How slow can China go? Markets took on a relatively buoyant mood on Friday after a succession of rumours that ongoing trade talks between the US and China are proceeding well.

The chatter that really cheered investors involved Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury, who was reported to have offered to reduce certain tariffs on Chinese goods in order to draw more concessions from Chinese counterparts in the talks.

If true, that speaks of both an attitude of flexibility in the US negotiating team and a view that China is ready to deal.

And on the whole, it’s not hard to see why the negotiators might come to that view.

The Chinese authorities have recently pumped a significant amount of liquidity into the domestic economy in a bid to keep activity ticking over. On Wednesday 16th January alone a record US$85bn was pumped into the banking system.

This is not the action of a central bank that is sanguine about the economic welfare of the country. Rather, it speaks of significant stresses in the system, brought about in part by the ongoing slowdown in the pace of overall growth.

That growth rates will fall in China is fairly evident. No economy in history has ever sustained the kind of rates that China has been turning in over the past decade or two. So the real question is: how will the Chinese authorities manage the change, as the economy matures and begins to fall into step with the cyclical nature of the world’s more advanced economies.

So far, so good, but it remains a tricky balancing act. According to a poll of 85 economists conducted by Reuters this week, Chinese growth is likely to slow to around 6.3% this year from 6.6% in 2018 and 6.9% in 2017.

On that analysis, there’s likely to be a soft landing which will take place over several years, particularly if current policy to stimulate domestic demand succeeds.

One wild card though is the current stance of the US government, and in particular Mr Trump. If US tariffs really start to bite the Chinese economy could slow faster than expected, and that in turn could have nasty knock-on effects.

For one thing, the current covenant between the ruling party and the people that grants the communists a monopoly on power in return for rising living standards could be called into question. And if the economic competence of the communist party begins to be doubted, then there will be further concerns about the implications for social order.

So, in that context the stakes are much higher for the Chinese negotiators than for the Americans. While the miracle of Chinese economic growth has been bought at the expense of the American working class, it could just be that the revenge of that same working class will bring about the destruction of the entire Chinese political system.

These scenarios are a long way from being played out yet, and certainly run counter to the prevailing Chinese narrative of rising strength, as projected militarily in the Spratly Islands and the wider South China Sea, and economically in the Belt and Road initiative.

And it’s certainly true that China has arrived as a major player on the world economic and political stage in a way that might not have been anticipated thirty years ago.

But China, like all countries with advanced economies will find out that at some stage good times end, at least for a while, and that hard times throw up new challenges.

With growth still at over 6% we are ostensibly still a long way from hard times. Unless of course China can be counted as having already arrived in the club of advanced economies. In which case growth of 6% would surely be regarded as an unsustainable bubble.


Fri, 18 Jan 2019 12:10:00 -0500
Netflix adds 8.8mln subscribers in final quarter after releasing movie hits Bird Box and Roma Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) added 8.8 million paid subscribers in the fourth quarter as the release of original content such as Bird Box, Roma, Sex Education and You proved popular.

The number of new subscribers represented a 34% increase on the same period a year ago, bringing its total customer base to 139 million. The new subscribers included 1.53 million in the US.

However, shares fell 2.8% immediately after releasing the results on concerns about how much the company is spending on original content to fend off competition from the likes of Amazon, Apple, Hulu and HBO.  Much of the spending, which analysts estimate amounted to US$13bn last year, has been funded with debt.

Netflix said its spending is likely to increase this year.

 “Our multi-year plan is to keep significantly growing our content while increasing our revenue faster to expand our operating margins,” the company said in a letter to investors.

"Our growth is based on how good our experience is.”

Revenue misses but profit beats expectations

Revenue in the quarter rose 27% year-on-year to US$4.19bn, falling just shy of analysts’ expectations of US$4.21bn.

 Net income fell to US$133.9mln, or 30 cents a share, from 41 cents a share a year ago but this beat market forecasts of 24 cents a share.

The group said its decision to raise prices in the US and some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, announced this week, could add some US$1bn to revenue.

READ: Netflix raises prices in US to cover soaring content costs

Netflix will also look to increase prices in other nations as currencies fluctuate. However, it warned that the price rises could fall behind exchange rate movements, hitting revenues.

More cash going out than coming in, says analyst

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told investors not to be fooled by the share price reaction to Netflix’s latest numbers.

“The shares had been up by 50% since Christmas Eve, and the numbers are well ahead of the group’s guidance from its last statement in October.”

He added: “Still, despite the glowing results there is a basic anomaly in Netflix’s numbers. Accounting rules mean the group has reported a profit of US$1.6bn, but the US$13bn investment in titles like Bird Box and Narcos means on a cash basis, more is going out than coming in.”

On Netflix’s price hikes, Salmon reckons the company is still offering good value considering consumers spend on average about 10 hours per week on the service, which works out to about 25 cents per hour.

“You can only squeeze customers so far, but we think there’s a way to go before the pips squeak,” he said.

“The worry, of course, is that international bruisers like Disney and Amazon aren’t going to go down without a fight, and both have the financial clout to counterpunch pretty hard. The battle for viewers’ eyeballs is only just getting started.”

Bird Box and Roma among successful releases

Last year Netflix particularly focused on films, including the release of Bird Box and Roma.

Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, had been viewed by 80 million subscribers in the four weeks since it was released over the holidays and is expected to contend for some of Hollywood’s top prizes.

Roma, from Academy Award winner Afonso Alfonso Cuarón, has been playing at cinemas since its release last October. 

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 08:58:00 -0500
Great Bear Resources releases drill results from Dixie Project as stock soars Great Bear Resources (CVE:GBR-OTC: GTBDF) President and CEO Chris Taylor dropped in to the Vancouver Studio of Proactive Investors  to share news with Steve Darling that Great Bear received very impressive results from the latest drilling on the Dixie Project in the Red Lake district of Ontario, Canada.

Taylor also shared his vision for 2019 and mentioned a really big advantage for the company as they plan more drilling in 2019. 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:54:00 -0500
Cobalt set for bearish 2019 but demand fundamentals remain strong Following strong upwards trends in 2017, the cobalt price in 2018 climbed to reach an all-time high of US$95,250 a tonne in March before plummeting more than 50% by year-end.

The market volatility across the year was shared by most other base metals, fuelled by the US-China trade dispute as well as China’s contracting economy.

Market sentiment for cobalt shifted further due to announcements from major battery makers such as Tesla to decrease the amount of cobalt to be used in their batteries.

It was also affected by a supply-side response in the form of larger artisanal production from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which put medium-term pressure on prices.

Six-year cobalt price. Source:


Strong demand fundamentals

Production from the DRC has added to volatility due to considerations of ethically-sourced cobalt and the country’s recent contested elections.

Nonetheless cobalt demand remains strong and its use in lithium-ion batteries will potentially triple by 2026.

This was given a jump-start late last year when Katanga Mining (TSX:KAT) halted export sales at its Kamoto mine in the DRC after identifying uranium in its cobalt production.

Cobalt demand increased at a rate of 8% per year from 2010-2017, according to Roskill, mainly driven by demand from the battery sector which now accounts for more than half of total cobalt consumption.

Demand for cobalt in batteries is predicted to grow at 14.5% a year to 2027, which, coupled with increases in other end-uses such as nickel alloys used in aerospace, paint a rosy picture for cobalt outlook across the next decade.

‘Demand will continue to grow’

The 2018 price correction was expected by some analysts, with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Casper Rawles noting he had anticipated the market to correct but was somewhat surprised by how much.

Rawles said: “There were some exceptions to the rule, but from the end of quarter one and throughout 2018, we’ve seen prices decreasing and continuing to fall.”

Explaining the downward trend, Rawles pointed to the increase in the price basis of raw material feedstocks from the DRC going into China and the resulting credit availability and cash flowing in China.

He remained cautious looking ahead, saying “demand will continue to grow, consumption of lithium-ion batteries is going to grow, but as of right now there’s enough cobalt around to meet the needs of the market”.

Rawles expects the recent election uncertainty in the DRC to potentially have small supply disruptions but these would be short-lived and have no impact on prices.

Advanced technology applications

Most cobalt is mined as a by-product of copper or nickel and is reliant on the strength of those markets.

The US Geological Survey estimates that 43% of world cobalt production in 2015 was from copper mining and 44% from nickel.

There is only one modern primary cobalt operation, the Bou-Azzer mine in Morocco, but that only contributes around 2% to global production.

Cobalt is useful in the manufacture of varying products due to its ferromagnetism and wear-resistance when alloyed with other metals.

The transition metal retains its magnetism at high temperatures and can be used in advanced technology applications as well as in superalloys and as a refining catalyst.


Diversification of supply sources

More than 60% of the world’s cobalt production comes from the DRC, of which 10-25% is estimated to be artisanal in nature.

According to the US Geological Survey, total global cobalt production in 2017 was 110,000 tonnes, down from 111,000 tonnes the previous year.

The DRC contributed 64,000 tonnes in 2017 with Russia in second place at 5,600 tonnes.

Australia and Canada, the third and fourth highest producers respectively, have had added interest as cobalt jurisdictions due to stable mining codes, established supply chains and promising cobalt developments.

Darton Commodities Limited estimates that annual cobalt demand will exceed 120,000 tonnes by 2020, with further demand growth linked to potential technological advancements in the battery space.

The global hybrid and electric vehicle market grew by 33.2% in 2017, according to MarketLine data, and demand is predicted to keep rising through 2020.

This could potentially create substantial shortages in cobalt as early as 2022 with current production estimates.

A number of companies are actively developing cobalt projects in Australia and Canada which may soon begin contributing to global production if demand predictions and supply-side challenges persist.

Chinese contraction causes medium-term price weakness

Data shows China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has decreased for the past five consecutive quarters and the country’s leader Xi Jinping has remained vague on Beijing’s plans for a wider economic stimulus.

In terms of both supply and consumption China is a key market for base metals and its economic growth has a strong impact on prices and market sentiment.

According to Darton Commodities, China accounts for more than 80% of the production of cobalt chemicals and it remains a key producer of batteries.

Overall 2018 GDP growth for China is anticipated to be 6.6% and it is expected that the Chinese government will lower its economic growth target to 6%-6.5% in a March parliamentary session.

Forecasts from the International Monetary Fund for world GDP growth are 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019, including slower growth for the US and China at 2.5% and 6.2%, respectively.

India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.4%.

Cobalt end-uses. Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence


Trade dispute foments uncertainty

Talks between the US and China are ongoing and have assuaged some investor concern, but until the dispute is concretely resolved the market uncertainty will persist.

According to Fastmarkets MB Research, China is planning new incentives to boost domestic consumption for goods associated with metal demand including auto and home appliances.

Along with any further economic stimulus, the measures could spark a brief recovery in metals prices but would need an established trade deal to sustain upwards price pressure.

Scotiabank analysts reported in mid-October that the global trade dispute was not only the primary driver of the base metals slump but that also it would continue to have an affect up to 2020 and potentially beyond.

Scotiabank said: “US-China trade concerns remain front-and-centre for commodity markets with no obvious end in sight.

“We now believe that the US-China trade dispute will remain a slow-burn drag on industrial commodity sentiment through to the 2020 US presidential election.”

The Scotiabank analysts pointed out that prices were down despite falls in base metal stockpiles, with nickel inventories at five-year lows and copper down 50% over the last six months.

