis seeds to optimize growers’ yields.

“With consumers increasingly demanding high-quality products that put them in control of their cannabis experience, the timing could not be better for bringing Ryah to the Washington market,” said Leo Shlovksy, managing partner at Green Revolution.

“We intend to come into the market with an initial array of four different cartridges, targeted towards both the medical and wellness market,” said Goldstein, adding that the launch marked “the shift from the development stage to production stage” of its vaporizer. “We are now in full-launch mode in one of the biggest cannabis markets in the US,” he said.

The company said the launch in Washington “is only the first domino to fall” as Ryah is finalizing launches in several other states.

By providing users with unprecedented temperature and dose control, the RYAH medicinal vaporizer delivers consistency.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Fri, 01 Feb 2019 13:14:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Proactive Investors conference in New York focuses on small-cap cannabis industry ]]> Executives of small-cap cannabis companies will brief investors at Proactive Investors’ "Invest In Cannabis" conference in New York City on Wednesday.

Delivering presentations will be:

Cameron Chell, chairman of ICOX Innovations Inc (CVE: ICOX) (OTCMKTS:ICOX) Jim Fickenscher, CFO of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ZYNE) Paul Mann, CEO of Alchemist Inc (NSE:ALCHEM) (CNSX:AMS) Colte Koen, CEO, and Jeffrey McPhee, COO, of Pharmalogyx (privately held) Richard Schumacher, president and CEO of Pressure BioSciences Inc (OTCMKTS:PBIO)

The executives will explain how their companies work and why investors should consider them.

The event will begin at 4:30 pm ET at 767 Third Avenue in New York City with opportunities for networking, an open bar and hors d’oeuvres.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Wed, 30 Jan 2019 10:52:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - IPO Roundup: PagerDuty files confidentially for IPO, while New Fortress dials down IPO terms ]]> The long US government shutdown has undoubtedly spooked companies looking to raise money in the equity markets. Reopening the government is a heavy lift, and companies like PagerDuty and New Fortress Energy are finessing their paperwork to join the IPO queue as the Securities and Exchange Commission sifts through applications.

PagerDuty Inc, which is a cloud computing company that produces a software-as-a-serve (SaaS) incident response platform for IT departments, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering.

The San Francisco-based company selected Morgan Stanley to lead the offering, reported Bloomberg, while citing two people who were familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

READ: IPO Roundup: New Fortress Energy, Pivotal Acquisition to tap capital markets despite US government shutdown

Founded in 2009, PagerDuty helps alert coders to crashes and other technical problems when they arise.

Meanwhile, New Fortress LLC late Friday set new terms for its initial public offering, saying it would offer 20 million shares at $15 a share.

The company last week indicated it would sell 22.2 million shares in a range of $17 and $19 a piece. 

New Fortress Energy was founded by Wesley Edens, the co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. Edens is also the co-CEO of private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, which famously dove back into subprime lending in 2010, just a few years after the financial crisis.

According to the SEC filing, New Fortress Energy posted a loss of $43.4 million in the first nine months of 2018, which was a bigger loss than the first three quarters of 2017.

Revenue was up just 12.3% from a year ago as well. The company is also saddled with $122 million in debt.

Investors may look beyond the shaky financials as New Fortress Energy does have the backing of the Fortress Investment Group, which is the company's majority owner.

New Fortress has applied to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol NFE. Underwriters include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Mon, 28 Jan 2019 15:22:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - IPO Roundup: New Fortress Energy, Pivotal Acquisition to tap capital markets despite US government shutdown ]]> Despite the US government shutdown putting a staff strain on the Securities and Exchange Commission, New Fortress Energy, a liquified natural gas company, is tentatively on tap to debut on the Nasdaq.

New Fortress Energy was founded by Wesley Edens, the co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. Edens is also the co-CEO of private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, which famously dove back into subprime lending in 2010, just a few years after the financial crisis.

The company has filed to sell 22.2 million shares in a range of $17 and $19. The final price will be set just before the initial public offering.

IPO Roundup: Israel's Anchiano Therapeutics and San Francisco’s Alector create IPO momentum for biotech sector

New Fortress Energy's paperwork with the SEC is in and up to date, but it may not actually debut this week because of the shutdown, according to media reports.

According to the SEC filing, New Fortress Energy posted a loss of $43.4 million in the first nine months of 2018, which was a bigger loss than the first three quarters of 2017.

Revenue was up just 12.3% from a year ago as well. The company is also saddled with $122 million in debt.

Investors may look beyond the shaky financials as New Fortress Energy does have the backing of the Fortress Investment Group, which is the company's majority owner.

