The Hybridan Small Cap Wrap is our bi-monthly review of interesting small cap news stories
Sareum gets its results
Avacta gets a collaboration
Petards on the right tracks
Avacta Group (LON:AVCT 92.20p/£63.73m)
Avacta Group, the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and research reagents, announced a research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to evaluate the use of Avacta's Affimer technology in novel CAR-T cell-based immunotherapy. CAR-T immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment in which the patient's own immune system T cells are modified to give them greater potency with which to attack cancer cells. Treatments using these engineered immune cells have generated promising responses in patients with advanced cancers and CAR-T immunotherapy has become an intense area of research, clinical development and investment. The simple structure and biophysical properties of Affimers potentially provide significant advantages over antibody fragment technology currently used in CAR-T cell modification and the collaboration announced that it is intended to demonstrate a new class of CAR-T cell therapy that incorporate Affimer molecules. As part of the collaboration, Avacta will develop Affimer molecules that bind different regions of CD19, a surface protein specific to B-cells involved in lymphomas. Under the terms of the agreement, the ownership of the results generated directly as part of this collaboration will be shared between Avacta and MSK.
Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (LON:CGNR 25.02p/£2.81m)*
Conroy Gold and Natural Resources, the gold exploration and development Company focused on Ireland and Finland, announced further results from its recent drilling programme on the Clontibret deposit at the southwestern part of the Company’s Clay Lake - Clontibret gold target. The results extended a known gold zone within the Company’s resource model where a JORC compliant resource estimate using a minimum mining width of 2 metres and a cut-off grade of 0.6g/t gold has over 600,000 ounces gold at 1.6g/t gold. The drilling extended this gold zone 30m along strike to the south of its previous extent as well as confirming continuity of other known gold zones. High grades and wide intersections included 0.25m at 35.4 g/t gold and 5.50m grading 4.1 g/t gold overall in this extended gold zone. This drilling focused on further upgrading the interpretation in an area where previous drilling had indicated the potential for significant width and gold grades.
Fitbug (LON:FITB 0.22p/£2.65m)*
Fitbug, the technology developer and digital wellness pioneer, announced that Heidi Steiger, a seasoned operating executive, has joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director with immediate effect and that Richard Goodlad has joined the board as full time Finance Director. Additionally, the Company announced that Tyler Tarr, who joined the Board as part time Finance Director on 29 June 2016, has stepped down from the Board following a successful handover to Richard.
Petards (LON:PEG 19.75p/£6.98m)*
Petards, the software developer of advanced security and surveillance systems, announced that it has secured an additional framework contract and two "Call Off" contracts with Hitachi Rail Europe Limited for Petards to supply Automatic Passenger Counting Systems. The new "Call Off" contracts are for the East Coast Main Line as part of the Intercity Express Programme and the Great Western Railway West of England service, the value of which are in excess of €1.2m and will be supplied over the next 3 years.
Physiomics Plc, UK based systems biology Company, announced its results in the year ended 30 June 2016. The turnover of the Company increased 26 percent to £297,120 (2015: £235,486), with a loss after net operating expenses (excluding share-based payments and operating exceptional costs) decreasing by 6 percent to £371,381 (2015: £395,329) and operating losses increasing by 4 percent to £431,561 (2015: £414,755). This year, Physiomics continued to build out its client base and extend its modelling and simulation services relationships with key existing clients. In addition, Physiomics appointed a new Chief Executive Officer with significant deal making experience. The Company, during the period, also signed a contract with a new speciality pharma customer to carry out PK/ PD modelling and later in the year announced a first extension to this contract; won a further large pharma customer (their 4th) for Virtual Tumour Pre-Clinical; and signed three further projects as part of an on-going collaboration with a global pharma which we first started working for in 2012;
ProMetic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI CAD2.66/CAD1,586.54m)*
ProMetic Life Sciences announced that it has closed the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding common shares of Telesta Therapeutics, Inc, by way of a plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act for a consideration of $0.14 per Telesta common share payable in ProMetic common shares. The number of common shares to be issued by ProMetic is based on the volume-weighted average closing price (VWAP) of ProMetic's common shares for the five trading days prior to the closing date of the Acquisition. At the end of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, October 28, 2016, the 5 day VWAP of ProMetic's common shares was $2.98. Accordingly, each Telesta common share was acquired for 0.04698 ProMetic common share.
RM2 (LON:RM2 27.4p/£111.57m)
RM2, the sustainable pallet innovator, announced that it has received an exclusive commitment from Pactiv LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds Group Holdings Limited, to purchase and deploy the Company's BLOCKPal pallets for all non-wood pallet uses throughout its organisation. Pactiv is a leading US manufacturer and distributor of food packaging and foodservice products and it adds to the Company’s growing list of clients. The terms of the contract anticipate Pactiv purchasing and deploying hundreds of thousands of BLOCKPal pallets in stages across various business units and geographical areas.
Sareum Holdings (LON:SAR 0.85p/£22.23m)*
Sareum Holdings, the specialist cancer drug discovery and development business, announced its final results for the year ended 30 June 2016. Financial highlights showed net assets at year-end were £1.86m (2015: £1.86m), of which £1.25m comprised cash at bank (2015: £1.48m), plus £0.48m unspent investment in the Chk1 project (2015: £0.21m). Loss on ordinary activities (after tax credit) of £1.05m(2015: loss of £1.26m). The Company also, during the period, received £111k of the £140k funding award for TYK2 cancer studies from Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst; the remainder received post year-end. Operational highlights showed Chk1 clinical trials applications for two clinical trials, one as a single agent and the other in combination with standard of care chemotherapies, submitted, approved and opened at The Royal Marsden Hospital. TYK2 lead inhibitors show good activity in disease models of rheumatoid arthritis and colitis, and compare favourably with a marketed JAK-family kinase inhibitor. Post year end highlights showed Chk1 inhibitor cancer drug candidate CCT245737 (renamed PNT737) licensed to ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNAI) by co-investment partner, the CRT Pioneer Fund. Sareum will receive an upfront payment of US$1.9m, potential future milestone payments of up to US$88.4m, plus a share of any sales royalties, and repayment of approximately £300k in unspent funds previously invested in the collaboration.
Venn (LON:VENN 24.25p/£15.22m)*
Venn Life Sciences, a growing Contract Research Organisation providing drug development, clinical trial management and resourcing solutions to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clients, announced on 4 October 2016 that its wholly owned subsidiary, Venn Life Sciences Limited, had entered into a conditional agreement under which it and Lynchwood Nominees Limited, as custodian for the Helium Rising Stars Fund, would sell the entire issued share capital of Innovenn UK Limited for a total consideration of up to £4.74m. The Company also signed a new contract worth €2.5m with Sedana Medical AB. Venn will carry out a randomised, controlled, open label Phase III study to confirm efficacy and safety of sedation with isoflurane in ventilated ICU patients. This trial is confined to patients in Germany and commences immediately.