Cobalt driven by Chinese consumption

With demand sustained from downstream manufacturing sectors producing smartphones and electric vehicles, and supply primarily constrained to the volatile DRC, cobalt prices are likely to remain strong in future.

China imports 99.3% of the DRC's cobalt exports, making it the world's largest cobalt importer at 38% of global imports.

In order to secure stable supply, Chinese state-owned enterprises are increasingly investing in cobalt production in the DRC, with Bloomberg noting eight of the fourteen cobalt mines in the DRC are Chinese-owned.

The largest example is China Molybdenum which is now the world's second largest cobalt producer behind Glencore.

Limited corporate social responsibility and a lack of awareness of local supply chains have given Chinese enterprises an advantage in securing products for its cobalt refining and chemical industry.

Cobalt producers will need to produce more than 200,000 tonnes of cobalt in battery-grade chemicals a year by 2028, according to Benchmark, pushing total demand to 250,000-300,000 tonnes including consumption in other products.

Global cobalt resources by jurisdiction. Source: United States Geological Survey


Defining new cobalt jurisdictions

While the DRC is expected to remain the world’s primary supplier of cobalt in the foreseeable future, the issues plaguing the mining industry in the central African country have prompted a spike in exploration for cobalt in other jurisdictions.

A number of Australian cobalt and battery metal developers are advancing work on projects both at home and abroad, aiming to define and extract economic cobalt resources.

READ: Artemis Resources recommences drilling at Carlow Castle, resource update pending

Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) recently resumed aircore drilling at its 100%-owned Carlow Castle Gold-Copper-Cobalt Project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Results from the program will be combined with other exploration data to design a resource development drill program scheduled for the March quarter 2019.

A JORC resource update is underway using the near-24,000 metres of previous drill data and is expected this year.

Initial metallurgical results indicate that Carlow Castle ore is amenable to low-cost gravity gold recovery and base metal flotation processes.

READ: Australian Mines’ BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) released a definitive feasibility study (DFS) last year for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium in Queensland, valuing the project at $697 million.

The DFS estimates life-of-mine revenues of about $513 million a year, with average EBITDA at $295 million per year.

The company signed a binding term sheet with SK Innovation last year for the sale of all cobalt and nickel sulphate to be produced at Sconi and is also progressing financing discussions.

Historical mining in the area has produced 15,000 tonnes of cobalt and 327,000 tonnes of nickel.

READ: Blackstone Minerals raises $1.2 million for further exploration in Canada and Western Australia

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) is developing its landholding around the Little Gem project in Canada, which is rapidly emerging into British Columbia’s premier cobalt belt.

Last year Blackstone identified multiple new large-scale targets at the Jewel copper-gold-cobalt prospect within Little Gem.

The Jewel prospect is 1.1 kilometres northeast of the Little Gem prospect and is associated with the high-grade Jewel Underground Mine with historical production of 51 tonnes between 1938 and 1940.

Historical average mining grades of 73 g/t and 0.4% copper have been supported by Blackstone rock chip samples assaying up to 98 g/t gold, 3.2% copper and 0.1% cobalt.


READ: Cape Lambert Resources highlights value in tailings pipeline

Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) is focused on its Kipushi Cobalt-Copper Tailings Project in the DRC, from which it aims to recover cobalt from old tailings left behind in the hunt for copper.

The company has ambitions to produce thousands of tonnes of material a year near the town of Kipushi in the DRC’s Katanga Copper Belt.

The tailings dam extends for a kilometre, is more than 400 metres wide and up to 15 metres deep, and has enough material to last as long as five years.

Cape Lambert executive chairman Tony Sage said the company expected to produce about 2,900 tonnes of cobalt and 7,500 tonnes of copper a year, worth about US$200 million.

READ: Cobalt Blue’s Thackaringa drilling returns broad, high-grade cobalt results

Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) is developing the Thackaringa Cobalt Project in western NSW with joint venture partner Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd (ASX:BPL).

Drilling at the Pyrite Hill deposit late last year reinforced the project’s potential for resource growth and a substantial mine life.

Pyrite Hill represents 36% of the existing 72 million tonne mineral resource and about 36% of the contained cobalt inventory of 61,500 tonnes.

Results from the first seven infill holes have confirmed substantial thicknesses of cobalt mineralisation consistent with the existing geological model.

They include: 68 metres at 1,128 ppm cobalt, 13.4% iron and 13.4% sulphur from 116 metres; and 52 metres at 1,042 ppm cobalt, 11.1% iron and 11.2% sulphur from 93 metres.

READ: Corazon Mining to advance knowledge of Mt Gilmore, Cobalt Ridge this quarter

Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) aims to define a large deposit at the Cobalt Ridge prospect within its Mt Gilmore Cobalt-Copper-Gold project in northeast NSW.

The company is also developing the Lynn Lake Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Sulphide Project in Canada.

Drilling at Cobalt Ridge included 5 metres at 2.14% cobalt within a broader intersection of 27 metres at 0.47% cobalt from 49 metres.

Results from a geochemical soil sampling program which ended in November indicated cobalt and copper values of up to 450 ppm and 1,060 ppm, respectively, and rock chip samples have graded up to 1,795 ppm cobalt and 16.3% copper.


READ: Fe Limited advances copper-cobalt in DRC and is leveraged to highly prospective ground in WA

Fe Limited (ASX:FEL) is advancing its Kasombo Cobalt-Copper Project in the DRC towards production in the first quarter of 2020.

Kasombo is 25 kilometres from the DRC’s second largest city, Lubumbashi, in the Katanga Copper Belt.

Recent trenching returned elevated cobalt results including: 10 metres at 0.21% cobalt from 42 metres; and 12 metres at 0.23% cobalt from 17 metres.

FEL executive chairman Tony Sage said Kasombo could be a very viable copper-cobalt mine, but needed a little bit more work on the ground.

READ: Great Boulder Resources prepares for deeper drilling of nickel-rich Eastern Mafic target

Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) is continuing to drill test targets at its Eastern Mafic nickel-copper-cobalt deposit within the Yamarna project in Western Australia.

A revised geological model based on geophysics and drilling completed in the Decemvber quarter infers that the Eastern Mafic intrusion was formed at depth and deep drilling will test this theory.

The company believes that drilling to date, which has returned encouraging copper, nickel and cobalt results, has only intersected the top of the intrusion, leaving the main body untested.

READ: Havilah Resources’ native title agreement paves way for mining lease at copper-cobalt-gold project

Havilah Resources Ltd (ASX:HAV) is progressing development of its Kalkaroo Copper-Cobalt-Gold Project in South Australia as well as its nearby Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt Project.

The company is aiming to find additional resources at Mutooroo to complement the maiden 100 million tonne resource at Kalkaroo, which contains 23,000 tonnes of cobalt.  

Havilah technical director Chris Giles said a 2018 achievement at Mutooroo was to confirm the cobalt potential of deeper ground at the project, with economic levels of cobalt, copper and gold found.

Mutooroo’s deposit contains 195,000 tonnes of copper and 8,400 tonnes of cobalt.


READ: Meteoric Resources begins diamond drilling program at Joyce in Canada

Meteoric Resources NL (ASX:MEI) has recently begun drilling at its Joyce Copper-Cobalt-Gold Project in western Ontario, Canada.

Joyce is Meteoric’s highest priority target based on thick sequences of undrilled massive and disseminated sulphides exposed at surface.

Historical high-grade assays from Joynce include 11% copper, 0.3% cobalt and 8.07 g/t gold, confirming the potential of the system.

The mineral explorer also identified 18 cobalt targets from an airborne electromagnetic (EM) survey at its Mulligan East and Iron Mask projects last year.

READ: Marquee Resources prepares Werner Lake resource update, metallurgical sample

Marquee Resources Ltd (ASX:MQR) expects to update the mineral resource estimate for its high-grade Werner Lake Cobalt Project in Canada this quarter after earning into a 30% stake last year.

Drilling at Werner Lake has returned strong results such as 2.6 metres at 0.313% cobalt and 0.177% copper from 316.4 metres, including 1.6 metres at 0.406% cobalt and 0.176% copper.

Werner Lake features cobalt sulphide mineralisation and was discovered in the 1920s and mined in the 1940s.

Marquee’s other projects include the Skelton Lake Cobalt Project, also in Ontario, and the Clayton Valley Lithium Project in the US state of Nevada.


READ: Panoramic Resources on track for first shipment from recommissioned nickel-copper-cobalt project

Panoramic Resources Ltd (ASX:PAN) is aiming to recommission its Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in WA with the first concentrate shipment scheduled early next month.

The ramp-up to full underground mining production continues for the project in the Kimberley region while the process plant achieved a daily throughput rate of 2,000 tonnes early this month.

The company also holds platinum group metals and gold assets and its goal is to become a major diversified mining company.

READ: White Cliff Minerals’ new assays feature 40 metres at 0.22% cobalt and 1.75% nickel

White Cliff Minerals Ltd (ASX:WCN) is developing its Coronation Dam Cobalt Project in Western Australia, recently completing a 5,000-metre reverse circulation drilling program.

Highlighted drill results include: 40 metres at 0.22% cobalt and 1.75% nickel from 8 metres; and 36 metres at 0.1% cobalt and 0.88% nickel from surface.

The drilling has increased the extent of high-grade mineralisation to more than 600 metres long, 400 metres wide and with an average thickness of 20 metres.

Coronation Dam is 90 kilometres south of Glencore’s Murrin Murrin mining operation and 45 kilometres south of GME Resources Ltd’s (ASX:GME) proposed nickel-cobalt processing facility.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:31:00 -0500
American Rebel Holdings' Amazon sales shoot higher in December American Rebel Holdings Inc (OTCQB:AREB) CEO Andy Ross tells Proactive Investors the company's sales surged on Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) website in December 2018.

Ross says sales for the month were 77% higher on the e-commerce site than the previous monthly record, and the company forecasts strong numbers for January 2019.

Ross expects to roll out new products at the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) in Las Vegas on January 22.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:10:00 -0500
Medlab Clinical eyes cost savings following receipt of SME status in Europe Medlab Clinical Ltd’s (ASX:MDC) European subsidiary has received formal SME (small or medium-sized enterprise) qualification from European Medicines Agency (EMA).

EMA is the European equivalent to the Australian TGA and the US FDA. As part of the registration, this allows MDC to apply for scientific advice, drug evaluation and registration of NanaBis.

It also provides MDC with the opportunity to obtain fee reductions up to 90% in the process.

NanaBi is a cannabis-based medicine which contains formulations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).


Medlab chief executive officer Dr Sean Hall said: “This is a significant milestone for MDC. Drug registration of NanaBi is key part of the company’s plans and this qualification allows us to start the process into Europe.

“Drug evaluation and registration fees with the various agencies are expensive, but at the same time, a much needed and real cost in bringing a drug to market and we welcome the opportunity obtain fee reductions and as a result significant savings.

“Personally, I would like to thank EMA for their collaborative approach in this regard, and very much look forward to escalating the NanaBis evaluation with EMA as we move closer to an approved drug in the EU.”

READ: Medlab Clinical proceeding to stage 2 for cannabis cancer trial

In late October 2018, Medlab successfully completed stage 1 of the NanaBis human trial on cancer patients at Royal North Shore Hospital.

The trial is progressing as planned and currently in stage II of the ethics approved trial.