Jonathan Ledecky's Pivotal Acquisition

Meanwhile, Pivotal Acquisition Corp which designs information technology solutions plans to tap the IPO market. The company run by Jonathan Ledecky, a co-owner of the New York Islanders hockey team, plans to raise nearly $200 million through a special purpose acquisition company.

Ledecky, whose niece is multiple Olympic gold medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky, plans to use the money from the IPO to invest in e-commerce and other tech initiatives.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:36:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Attis Industries stock soars after deal to collaborate with Novozymes ]]> Attis Industries Inc (NASDAQ:ATIS) shares soared Friday after the diversified innovation and technology company said it will collaborate with Novozymes (NASDAQ OXM), a provider of advanced biological solutions.

Under the newly announced partnership, Novozymes has committed to supplying the enzymes required by Milton, Georgia-based Attis Industries to convert its pulp into sugar at its planned biorefineries.

Attis stock shot up 14.6% to $0.27 in morning trade.

READ: Arev Brands strikes C$1.2M deal to clinch Canna Gold's assets

Novozymes has a broad portfolio of biotechnology to support commercial cellulosic biofuels production, and the ability to ramp up production as needed in an effort to support Attis' ambitious growth plans.

Attis has successfully converted the pulp extracted from its patented biomass processing into high yields of sugar using Novozymes’ proprietary enzyme cocktails.  

These “positive results” have validated the planned business model at Attis' biorefineries, said the company.

Symbiotic partnership

"Attis is very excited about forming a partnership with Novozymes for the efficient production of ethanol at future biorefineries," said Attis Industries CEO Jeff Cosman. "Novozymes is the industry leader in biotechnology for the renewable fuel industry and brings with it unquestioned credibility to our renewable fuel goals."

The partnership will focus on improving value, yields, and process efficiencies. 

"Attis is very excited about forming a partnership with Novozymes for the efficient production of ethanol at future biorefineries," said Attis Industries CEO Jeff Cosman. "Novozymes is the industry leader in biotechnology for the renewable fuel industry and brings with it unquestioned credibility to our renewable fuel goals."

Attis Industries is a holding company focused on developing and building businesses that play important roles in the new economy, which include renewable fuels, bio-based plastics and healthcare.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:33:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - Amid the current global uncertainty, how bearish should we be on copper? ]]> What should we make of the current price of the bellwether metal, copper?

It’s been on a significant downtrend lately, as a succession of poor economic numbers out of China have spooked markets and led to speculation that demand could slow.

In part, this is because of the economic warfare between China and the USA. As a headline grabber, Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent warning on Chinese revenues was second to none, but underlying the woes of the world’s ex-biggest tech company are the deeper woes of China.

Exports are slowing, consumer demand is slowing, there are fears about bursting credit bubbles, and on top of all that, in spite of all the progress in recent years, it’s still an opaque country that’s hard for market participants really to read.

Will President Xi crack under this tariffs pressure and sign up to a trade deal that’s advantageous to the US and which will allow Mr Trump to claim victory? Or will he double down, reckoning that the country that’s endured the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution is more than capable of weathering the effects of a mere tariff war?

At this stage, the uncertainty is almost more problematic than the eventual outcome, as markets don’t know which way to look.

There seems a very real possibility that as a result of the tariff war, and ongoing economic weakness in Germany and Japan, that global growth will slow markedly this year. It’s been enough to make the Federal Reserve put the brakes on its monetary tightening, even thought the US itself is still booming, and its been enough to spook stock markets world wide.

Commodities too, with the honourable exception of gold, have taken a hit.

The copper price has fallen by more than US$1,000 per tonne since the optimism peaked in the spring of 2018, and current sentiment would have it fall further. On the other hand, looking back slightly further, the price is still above the 2016 troughs. So, mixed signals then.

Broker Liberum talks of “difficult dynamics” for the next six months, while conceding that copper remains the favoured commodity for most major miners. That being so, and with the balance sheets of the majors all in good shape at the moment, there may be an opportunity for buying the likes of Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) or Glencore (LON:GLEN) on further dips.

However, Liberum reckons greater value is to be found amongst the more significant of the companies with large projects moving through the development stages.

On this thinking Liberum highlights Asiamet (LON:ARS) and Solgold (LON:SOLG) as offering the best value, while it recommends steering clear of KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ), on the basis of Russian risk.

Another company worth considering is Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC), which is at an earlier stage, but which may well be sitting on most of the useful ground in the next major district play to emerge in copper mining: Mongolia.

Liberum reckons most of the speculative positions that were taken up in copper in 2018 have now washed out through the system. However, in terms of pricing, negotiations between the US and China will continue to be crucial.

“We believe the issues around industrial output can and probably will be solved, however the controls on intellectual property transfers will be far greater hurdles and we do not expect to see a solution in the next six months,” the broker said.



Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:36:00 -0500