READ: Medlab Clinical receives preliminary results from NanoStat™ trial

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:09:00 -0500
Esports Entertainment Group signs 'groundbreaking' GOLeague and Epsilon eSports partnerships Esports Entertainment Group Inc (OTCQB:GMBL) CEO Grant Johnson tells Proactive Investors the online gambling company has signed its first Tier 1 e-sports team Epsilon eSports, in addition to signing an affiliate marketing agreement with GOLeague Int Gaming, a multilingual e-sports league.

Johnson says the agreements are "groundbreaking" and will add around 11,000 visitors to the site, as well as add more than 300 matches per month available exclusively on Esports' platform.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 15:22:00 -0500
Lipocine rallies after therapy candidate achieves meaningful liver fat reduction Lipocine Inc (NASDAQ:LPCN) surged Thursday after reporting that interim results showed its therapy candidate for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) achieved meaningful liver fat reduction.

The specialty drug company announced the interim results after about eight weeks of an ongoing 16-week study of LPCN 1144. The therapy candidate produced an absolute mean reduction from baseline of 7.6% liver fat and a 38% relative mean liver fat reduction, according to Lipocine.

Shares of Salt Lake City-based Lipocine rose $0.39, or 25%, to $1.99 in Thursday’s Nasdaq trading.

READ: Lipocine's LPCN 1111 Phase 2b clinical study kicks off

The company said there was an 86% responder rate in which subjects experienced at least a 4.1% absolute reduction in liver fat from baseline and a 71% responder rate in which subjects experienced at least a 29% reduction in liver fat from baseline.

The ongoing liver fat study is an open-label, multi-center, single-arm study evaluating the treatment of 36 hypogonadal males, lacking sufficient testosterone or having an impaired ability to produce sperm.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is an advanced form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that occurs when fat accumulates in liver cells from causes other than excessive alcohol use. Patients have hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and liver cell damage.

CEO encouraged by results

"We are very encouraged by these results especially as the observed liver fat reductions are the largest of any well-tolerated oral product candidate within approximately eight weeks,” Dr Mahesh Patel, the chairman, president and CEO of Lipocine, said in a statement. “We look forward to the 16-week results later this quarter."

He added that he believes LPCN 1144 can offer additional unmet benefits such as improvement for patients with cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia and sexual dysfunction.

There are no approved treatments of NASH, according to Lipocine, which says the illness is a silent killer that affects 30 million Americans.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 15:21:00 -0500
Canntrust Holdings is a steady grower in a rapidly maturing cannabis industry Momentum investors are a notoriously impatient bunch. Most of us expect to buy a stock on Monday, then kick-back and watch that stock double or triple in price over the ensuing days. But despite what you see and hear on CNBC, Twitter and the mainstream financial media, overnight triple-digit gains aren’t realistic. 

An unfortunate reality for typically short-sided momentum investors is that companies and industries don’t mature and develop in lockstep with the movement of their stock price. 

You see, many investors look back at the growth of the cannabis industry in 2018 and wonder why their investments aren’t already producing triple-digit returns.

READ: CannTrust Holdings looks to uplist to NYSE as 3Q sales more than double

After all, the past 12 months have given us an adult-use recreational market in California, federally legalized marijuana in Canada, federally legalized hemp in the US, a recommendation from the World Health Organization that CBD no longer be controlled, and an increasing number of US state legislatures that support some degree of cannabis reform.

But that’s not all.

The fact that Utah, an overwhelmingly conservative state known for its strict alcohol laws, voted to approve medical marijuana in the 2018 midterm elections is an undeniable sign that the American public is ready for widespread cannabis reform. 

Now, with all these overwhelmingly positive developments, why aren’t cannabis stocks exploding higher?

Simply put, because the initial wave of hype and euphoria that engulfed the cannabis industry in 2017 and 2018 has subsided. And 2019 will usher in an era where brand development, legitimate business models, and revenues determine investment gains.

Put another way, the cannabis industry is maturing.

Turning over rocks

If you’ve spent any time at all over the past six months studying the cannabis industry, you’re no doubt already familiar with multi-billion operators Canopy Growth, Aurora, Cronos, and Tilray. And it probably didn’t take you long to realize that like any burgeoning industry, many of the small companies in the space aren’t worth investing in.

However, if you turn over enough rocks, you often find an undiscovered small-cap gem with the potential to grow into one of the industry’s major players. And with CannTrust Holdings (TSE:TRST) (OTCMKTS:CNTTF), I believe we have found one of tomorrow’s power players.

Headquartered in Vaughan, Canada, the $590 million CannTrust Holdings is a licensed producer and distributor of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada. In addition to serving over 58,000 medical patients and an increasing number of recreational consumers with its dried, extract, and capsule cannabis-based products, CannTrust is also actively expanding its international presence via strategic partnerships. 

As of January 1, 2019, CannTrust has partnered with Cannatrek Ltd in Australia, is involved in a joint venture with Stenocare in Denmark and is actively involved with Breakthru Beverage Group through Kindred Canada for recreational distribution in Canada.

And according to CannTrust’s CEO, Peter Aceto, who presented at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference I attended on January 16, the company hopes to remain active when it comes to establishing international partnerships.

You can't sell what you don’t have

The legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada in mid-October 2018 created an issue many companies saw coming, but few were able to prepare for adequately – a lack of supply. And like any industry, distribution and production are essential to growing a business.

CannTrust has been actively trying to boost production. And for the most part, they’ve done an excellent job. Unfortunately, the company’s run into a few speed bumps at their Niagara Perpetual Harvest Facility in Pelham, Ontario.

Until recently, investors expected CannTrust to complete the phase two expansion of its Pelham facility during Q4 2018. But the company encountered delays and is now targeting the end of January for project completion. 

The completion of phase two will provide CannTrust with 450,000 square feet of production space and allow the company to produce 50,000 kilograms annually.

The completion of phase three at CannTrust’s Pelham’s facility, which would double the company’s annual output to 100,000 kilograms, is being held up by a temporary moratorium on new cannabis-related development within town boundaries of Pelham. CannTrust still needs approval on ten outstanding licenses. And until those approvals are secured, the company can’t complete construction on the third phase of their existing facility.

In mid-December 2018, Aceto said this to James West of the Midas Letter:

“We’re in regular conversation with the Town of Pelham. We still think that our Phase III plans are very possible, that that can continue to go forward. That being said, we’ve got an obligation to our shareholders, and we need to drive our business forward, so we’re looking at alternative as well.”

The bottom line is in a perfect world, CannTrust would receive the permits they need and complete phase three of their Pelham operation ASAP. But even if this rosy scenario fails to unfold, the fact that management isn’t letting the grass grow under their feet is a sign that Aceto is moving the company in the right direction.

An awarding winning year

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about cannabis or automobiles, every company wants to believe that their product represents their industry’s gold standard. But this isn’t kindergarten. And not everyone is going to be a winner.

But 2018 was without question CannTrust’s year.

And when Lift & Co. announced the winners of the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Awards (CCAs) at a black-tie event in downtown Toronto, CannTrust emerged as one of the industry’s most impressive rising stars by winning seven top awards, including the coveted Top Licensed Producer of the Year.

After more than 17,000 votes were counted, CannTrust won awards in the following product categories:

  1. Top High CBD Oil – CannTrust CBD Drops
  2. Top Balanced Oil – CannTrust 1:1 Drops
  3. Top Sativa Flower – CannTrust OG Kush
  4. Top Hybrid Flower – CannTrust Blueberry Kush
  5. Top High CBD Flower – CannTrust Cannatonic

While receiving awards and earning a reputation for putting out a great product is fantastic, the highlight for CannTrust came when the company was praised for their top notch customer service and was then recognized as The Licensed Producer of the Year.

Here’s what Aceto had to say upon learning of his company’s success at the Canadian Cannabis Awards:

“I am so proud to be part of this team. CannTrust is full of brilliant, caring people with great skill, who work collaboratively and care immensely about our patients and consumers but also our wonderful cannabis plants. What is so incredible about these awards is that consumers chose them.”

Aceto went on to note that the customer service recognition was especially important to him as CannTrust has always made a point of putting its customer’s needs first.

While awards and accolades don’t guarantee long-term success, they certainly don’t hurt. And if brand development and customer service are the keys to industry domination, CannTrust appears to have a leg up on much of its competition.

Technically Speaking

CannTrust began trading on the OTC Markets under the symbol CNTTF in late August 2017, and despite rising more than fivefold in its first five months of trading, the stock remained unknown to most investors.

Following CannTrust’s quiet, yet meteoric, rise in late 2017, the stock has slipped into a pattern of choppy and volatile consolidation.



CannTrust spent virtually all of 2018 rotating between $5 and $10. And today, with the stock trading at the lower end of its 12-month range (around $6.25) and the company’s Q4 2018 financial results expected soon, this may be the perfect time for cannabis investors to begin digging deeper into this industry leader.

The bottom line is barring a weekly close back under $4.50, I’d expect CannTrust to continue to trade within its $5 to $10 price band. But to sustain a break above $10 two things need to occur.

First, the company needs to successfully up list its shares to a major U.S. exchange. And given that CannTrust has already applied for NYSE listing, it’s realistic to expect an up listing to occur at some point over the next few months.

And second, CannTrust either needs to secure the necessary permits to complete the phase 3 buildout of its Pelham facility, or another low-cost production source must be identified. 

Once both hurdles are cleared, I expect cannabis investors to adopt a notably more bullish stance on CannTrust.

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

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:54:00 -0500
Bragg Gaming Group subsidiary ORYX Gaming launches content on Genesis Casino platform Bragg Gaming Group (CVE:BRAG) CEO Dominic Mansour tells Proactive Investors its subsidiary ORYX Gaming has launched its content on online-based Genesis Casino's platform, expanding Bragg's business.

Mansour says besides this milestone, he believes gambling laws in the US are changing in favor of online gambling, which could bolster Bragg Gaming Group.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:47:00 -0500
Nemaura says improved continuous glucose monitor halves time needed for reliable reading Nemaura Medical Inc (NASDAQ:NMRD) said Thursday that the company has improved its SugarBEAT continuous glucose monitor to halve the time needed for a reliable reading for diabetic and prediabetic patients.

The  Loughborough, England-based medical technology company said in a press release that the time it takes for a reliable reporting of glucose levels from its skin-patch system can be reduced to 30 minutes from about an hour previously.

BIG PICTURE: Nemaura is a red hot medtech stock with a winner in its painless sugarBEAT glucose monitor

According to Nemaura, a major competitor’s continuous glucose monitor requires a two-hour “warm-up period” and is designed to be worn continuously for 10 days.

Nemaura said its advance provides flexibility for users who wish to wear the skin patch for a few hours daily.

“The flexibility of SugarBEAT will be a key differentiating factor with the potential to reach the largest number of diabetics and provides Nemaura with the opportunity to expand into new markets,” Dr Faz Chowdhury, CEO of Nemaura, said in a statement.

Diabetic population

Globally, there are more than 400 million diabetics and 1 billion prediabetics, according to Nemaura, citing PiperJaffray Co data. The annual addressable market for continuous glucose monitors for diabetics is estimated at $82 billion, with the US market estimated at $13 billion.

Shares of Nemaura slipped $0.03 to $1.04 in Thursday’s Nasdaq trading.

Last month, Nemaura announced the closing of a public offering that raised $2 million.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:34:00 -0500
eWellness Healthcare readies workman's compensation contracts to fulfill 2 years of revenue eWellness Healthcare Corp (OTCQB:EWLL) CFO David Markowski tells Proactive Investors the telehealth company is getting ready to roll out several contracts with some of the largest case managers in the US, representing big pools of US employees .

Markowski says the company has enough patients on board to fulfill its first two years of revenue, moving rapidly into the delivery phase of these contract discussions.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:49:00 -0500
Precision Therapeutics’ stock soars after its Skyline Medical division expands footprint in New England Shares of Precision Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AIPT) soared Thursday after it announced that its Skyline Medical division significantly expanded its footprint in New England with the sale of six STREAMWAY systems to Yale University’s ambulatory outpatient surgical center.

Skyline's novel FDA-cleared STREAMWAY System suctions surgical waste fluid from the patient using standard surgical tubing and disposables. It connects directly to a hospital’s plumbing system to automate the collection and disposal of waste fluids.

Precision Therapeutics’ stock shot up 10.1% $0.98.

READ: Adamis Pharma's stock soars after commercial partner launches Epi pen alternative in the US

The Eagan, Minnesota, company provides healthcare products and services primarily in the United States. The company manufactures environmentally conscious systems for the collection and disposal of infectious fluids that result from surgical procedures and post-operative care.

The company markets and sells its STREAMWAY Fluid Waste Management system to medical facilities through its sales force and independent distributors.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:43:00 -0500
ICC changes OTC Markets trading symbol to WLDCF ICC International Cannabis Corp (CNSX:WRLD.U) said that it changed its OTC Markets ticker symbol to WLDCF from KNHBF effective Thursday.

The Vancouver-based company is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol 8K51 and the Canadian Securities Exchange under WRLD.U.

READ: ICC International Cannabis to acquire 49.9% of Wayland assets

The triple listing, according to the company, adds to the stock’s trading liquidity.

ICC is working to develop cannabis cultivation, extraction, formulation and distribution in the UK, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Lesotho.

The stock slipped C$0.03 to C$0.40 in Thursday’s Canadian trading. They were down US$0.02 to US$0.40 on the OTC Markets.

The cannabis company also said Thursday that it’s set to launch a European-wide medical cannabis insurance plan. Earlier this week, it said it will complete a purchase agreement on or before March 1 to acquire 49.9% of Wayland Group Corp's international assets and license portfolio. 

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at


Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:28:00 -0500
Correvio Pharma surges on Nasdaq as it completes share sale; continues to advance heart drug Shares in Correvio Pharma Corp (NASDAQ:CORV) surged over 26% Thursday in New York as it revealed it had netted around US$11.5 million from a share sale.

The Vancouver-based company now reckons it has enough cash to operate through the submission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration review of its new drug application filing for Brinavess.

READ: Correvio Pharma shares surge after preliminary test results in Europe on heart medication

Around 4.3 million shares were sold at an average price of US$2.71 each, resulting in net proceeds of around US$11.5 million.

Correvio is a speciality pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing hospital drugs.

Brinavess is used for treating atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications.

Last September, the company reported safety data from a European study of the drug called Spectrum, where around 2,000 treatment episodes were reported by 53 hospitals in the European Union

Kiran Bhirangi, Correvio's vice-president for Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, had said: "In Spectrum, normal heart rhythm was restored in over 70% of patients at a median time of 11 minutes, HOIs (health outcomes of interest) were observed in 0.8% (17) of patients, and there were no deaths."

HOIs are defined as significant hypertension or irregular heartbeats.

Shares in Correvio on Nasdaq added 26.49% to US$2.88.

Contact Giles at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:54:00 -0500
ICC International Cannabis poised to launch European medical cannabis insurance plan ICC International Cannabis Corp (CSE:WRLD.U) (OTCMKTS:KNHBF) is set to launch a European-wide medical cannabis insurance plan.

The Vancouver-based cannabis-focused company has entered into a letter of intent with a consortium of Evergreen Pacific Insurance Corp and Cannops Consulting to form a joint venture to launch the former's revolutionary BuyWell Ecosystem.

READ: ICC International Cannabis to acquire 49.9% of Wayland assets provides access to over 10,000 quality health and wellness products and affordable healthcare coverage options via its BuyWell Care program -- Canada's first guaranteed healthcare coverage for medical cannabis prescriptions launched in 2018.

The roll-out in Europe will include the "first of its kind" coverage for cannabinoid therapeutic treatment using a proprietary pricing methodology.

It will also offer streamlined access to top-tier alternative healthcare services.

"International Cannabis controls medical cannabis and CBD production licenses in 12 European counties and is now poised to offer comprehensive alternative insurance coverages and healthcare solutions in its respective jurisdictions," said Eugene Beukman, the CEO and director at ICC.

The company is ecstatic now to participate in virtually every link of the medical cannabis value chain, from production to distribution to healthcare service and insurance coverage.

Beukman described the move as a "transformative evolution" that provides a full-service solution to encourage and to promote collective health and wellness.

"Evergreen Pacific has successfully proven the BuyWell ecosystem here in Canada, and together with the assistance of International Cannabis and Cannops will translate this success into the EU," he added.

Built on three pillars

The new European BuyWell Ecosystem will be built on three pillars covering the spectrum of medical cannabis and CBD marketplace, from distribution to education to insurance coverage.

"As the medical cannabis industry continues to mature, International Cannabis and its partners will be at the forefront delivering associated ancillary services," said Beukman.

International Cannabis and Cannops will identify countries in Europe in which the Ecosystem can be replicated, a business to business (B2B) ventures and or business to consumer (B2C) ones, and will establish joint ventures with Evergreen Pacific for those countries in which the partners agree medical cannabis can be prescribed and sold.

The European Union (EU) has more than 500 million potential consumers and over 1.6 million health care practitioners, which gives the consortium a lucrative marketplace in which to integrate the Ecosystem.

The EU had annual healthcare expenditures of $1.79 trillion in 2018.

Shares in ICC International Cannabis Corp rose 2.4% in Toronto to $0.43, while in New York, they were unchanged at $0.42.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:38:00 -0500
Helios and Matheson files confidentially to spin off MoviePass Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY), the parent company of MoviePass, said Thursday it has filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off its beleaguered cinema discount-ticketing program.

The company said it has created a new subsidiary called MoviePass Entertainment Holdings Inc to take ownership of its MoviePass stake and other film-related assets held by Helios and Matheson. The company will spin off shares by listing on Nasdaq, or an alternative exchange, and distribute some of the shares as a dividend to shareholders as of a record date yet to be selected.

Investors cheered the move and sent shares up nearly 7.1% to $0.0149 Thursday monring.

READ: MoviePass owner Helios & Matheson clarifies reports that its CEO secured $65M in new funding

Helios and Matheson said in the S-1 registration statement that it plans to retain control of MoviePass Entertainment. The company’s board proposed a reverse stock split in a ratio of up to 1 share for 500 shares at a shareholders’ meeting on October 18, according to a statement provided to the SEC.

The move comes months after the company orchestrated its first reverse stock split last July, which gave investors 1 share for every 250 owned.

The first stock split set a temporary floor under Helios & Matheson’s shares, pushing them up above $22, but the stock has been cratering ever since.

In another rescue attempt, Helios and Matheson recently introduced a new business plan that allows subscribers in the popular MoviePass program to see up to three movies per month for $9.95 and also receive a $5 discount for any movie tickets beyond the first three.

Earlier this year, the company disclosed in an SEC filing that it was burning through as much as $20 million in cash per month on average.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:54:00 -0500
Small-caps took hit in 4Q, with OTCQX Composite Index declining 11.2% US small-caps took a hit along with the rest of the stock market during the fourth quarter.

The OTCQX Composite Index, a benchmark for the overall OTCQX Best Market, was down 11.2%,  OTC Markets Group Inc (OTCMKTS:OTCM) said Wednesday in a press release.

READ: Aurora Cannabis reports strong fiscal 2Q revenue guidance

Forty-one companies were added to the OTC Best Market, the top tier of OTC stocks. Index.

They include Adventus Zinc Corp (OTCMKTS:ADVZF), Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CWBHF), Harvest Oil & Gas Corp (OTCMKTS:HRST), Medicine Man Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:MDCL) and U & I Financial Corp (OTCMKTS:UNIF).

Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) graduated to the New York Stock Exchange in October while Creative Realities Inc (NASDAQ:CREX) was elevated to the NASDAQ in November.

The OTCQX Billion+ Index, tracking the performance of $1 billion-plus market-cap OTCQX companies, was down 11% for the quarter. Five companies were added to the index, including Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:IMPUY) and Travis Perkins Plc (OTCMKTS:TPRKY). Eleven companies were removed.

Total dollar volume of OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities was $375.2 billion, compared with $246.7 billion in 2017, OTC Markets said Thursday.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:48:00 -0500
MedMen posts 40% jump in fiscal 2Q sales, thanks to California sales MedMen Enterprises Inc (CSE:MMEN) (OTCQX:MMNFF) on Thursday reported a 40% jump in its fiscal second-quarter revenue from the previous quarter, thanks to buoyant sales at its stores in California.

In the three months ending December 29, the Los Angeles-based cannabis company posted revenue of US$29.9 million, up from $21.4 million in the previous quarter, according to a breakdown of its preliminary results, which come ahead of the official report of its quarterly performance in February.

READ: MedMen completes acquisition to open first store in Arizona

Taking into account revenue from its pending acquisitions of PharmaCann, Level Up, Buddy’s, Seven Point and Ann Arbor, which have yet to close, its revenue came in at US$49.5 million, compared with $39.3 million in the first fiscal quarter.

Robust retail revenue for the quarter stems mainly from MedMen’s eight stores in Southern California, which contributed US$23.7 million to total revenue in its latest quarter.

“California is the prize of the cannabis industry and the performance of our stores, quarter-over-quarter, is a reflection of our continued execution in our home state,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen’s CEO in a statement.

MedMen is set to open 16 new stores this year, including 12 stores in Florida in cities such as Miami Beach, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Key West.

MedMen shares added 2.7% to hit C$4.21 in Thursday’s morning trade.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:05:00 -0500
Esports Entertainment signs affiliate marketing agreement with GOLeague Int Gaming Esports Entertainment Group Inc. (OTCMKTS:GMBL) said Thursday that it has signed an affiliate marketing agreement with GOLeague Int Gaming, a multilingual e-sports league.

Under the agreement, the Malta-based licensed online gambling company said it expects to add 350 Counter-Strike: Go (CSGO) matches per month to for GOLeague user wagering.

READ: Esports Entertainment forges online wagering partnership with Epsilon eSports

Founded in 2017, GOLeague says it’s the first public league for every skill group in CSGO and League of Legends, attracting 11,000 visitors per day. The total prize money for its upcoming season has been set at €10,000 ($11,400).

“This agreement with GOLeague is a big step forward for VIE, as it will add hundreds of additional matches per month to our pools,” Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports at Esports Entertainment Group, said in a statement.

Shares of Esports fetched $0.70 in Wednesday’s OTC Markets trading.

Earlier this week, Esports said it was forging an online wagering partnership with Epsilon eSports, an online e-sports gaming company.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:55:00 -0500
NetCents kicks off formal application process to list on the OTCQB exchange NetCents Technology Inc (CSE:NC) announced Thursday that it has initiated the formal application process to trade on the OTC Markets' "QB" exchange.

The Vancouver-based online payment processor offers consumers and merchants online services for managing electronic payments. The company is focused on capturing the migration from cash to digital currency by utilizing blockchain technology.

The company is now listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and is hoping to trade soon in the Uunited States through the OTCQB venture market.

READ: NetCents says upgrade to robust cryptocurrency SaaS platform among 2018 advances

To be eligible, companies must be current in their reporting, undergo annual verification and certification and meet a $0.01 bid test.

"We have been planning to cross-list for quite a while but have been waiting until we established a footprint in the US,” said NetCents Technology founder and CEO Clayton Moore. “And now, with all of our signed US-based agreements along with the enhancements and platform functionality, the timing is now right for our formal entry into the US market," added Moore.

In the final quarter of 2018, NetCents reported a 206% increase in direct merchant sign-ups. In addition to the announced merchants, the company now boasts more than 425 direct merchant sign-ups, and the rate of sign-ups has increased each month.

NetCents has pushed back the release of its cryptocurrency credit card program in Canada to the spring of 2019 because of development work required for signed partner and merchant contracts.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:44:00 -0500
LithiumOre advisor discusses the advantages of the company's extraction technology LithiumOre (OTCQB:ORRP) advisor and chemist Tom Manz tells Proactive Investors the lithium-mining company seeks to create a portable extraction system using contact of chemicals in a centrifuge environment.

Manz says the importance of having a portable extraction system is 'far more efficient' instead of implementing a fixed-base system, where transportation of the brine would be required ending in costly transportation.

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:06:00 -0500
Adamis Pharma's stock soars after commercial partner launches Epi pen alternative in the US Shares in Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ:ADMP) soared Thursday after the biotech said its partner Sandoz Inc launched a SYMJEPI (epinephrine) 0.3 mg injection in the United States for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions (Type 1), including anaphylaxis.

Sandoz is launching the medicine as an affordable, single-dose, pre-filled syringe alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors. The Symjepi injector is a competitor of Mylan NV's (NASDAQ:MYL) well-known EpiPen product.

Adamis stock shot up 9.13% to $2.87 in the premarket trading session.

READ: Adamis Pharmaceuticals shares skyrocket on news of Novartis distribution deal for anaphylaxis product

SYMJEPI will be rolled out via a phased launch and will initially be available in the institutional setting, an established channel where Sandoz has significant experience followed by a rollout in the retail market. Sandoz will distribute and sell the 0.3 and 0.15 mg versions of Symjepi, said Adamis.

“Both Symjepi 0.3 mg and Symjepi 0.15 mg products stem from Adamis’ commitment to develop and provide high quality, affordable treatment options to patients. With recent news of epinephrine product shortages in the US, we worked together with Sandoz in getting this potentially life-saving quality product into the market,” said Adamis Pharmaceuticals CEO Dennis J Carlo.

The CEO said Adamis was excited to work with Sandoz and expected a successful launch.

San Diego, California-based Adamis Pharmaceuticals is a specialty biotech focused on developing products for tackling respiratory disease and allergy.

It is also developing a sublingual tadalafil product for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, a naloxone injection for treating an opioid overdose, and a metered dose inhaler and dry powder inhaler for helping asthma patients. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:59:00 -0500
Cancer Genetics shares jump on new loan forbearance agreement Shares of Cancer Genetics (NASDAQ:CGIX) are gaining ground in Thursday’s pre-market session thanks to the release of amended terms for a forbearance agreement with its lenders.

According to an 8K regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, the biotech’s new loan amendment with Silicon Valley Bank alters the interest rate to WSJ Prime plus 2.25 percentage points (which means it is 6.75% as of the close of September). It also requires the biotech to comply with certain milestones in connection with a potential strategic transaction.

READ: Cancer Genetics CEO says merger with NovellusDx to speed up enrollment in cancer-focused trials

The company also amended its loan agreement with Partners for Growth, which also outlines milestones for a possible strategic transaction. That loan agreement is an interest-only term loan of $6 million, which bears interest at the rate of 11.5% per year and matures on March 22, 2020.

In response to hints that Cancer Genetics will strike a strategic transaction, investors sent Cancer Genetics shares up 38% to $0.36 before the opening bell on Thursday.

Based in Rutherford, New Jersey, Cancer Genetics offers diagnostic products and services that enable precision medicine in oncology. It boasts clinical research collaborations with key cancer centers such as Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Keck School of Medicine at USC and the National Cancer Institute.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:37:00 -0500
American Rebel to exhibit its products at a slew of prominent trade shows American Rebel Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:AREB) announced Thursday that it plans to exhibit its fashionable line of concealed carry products at several prominent trade shows.

American Rebel is positioning itself as America's patriotic brand and its initial product offering is its line of concealed carry products, which were launched at the 2017 National Rifle Association annual meeting. The company has identified the market opportunity to design, manufacture, and market innovative concealed carry products.

READ: American Rebel on a hot streak, nearly doubles December sales at Amazon

American Rebel is also expanding into gun safes and will offer large floor safes, wall safes, and personal safes in 2019.

"American Rebel products keep you concealed and safe inside and outside the home," American Rebel CEO Andy Ross told Proactive Investors.

The company which has offices in Nashville, Tennessee and Kansas City said it plans to kick off the season by exhibiting its wares at the four-day NSSF SHOT Show starting on January 22 in Las Vegas. This is an industry-only trade show where shooting sports industry people gathers each year to showcase new products and network.

"We put a lot of emphasis on design and aesthetics. People have always responded to our brand at trade shows and we have focused our energies at replicating that response on social media and on our website," said Ross.

The American Rebel exhibit booth will give attendees a chance to see Ross' 2nd Amendment Muscle Car designed by Danny “The Count” Koker of the TV show “Counting Cars.” It will also give buyers and fans the opportunity to mingle with Nashville music star Ross and team.

The company will also participate in the nine-day NRA Great American Outdoor Show starting on February 2 in Harrisburg. The show attracts 1,100 exhibitors and concealed carry products and gun safes also feature on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

WATCH: American Rebel Holdings is moving their brand into the Safe and Lock Market

The next stop will be the five-day Nation's Best Sports Spring Semi-Annual Market starting on February 14 in Fort Worth, showcasing the latest in shooting hard goods, apparel and accessories.

At the start of March, American rebel will head to the 2019 Iowa Deer Classic which puts the company’s brand in front of its target market of 2nd Amendment and gun rights supporters.

American Rebel said it has nearly doubled its November monthly sales record at Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) website with its blockbuster December 2018 sales. The company said it smashed its own November sales record, which included record Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for the company at Amazon. In percentage terms, American Rebel sales for the month of December at Amazon were 77% higher than the company's previous monthly record.

American Rebel is enjoying traction as its products are designed carefully and are more fashionable than the stock camo print and neon concealed carry product of its competitors.

Sales have been evenly distributed among the company's Freedom Concealed Carry Backpacks, Men's Defender Concealed Carry Coats and Men's Cartwright Concealed Carry Coats.

American rebel has introduced the Men's and Women's Freedom Lightweight Concealed Carry Jackets and the Women's Lightweight Freedom Concealed Carry Hoodie on its website,, and will soon be adding these new products to its offerings on

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:59:00 -0500
The Green Organic Dutchman taps new chief scientific officer The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd (TSE:TGOD) (OTCMKTS:TGODF) announced Thursday it has tapped Dr Rav Kumar as its chief scientific officer.

Kumar will take over the reins at the Toronto-based cannabis company’s science and innovation division where he will oversee all science initiatives.

READ: The Green Organic Dutchman to use EnWave’s cannabis drying tech, share royalties with Tilray

Boasting more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Kumar is a seasoned executive who has international experience in Europe, Asia and North America.

"We are incredibly excited to welcome Dr. Kumar to TGOD. He is a proven and seasoned senior executive with extensive international pharmaceutical experience in developing innovative and novel products with some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies," said CEO Brian Athaide in a statement.

Dr Kumar previously held a number of senior roles at the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline where his posts included vice-president for research and development operations as well as for business development and classic brands.

On top of this, Dr Kumar played a key role in building GSK’s research and development capability in Canada. He also executed a $150 million spin-out of GSK’s vaccines research and development unit to create the Neomed Biologics and Vaccines Centre of Excellence in Montreal.

READ: The Green Organic Dutchman taps two new board members

In addition to his time at GSK, Dr Kumar also served as managing director of Apotex India, the Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex’s largest investment outside of Canada.

Dr Kumar holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Bath in the UK and a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honors) from the University of Cardiff in the UK.

The Green Organic Dutchman shares nudged up 1% to finish at C$2.98 on Wednesday.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at



Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:55:00 -0500
M2 Cobalt drills over 2000 metres at Kilembe area property in Uganda M2 Cobalt (CVE:MC-FSE:A0K-OTCQB: MCC) CEO Simon Clarke dropped in to the Vancouver Studio of Proactive Investors to tell Steve Darling, M2 just completed over 2000 metres of diamond drilling on their Cobalt project in Uganda. The results have now been sent to the lab and the results are expected back in mid February. 

Clarke also told Proactive about the how these results will determine which way the company moves forward in 2019 and  if they may end up completing a PEA at the end of the year. 

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:22:00 -0500
Royal Nickel rallies as billionaire investor Eric Sprott controls 10% of shares again Royal Nickel Corp (TSE:RNX) (OTCMKTS: RNKLF) rallied Wednesday after announcing in a securities filing that billionaire investor Eric Sprott once again controls 10% of the miner’s shares.

The Toronto-based company, also known as RNC Minerals, said in the securities filing that The Sprott Foundation acquired on Wednesday 6,521,000 shares on a private placement basis.

Shares climbed C$0.02, or 4.4%, to C$0.48 in Wednesday’s Canadian trading. In OTC Markets trading, they advanced US$0.01 to US$0.36.

BIG PICTURE: RNC Minerals keen to build on this century's greatest gold discovery

Eric Sprott now owns or controls 47,737,042 shares, representing 10.2% of shares outstanding.

On November 15, the foundation acquired control of 1 million shares through a purchase on the Toronto Stock Exchange, giving Eric Sprott control of 41,216,042 shares. After taking into account Royal Nickel’s prior issuance of shares, his stake dropped to 9.2% from 10.1%, according to the filing.

Last month, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement with Haywood Securities Inc on a C$9 million private placement.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 15:59:00 -0500
Institutional Shareholder Services gives thumbs up to Great Panther/Beadell merger Great Panther Silver (TSE:GPR-NYSE:GPL)President and CEO James Bannantine joined Steve Darling from Proactive Investors Vancouver to share news that Institutional Shareholder Services, a leading independent proxy advisory firm who provides voting recommendations to institutional investors, has recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the Great Panther acquisition of Beadell Resources.

Bannantine also told Proactive about the timeline surrounding the vote and what the next steps will be if shareholders agree. 


Wed, 16 Jan 2019 15:53:00 -0500
WeedMD moving with evolving cannabis industry, says Eight Capital, rating shares a Buy Recent initiatives have shown that cannabis group WeedMD Inc (CVE:WMD) (OTCMKTS:WDDMF) is keeping up with changes as the marijuana industry evolves.

That's the view of broker Eight Capital, which rates the shares a Buy and has a target of $4.50, compared with the current price of $1.63.

READ: WeedMD and Blockstrain Technology hail industry-first cannabis validation program

On Tuesday, WeedMD said it had become the first licensed producer in the world to include a cannabis strain authenticity and tracking platform into its sales program.

The firm now has 40 active cannabis strains from its genetics bank that hold the BLOCKStrain Certificate of Authenticity and can be cross-referenced as verifiable strains in BLOCKStrain's database. from genome to sale.

"The program ensures the authenticity of cannabis strains and is a unique differentiator to WMD's large genetics bank,"  Eight Capital's Graeme Kreindler. "As products continue to evolve and become more complex, we see value in this technology in order to ensure customers are in fact purchasing products as advertised."  

The analyst highlighted the recent launch of Pioneer Cannabis Corp, a national retail services provider created in partnership with Pita Pit Canada, which will offer retailers such services as licensing assistance, security and payment systems.

"The relationship established by retailers with Pioneer could help to increase WMD's brand awareness, presence on store shelves and ultimately its distribution footprint across Canada," Kreindler said.

Provincial reach

Meanwhile, WeedMD said last week it had added the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corp to its distribution network, increasing the number of provinces to five including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

That's alongside a supply agreement with Canadian pharma group Shoppers Drug Mart.

These all help to expand the company's distribution channels across Canada in both medical and adult-use segments, said Kreindler.

WeedMD now has licensed production capacity up to a total of 136,000 square feet and expects to bolster that to more than 550,000 square feet early this year.

"Licensing remains a bottleneck for producers across the industry; however, we feel that WMD's hybrid-greenhouse as well as a land package of 50 acres that could support outdoor growing presents an attractive and cost-competitive cultivation platform once fully operational," said Eight Capital.

Contact Giles Gwinnett at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 14:48:00 -0500
VBI Vaccines shares pop after Oppenheimer analyst kicks off coverage with Outperform rating Shares of VBI Vaccines Inc (NASDAQ:VBIV) soared Wednesday after an Oppenheimer analyst initiated coverage of the commercial-stage, bio-pharmaceutical group with an Outperform rating and a $9 price target.

A specialist in vaccines, VBI is moving forward with three drug candidates. The first is a hepatitis B vaccine, Sci-B-Vac, which is approved for use in Israel and 10 other countries, but is currently only in a Phase 3 study in the US, Europe and Canada. Its other two drugs include a vaccine for the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus that infects people regardless of age, as well as a therapeutic glioblastoma vaccine candidate to address malignant tumors.

READ: Baird analysts stay Neutral on biotech sector as 2019 gets underway

“We see pivotal-stage hepB vaccine Sci-B-Vac as low risk, and its ability to protect less tractable populations should make it a niche competitor,"  wrote Oppenheimer’s Leland Gershell in a note published on "The company’s eVLP technology is being leveraged for CMV (to enter Phase 2 in late 2019) as well as glioblastoma (in Phase 1/2).”

Gershell concluded that positive news flow from any of VBIV’s programs could trigger share appreciation.

Applauding Gershell’s bullish stance, investors sent VBI Vaccines shares up by 7.9% to US$1.91 in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, VBI is focused on developing vaccines to address infectious disease and bolster immune-oncology programs. VBI also has research operations in Ottawa, as well as research and manufacturing facilities in Rehovot, Israel.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 14:34:00 -0500
Aptinyx stock falls after NYX-2925 trial for treating painful diabetic nerve damage fails to meet endpoint Shares in Aptinyx Inc (NASDAQ:APTX) tumbled Wednesday after the biotech disclosed that the Phase 2 study of its treatment for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), which is nerve damage caused by high blood sugar, did not meet its primary endpoint.

The Evanston, Illinois-based biotech’s therapy, did not show a significant difference in patients' daily pain scores compared to placebo.

“This four-week proof-of-concept study of our novel NMDA receptor modulator, NYX-2925, in painful DPN was designed to evaluate a 20-fold dose range, determine whether efficacy and dose response could be observed on primary and secondary endpoints, and assess safety in a patient population,” said Aptinyx CEO Norbert Riedel. “While the study did not meet its primary endpoint, we observed improvements on multiple measures, differential activity across dose levels, and a very favorable safety profile.”

READ: Valens GroWorks aims to capture a higher-level market in the cannabis extract space

The stock fell more than 73% to $4.78 in afternoon trade.

The company, however, said it is still conducting an exploratory Phase 2 study of NYX-2925 in patients with fibromyalgia or widespread muscle pain and tenderness. It said a full analysis of the data should be available in the first half of 2019.

The clinical-stage company develops therapies for disorders of the brain and nervous system. Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) recently acquired its depression drug AGN-241751 for further development.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 14:21:00 -0500
Seeing Machines well placed to capitalise on uptake of driver monitoring systems Ken Kroeger, chief executive of Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE), tells Proactive London's Andrew Scott first half trading was in line with expectations as interest continues to grow in its driver monitoring systems (DMS) across all of its transport sectors.

The company's expecting to report first half revenues of A$13.5mln compared to A$14.6mln last year, in line with its revised projections following a review of its fleet business in September.

Kroeger says they've been investing significantly in the automotive arm over the last year to build further capacity and de-risk delivery on current programmes with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which represent projected revenues of A$138mln between 2019 and 2026.

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:17:00 -0500
Valens GroWorks aims to capture a higher-level market in the cannabis extract space Much like the ability of its extracts, the vision of Valens GroWorks (CSE:VGW) (OTCMKTS:MYMSF) has always been clear.

The focus? Pure, high-quality cannabis extracts and oils. 

The origins of the company stretch back more than 15 years: which, in case you haven’t noticed, is tantamount to about a century in other industries, thanks to the ever-changing, booming cannabis industry in Canada.

In short, the roots are deep here -- and planted firmly.

READ: Alta Corp Capital initiates coverage of Valens GroWorks with $5 price target and Outperform rating

“We believe there is better bioavailability in oils,” says CEO Tyler Robson, who took the helm of CEO in May 2017 after previously serving as chief operating officer. “Our focus is extraction. But even above all, we’re about transparency. From seed to sale, we’re transparent in everything we do: from extraction to cultivation -- everything to the point of sale.”

Valens aims to use its proprietary extraction techniques and technologies to help cannabis producers get the most from their plants. It also does a host of other things through its various wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Valens Agritech is a high capacity cannabis extraction and research and development facility.

Valens Labs is an accredited testing laboratory with a Health Canada Dealer’s License, as well as also being ISO 17025 accredited, the gold standard for lab testing. It has been named the “Center of Excellence for Plant Based Science” by $80B science instruments company, Thermo Fischer Scientific (NYSE:TMO).

Lastly, Valens Farms is a 400,000 sq/ft greenhouse cultivation facility that’s currently in development.

Busy few months

It’s been a blockbuster few months for Valens, with a host of deals and accomplishments.

In December, Valens signed a multi-year extraction agreement with behemoth Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) (TSE:WEED).

Valens will process Canopy’s whole flower and trim into high-grade cannabis resin. A year earlier, Valens had taken part in Canopy Growth’s CraftGrow program, which allows craft producers to utilize Canopy’s sales channels to market their products.

"We take pride in our proprietary extraction processes and are honoured to be recognized for our capabilities in supporting the growth of the cannabis market, particularly with the increasing role cannabis oils will soon play in the edibles space," says Robson.

READ: Valens GroWorks inks extraction agreement with Canopy Growth

It was a valuable experience and with a cultivation license in hand, Valens plans to launch its own branded products via CraftGrow for the medical and recreational markets by the end of March 2019.

Harvest One deal also compelling

Valens also struck an important deal with global cannabis firm Harvest One (CVE:HVT) (OTCMKTS:HRVOF) in November 2018.

Harvest One, a global cannabis company that develops and provides lifestyle and wellness products in regulated markets, will supply cannabis to Valens over a three-year term. Valens will process the cannabis on a fee-for-service basis into bulk resin or other cannabis oil derivative products.

Valens will also conduct research and development to support the expansion of Harvest One’s product lines, including beverages, vape pens, health and wellness products as well as nutraceuticals using cannabis oil derivative products.

Cannabis beverage deal

One other important deal to note was Valens’ deal signed with US beverage company, Tarukino Holdings Inc in October 2018.

The two-part, multiyear agreement gives Valens the exclusive Canadian rights to a leading proprietary emulsion technology,  known as SoRSE, while also securing rights to a range of popular and proven cannabis-infused beverage brands -- Washington State’s top-selling one, Happy Apple, in fact.

Financing in place

With the global legal marijuana market expected to reach US$146.4 billion by 2025, Valens is in a position to capitalize on international opportunities.

In October, the company successfully raised C$27.3 million in bought deal financing to support expansion, additional extraction capacity and general operations.

The oversubscribed deal with AltaCorp Capital Inc and Mackie Research Capital Corp, as well as Beacon Securities Limited, was to buy 12.8 million units of the company at a price of C$1.95 per unit.

Unlike cultivators, Valens has a range of revenue streams available, that appear to be reasonably low risk, with quick turnover and high margins.

And the path forward looks promising. Notably, tapping into its partnership with Canopy Growth Corp, the world’s largest cannabis company, which will allow the company to distribute, market, and sell Valens-branded products through its CraftGrow network.

With ever-increasing extraction capacity (up 600% in the last year with more to come very soon), a facility expansion complete, alongside a new development with Kosha Projects on Valens Farms to build a 400,000 sq ft greenhouse in BC’s Okanagan Valley, 2019 looks to be an exciting year for Valens.


Contact Katie Lewis at
Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 12:30:00 -0500
Netflix raises prices in US to cover soaring content costs Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares jumped on Tuesday after the streaming giant confirmed it is raising prices in the United States.

All three of the California-based company’s plans will increase in price by between US$1-2, with the standard plan rising to US$13 from US$11.

READ: Netflix reports blowout Q3

It is the second increase Netflix has introduced in less than two years and the most significant ever, with prices climbing as much as 18% depending on the plan.

UK prices have not changed, but subscribers in some countries outside of the US, such as Uruguay, Barbados and Belize which also pay in dollars, can expect increases too.

“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members,” read a company statement.

News of the hikes sent the stock up by 6.5% to US$354.64 in New York on Tuesday.

Q4 earnings this week

Netflix is raising prices to help pay for increasingly expensive content: last year it spent an estimated US$13bn on new films and TV series such as Bird Box and Ozark.

Competition for Hollywood’s best scripts and ideas is only likely to heat up as well, with Disney and NBCUniversal due to launch their own streaming sites soon.

Netflix bosses have used subscriber growth to justify their ‘spend, spend, spend’ attitude and if analysts are right, the company will confirm in this week’s fourth-quarter results that 2018 was its best ever year in terms of subscriber growth.

Investors soothed

The firm has been reluctant to raise prices in the past, opting instead to tap the debt markets to finance its hefty content and marketing spend.

Its long-term debt stood at US$8.3bn in September, up from US$6.5bn at the end of 2017.

Unsurprisingly, it is proving costly to service and in the first nine months of 2018, Netflix spent almost US$300mln on interest payments, compared with US$238mln for the whole of 2017.

READ: Netflix to raise another US$1.5bn in debt

So the company has turned to getting more money out of its growing subscriber base, a move which has pleased investors, who had been worried about the company’s staggering cash burn – the amount of money a firm spends above the cash its operations bring in.

Netflix expects to have burned through US$3bn last year and is guiding for a similar figure in 2019 before it starts to improve.

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 12:25:00 -0500
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
Applied Minerals taps industry veteran Sharad Mathur as chief technology officer Applied Minerals Inc (OTCMKTS:AMNL) announced Wednesday that it has appointed senior industry veteran Dr Sharad Mathur as its new chief technology officer.

The Brooklyn-based company is a leading global producer of Halloysite clay, a material used in lithium-ion batteries.

READ: Applied Minerals wants to put Halloysite clay in your rechargeable batteries, and it’s energizing the company's profit outlook

Dr Mathur has over 20 years of experience working at BASF Corporation and Engelhard Corporation and is well placed to lead Applied Minerals’ product development, technical service and manufacturing efforts.

The company said Dr Mathur will closely interface with the technical and engineering staffs of their customers to “facilitate the conversion” of the company’s pipeline of commercial opportunities.

“It is a great honor to have Sharad join the Applied Minerals team. Sharad has a long-proven track record as a customer-centric commercial scientist, highly fluent across a wide range of applications on which we are focused,” said Applied Minerals CEO Andre Zeitoun. “It is rare to find such a talented professional with the enthusiasm to match. We are very confident that Sharad’s contribution will be immediately accretive to the development of our business.”

Dr Mathur has a Master of Engineering degree in Materials Science and Engineering from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He also has a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.

He is listed as an inventor on 13 issued US patents and six more US patent applications.

“I am very excited to join the team at Applied Minerals. I look forward to applying my vast experience with kaolin clay-based technologies to the continued commercialization of the Company’s DRAGONITE Halloysite products, which enable the development of high-performance solutions for an array of applications,” said Dr Mathur.

Shares in Applied Minerals shot up 56% to $0.050.

Applied Minerals is a leading global producer of Halloysite clay and the owner of the Dragon Mine — the only deposit in the western hemisphere big enough for large-scale commercial production. The Utah mine is sprawled over 230 acres of land in the western US state.

Halloysite clay is used in everything from a fire-retardant additive to a key material in lithium-ion batteries. The clay is also one of the best and most efficient delivery methods for agricultural agents like fertilizers and pesticides.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:23:00 -0500
QBioMed appoints Yale psychologist to advisory committee Q BioMed Inc (OTCQB:QBIO), the New York biotech, announced Wednesday that Dr. Pamela Ventola of Yale University has joined its advisory committee for its QBM-001 clinical program, which is advancing its drug treatment for autistic toddlers.

Dr Ventola now works as a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center where she focuses on behavioral treatments for autism spectrum disorders.

READ: Q BioMed partners with SRI International for autism drug QBM-001

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Ventola is an expert in pediatric neuropsychology and developmental disabilities. She also holds the position of senior science director at the Rare Disease and Pediatric Center of Excellence at Cogstate, a company that supports pharmaceutical companies in clinical trial design.

“Children with [autism spectrum disorders] need safe, effective and targeted treatments that are tested under conditions that take their best interests into consideration to ensure a successful trial,” said Dr. Ventola in a statement. “I am inspired that Q BioMed has the same vision and am excited to ensure QBM-001 has the best chance to help their targeted subgroup.”

Denis Corin, CEO of QBioMed, says Ventola’s expertise will prove helpful as QBioMed prepares its investigational new drug application for QBM-001 to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration.

“[Ventola] is a leader in clinical trial design and biomarker research for the autism spectrum, which is a perfect fit for the subgroup Q BioMed is targeting,” Corin said. “Dr. Ventola will be an asset to our development program as we prepare our Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for submission to the FDA in this important indication for which no drugs are currently available.”

Q BioMed’s drug treatment QBM-001 is being developed and tested for the treatment of minimally verbal and non-verbal toddlers with an autism spectrum disorder.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:22:00 -0500
Biome Grow's Nova Scotia subsidiary wins second purchase order from Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation The cannabis group Biome Grow Inc (CSE:BIO) (OTCQB:BIOIF) and its Nova Scotia subsidiary Highland Grow have won a second purchase order from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

The second shipment related to this new purchase order has already left the Highland Grow facility and is set to be on store shelves later this week.

READ: Biome Grow's Nova Scotia subsidiary Highland Grow wins first purchase order with Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation

Via this shipment, Highland Grow will introduce a fourth genetic cannabis offering in Nova Scotia.

Highland Grow delivered its first shipment of finished cannabis products packaged for consumers in Nova Scotia to the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation on January 10.

"The future of Nova Scotia's cannabis market is looking very bright," said Khurram Malik, CEO of Biome Grow. "We anticipated that consumers would be exploring the cannabis retail market looking for not only diverse offerings, but locally produced cannabis products and we were right. We believe this further validates Biome's mission to execute a localized approach."

READ: Biome Grow subsidiary Highland Grow gets sales authorization from Health Canada

Highland is a cannabis grower near Antigonish - Biome Grow’s first licensed producer under Canada’s Cannabis Act.

Biome’s subsidiaries in other provinces include The Back Home Medical Cannabis Corporation in Newfoundland and Labrador, Great Lakes Cannabis and Weed Virtual Retail in Ontario, and Red Sands Craft Cannabis in Prince Edward Island.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:49:00 -0500
Electronics for Imaging stock plummets after 4Q outlook slashed Shares in Electronics For Imaging Inc (NASDAQ:EFII) plummeted Wednesday after the digital printing innovation company cut its outlook for the fourth quarter as businesses cut back on capital expenditure spending.

The Fremont, California, company forecast adjusted earnings of 45 cents to 47 cents a share on revenue of $255 million to $257 million. That's down from a previous forecast of 57 cents to 65 cents a share to $275 million to $285 million.

READ: American Rebel on a hot streak, nearly doubles December sales at Amazon

The current consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $287.5 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2018.

The stock tumbled 24.8% to $20.45 in premarket trading Wednesday.

Electronics for Imaging is a digital printing innovation company engaged in the transformation of printing, packaging, and ceramic tile decorative industries from the use of traditional analog-based presses to digital on-demand printing.

The company said it was impacted by “weakening economic conditions” experienced across its direct businesses, with customers delaying spend on capital equipment and software.

"Late in the quarter we began seeing a substantial shift in buying behavior versus the prior year in many of the industries we serve," said Electronics For Imaging CEO Bill Muir in a statement. "This was felt most significantly in the Americas. Customers became increasingly concerned about economic trends and many decided to defer capital expenditures until they had greater clarity on the economic environment."

The company said the brunt of its revenue shortfall was in its industrial inkjet business, which declined 6% year-over-year.

Electronics For Imaging also said its display graphics and building materials businesses were "expected to be weak in the quarter" but "were down more significantly than anticipated."

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:15:00 -0500
Seeing Machines says first half trading in-line as interest in DMS technology grows Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) has issued an in line trading update for the first half of the year as it said it had seen “an increasing interest” in its driver monitoring systems (DMS) across all of its transport sectors.

In the update, the firm said it expected to report first half revenues of A$13.5mln compared to A$14.6mln last year, in line with its revised projections following a review of its fleet business in September.

READ: Seeing Machines jumps as it partners with L3 to develop eye tracking for flight simulators

The group’s full year expectation that 2019 revenues would be in line with those from 2018 was also unchanged.

Seeing Machines develops technology which is designed to track the face and eyes of vehicle operators such as pilots and drivers to ensure they are not distracted.

Investment in Automotive

In a review of its divisions, the company said it had “invested significantly” in its automotive arm over the last year to build further capacity and de-risk delivery on current programmes with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which represent projected revenues of A$138mln between 2019 and 2026.

The group’s five existing automotive programs were on track at various stages of development, with the firm adding that it was currently engaged with six submitted proposals representing around A$140mln of revenue potential, the majority of which were due to be decided before the end of its 2019 fiscal year.

The company’s Guardian backup driver monitoring system (BdMS), which is designed to mitigate the risk of testing autonomous vehicles on the road, was currently in active pilots with several US-based technology developers, with opportunities expected to “crystallise” in 2019.

Cost reduction in fleet division

For its fleet division, Seeing Machines said it had established a new leadership team and was focused in the short-term on cost reduction, primarily by closing its North American business development and operations teams in order to focus on higher-value markets such as UK and Europe, Australasia and Latin America.

There had also been an impact on installation rates of the group’s Gen 2 product in the first half due to delays in product availability from manufacturing issues affecting its FOVIO platform technology.

However, the firm retained nine distribution partnerships across Australia, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America and said it would continue its subscription software-as-a-service (SaaS) model via its 24/7 Guardian Centre in Tucson, Arizona as the segment was profitable on a stand-alone basis and provided “a regular and repeatable annuity style income stream going forward”.

In the Aviation business, Seeing Machines said a number of commercial deals for its eye tracking technology with customers including the Royal Australian Air Force and L3 Training Solutions for a major Australian airline were expected to continue and grow in size as the industry embraced the technology.

WATCH: Seeing Machines Ltd clinches Australian Air Force deal for eye and face-tracking sensor technology

For Mining and Rail, the firm was continuing to grow its strategic partnership with machinery maker Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) and its subsidiary Progress Rail while also discussing the consolidation of contractual arrangements to simplify product offerings.

The company also said a number of key appointments had been made over the last six months, including Jack Boyer as chairman, Kate Hill as non-executive director, Luke Oxenham as finance director, Ryan Murphy as chief operating officer and Paul McGlone as general manager of fleet.

READ: Seeing Machines appoints Luke Oxenham as new finance chief

Ken Kroeger, chief executive of Seeing Machines, said the group had seen “an increasing interest” in its DMS technology over the period, adding that the transformation of the fleet business was making “good progress” and that it was leveraging its channel partners to grow the footprint of the Guardian product.

Kroeger also said the firm had had a series of “productive” meetings with OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which took place last week.

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:12:00 -0500
Medgold taps Crozier as acting president and grants stock options Medgold Resources Corp (CVE:MED) announced Wednesday that Jeremy Crozier has been tapped as its acting president.

Crozier, who boasts years of technical and commercial experience in the resource industry, replaces Dan James who is stepping down as president and a director of the gold exploration company after six years in the post.

READ: Medgold Resources completes 2018 gold drilling in southern Serbia

In a statement, Simon Ridgway, chairman and CEO of Medgold, said he was bullish on Crozier's appointment.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Jeremy to the team. Jeremy holds BSc and MSc degrees in geology and has over 20 years of exploration and commercial experience gained across a variety of project operations in Europe, North America and Africa,” Ridgway said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dan James for his services over the past six years as Medgold’s President,” he added.

READ: Medgold gearing up for second phase of drilling at Tlamino after recent potential "significant discovery"

Crozier boasts experience in the management of complex mineral projects in remote environments as well as in the identification and appraisal of merger and acquisition opportunities. He also worked on capital raising and negotiating transactions with property vendors and joint venture partners in the past.

In separate news, Medgold has cancelled 300,000 outstanding incentive stock options and granted new stock options to staff who will be able to purchase up to an aggregate of 2 million common shares which are exercisable for up to 10 years at a price of C$0.15 per share.

Vancouver-based Medgold is an exploration company targeting early-stage gold properties in the Oligo-Miocene Belt of Serbia.

Medgold shares finished 4% higher to hit C$0.13 on Tuesday.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:06:00 -0500
American Rebel on a hot streak, nearly doubles December sales at Amazon American Rebel Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:AREB) announced Wednesday that it nearly doubled its previous monthly sales record at Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) website with its December 2018 sales.

The company which has offices in Nashville, Tennessee and Kansas City said it smashed its own November sales record, which included record Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for the company at Amazon.

WATCH: American Rebel Holdings is moving their brand in to the safe and lock market

In percentage terms, American Rebel sales for the month of December at Amazon were 77% higher than the company's previous monthly record.

American Rebel is enjoying traction as its products are designed carefully and are more fashionable than the stock camo print and neon concealed carry product of its competitors.

"We put a lot of emphasis on design and aesthetics. People have always responded to our brand at trade shows and we have focused our energies at replicating that response on social media and on our website," American Rebel CEO Andy Ross told Proactive Investors.

Sales were evenly distributed among the company's Freedom Concealed Carry Backpacks, Men's Defender Concealed Carry Coats and Men's Cartwright Concealed Carry Coats.

American rebel has introduced the Men's and Women's Freedom Lightweight Concealed Carry Jackets and the Women's Lightweight Freedom Concealed Carry Hoodie on its website,, and will soon be adding these new products to its offerings on

American Rebel is positioning itself as America's patriotic brand and its initial product offering is its line of concealed carry products, which were launched at the 2017 National Rifle Association annual meeting. The company has identified the market opportunity to design, manufacture, and market innovative concealed carry products.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 


Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:30:00 -0500
Berkwood Resources completes 4th drill program at Lac Gueret graphite project Berkwood Resources (CVE:BKR) President and CEO Tom Yingling joined Steve Darling from Proactive Investors Vancouver to share news that Berkwood has finished up their 4th drill program at their graphite project in Quebec.

Yingling also mentioned outcrop and he tells Proactive more about it and why it's so significant. 

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:04:00 -0500
Tidal Royalty's portfolio company, Diem Cannabis, continues to push Massachusetts expansion forward On Tuesday, cannabis industry financier Tidal Royalty Corp (CSE:RLTY, OTC:TDRYF) announced that its portfolio company, Diem Cannabis, has made encouraging progress towards its expansion of its operations in Massachusetts.

The company said a number of key milestones have been reached, including securing properties for dispensaries in Worcester and Springfield, a municipal license to operate a dispensary in Worcester, and a property and municipal license for cultivation and production in Orange.

"While we have always had confidence in the Diem Cannabis team's ability to execute on their expansion plan, we are nonetheless impressed by how quickly they have been able to secure key strategic locations and garner municipal support for their efforts," said Paul Rosen, chief executive officer and chairman of Tidal Royalty.

READ: Tidal Royalty completes US$5M private placement and financing fee agreement with Lighthouse

"Diem Cannabis is managed by experienced cannabis operators and they have maintained laser focus on working with local stakeholders to build partnerships that will sustain them in the long term," said Rosen. 

In September, Tidal Royalty Corp signed a definitive agreement to provide Diem, a  licensed cannabis operator in Oregon, with financing of up to US$12.5mln over the next three years.

In exchange, Diem Cannabis will pay Tidal Royalty 15% of sales from the financed operations.

The company said that Diem Cannabis also purchased New England Patient Network (NEPN), a licensed operator of registered marijuana dispensaries in the state, in December 2018.

The acquisition will permit Diem Cannabis to operate medical marijuana treatment centers and is expected to provide priority consideration for Diem Cannabis' expected forthcoming recreational cannabis licensing application.

Further expansion plans

Diem was founded by executives with Silicon Valley and Wall Street experience and has cultivation, retail and home delivery operations in Salem and Portland.

Besides Massachusetts, Diem Cannabis plans further expansion in additional states and is in discussion with Tidal Royalty to explore opportunities to work together on such plans.

Shares of Tidal were at C$0.15 in Toronto on Tuesday. 


Contact Katie Lewis at
Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 19:56:00 -0500
Golden Arrow announces 2018 results for Puna Operations, provides 2019 guidance Golden Arrow Resources Corporation (CVE:GRG) (OTCQB:GARWF) said Tuesday that its joint venture partner, Puna Operations Inc, has reported its annual and fourth quarter 2018 operational results, as well as provided 2019 guidance for the Chinchillas silver, lead and zinc project in Argentina.

The Chinchillas operation, which is in the country’s Jujuy Province, was developed in collaboration with SSR Mining. Golden Arrow Resources holds a 25% share of Puna Operations Inc, a joint venture company operated by SSR Mining.

"Puna had a pivotal year in 2018, with the first commercial production from Chinchillas coming on stream," said Joseph Grosso, Golden Arrow chairman and chief executive officer.

"We applaud our operating partner for its steady achievements at the project and look forward to Puna reaching the 2019 guidance of six to seven million ounces of silver produced."

READ: Golden Arrow Resources kicks off commercial production at its silver, zinc and lead mine in Argentina

According to the release by SSR Mining, in 2018, Puna Operations produced a total of 3.7 million ounces of silver, 8.8 million pounds of zinc and 3.1 million pounds of lead. Silver sold for the year totalled 3.8 million ounces.

In December, ore was sourced exclusively from Chinchillas and achieved a 3,605 ton-per-day milling rate.

Puna is expected to produce between 6.0 and 7.0 million ounces of silver at cash costs of between $8 and $10 per payable silver ounce sold.

As previously announced, the completion of certain Chinchillas project infrastructure carries over into 2019 with remaining investment of approximately $9-million expected to be incurred in the first quarter. The project remains on budget.

The Vancouver-based explorer has a history of success in identifying, acquiring and advancing precious and base metal discoveries.

Shares dipped 1.6% to C$0.30 in Canada, while US-listed shares dipped 3.4% to US$0.23 on the OTC Markets.


Contact Katie Lewis at
Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:56:00 -0500
Alio Gold forecasts output of its Florida Canyon mine to rise Alio Gold Inc (TSE:ALO) (NYSE AMERICAN:ALO) released news in regards to its Florida Canyon Mine in Nevada on Tuesday, forecasting a rise in output in 2019.

The company announced its updated life-of-mine plan for the mine, forecasting gold production of 734,000 ounces over a 9.8-year mine life. 

The company said proven and probable mineral reserves are put at 1.01 million ounces of gold based on a pit designed to maximize project economics at $1,250-per-ounce gold. 

"This positive life-of-mine plan confirms the value of Florida Canyon that we saw when we acquired the mine last year," says Greg McCunn, chief executive officer. "The mine produced 47,400 ounces of gold in 2018 and the ramp-up progressed well over the fourth quarter. In 2019, we expect Florida Canyon to produce approximately 60,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of approximately $1,000/oz.”

The company said it is looking for the mine to average 62,200 ounces in 2019, and to average 75,000 ounces per year for the next eight years. 

"We expect to spend approximately $10-million in capital in 2019, including an expansion to the leach pad and key infrastructure around the crushing circuit to eliminate rehandling of the ore ahead of the crusher, which we expect will reduce operating costs," said McCunn in a release.

The company said it will look at opportunities to enhance the value of Florida Canyon in 2019, including the restart of the adjacent Standard mine and the strategic value of the sulphide deposit underlying the oxide reserves.

Shares of Alio Gold were down 5.5% at C$1.27 in Toronto and down 4.7% at US$0.90 in New York. 


Contact Katie Lewis at
Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:19:00 -0500
VirnetX rallies as US court rejects Apple’s $440M appeal Shares of VirnetX Holding Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:VHC), the internet security software group, soared Tuesday after a US appeals court upheld a $440 million judgement it previously won against the iPhone maker Apple Inc in a patent infringement suit.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected Apple’s move to appeal a jury verdict dating back to 2016 that was originally valued at $302 million, but grew to $440 million with interest, enhanced damages and other costs, according to a Reuters report.

READ: VirnetX wins US$625.6mln patent case against Apple

In a statement, Apple said it planned to appeal the ruling.

Investors applauded the news, sending VirnetX shares up 64% to $6.33 by the closing bell. Apple shares, meanwhile, gained 2% to $153.07.

READ: Apple ordered to pay 'patent troll' VirnetX US$502.6mln

The court’s verdict comes despite the patent claims being ruled invalid by an administrative court, but VirnetX is appealing that decision, according to Reuters.

VirnetX and Apple have been locked in a legal battle for more than eight years, with jurors previously finding that Apple’s modified VPN on Demand, iMessage and FaceTime services infringed on VirnetX’s patents and that Apple’s infringement was willful.

The legal tussle kicked off in 2010 when VirnetX introduced litigation alleging that Apple was guilty of a number of examples of patent infringement.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:05:00 -0500
Quantum plots course to meet demands of future Consider the possibilities. Quantum computing holds the promise of performing complex calculations in seconds that would take the most advanced computers years to complete.

In market terms, an investment in quantum computing today is analogous to a sage and prescient bet on Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or (NASDAQ:AMZN) 20 years ago.

“We’re at the same stage in quantum computing today,” says Robert Liscouski, the chief executive officer of Quantum Computing Inc (OTCMKTS:QUBT), a start-up based in Leesburg, Virginia.

“People generally understand what quantum computing can do, but they don’t understand what it’s really going to do.”

Seismic changes in computing expected

This new breed of supercomputer promises to dramatically improve computing power by storing information not in bits but in subatomic particles called quantum bits or qubits which have mighty capabilities.

Using qubits in so-called superpositions, a quantum computer can find answers to computational challenges in far fewer steps than a traditional computer would require.

Set up at the beginning of last year, Quantum, which trades on OTC Markets under the ticker QUBT, bills itself as the first publicly-traded pure-play quantum computing company.

Its team of computer scientists designs the next wave of algorithms used by high-frequency traders at hedge funds to scour the market for arbitrage opportunities and competitive investment strategies. But their programs are also set to be used for genetic research, and by pharmaceutical companies and governments.

“What we’re doing is writing the algorithms that will run on quantum computers to solve some of the hard problems that quantum computers can solve based upon their ability to scale very complex problems very quickly,” says Liscouski, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the first assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security.

“We’ve got a great team, scale and a solid financial base and we know the art of the possible based upon experience and I think it’s an exciting time for investors to understand what they can do in terms of the future.”

Experts in mathematics and supercomputing on board

Quantum has assembled a team of experts in mathematics, quantum physics, supercomputing, financing and cryptography. That team includes technical experts like quantitative data scientist Sergey Shuster, an applied quantitative mathematician who has spent years developing derivatives-pricing and credit risk models and won Russia’s Mathematical Olympiad.

On top of his years in security work while at the Department of Homeland Security, Liscouski is the former president and CEO of Implant Sciences, which ran an explosive trace detection business, and was sold for $118 million.

“We’re creating software that will be used on a quantum computer that ultimately will solve very very big problems,” he says.

The potential worldwide market for quantum computing is projected to be in excess of $10 billion by 2024, according to Morgan Stanley research.

At the core of Quantum’s advances is its development of a quantum annealer, a simulator that mimics quantum computing and functions at speeds of up to 12 qubits.

“We’re creating a quantum development environment that allows us to do the simulation we need as we’re doing the development,” explains Liscouski. “Applications powered by our annealer will initially focus on producing algorithms that solve trading problems.

Algorithms for Wall Street trading programs under development

Indeed, researchers at Quantum are focusing on the financial algorithms required to make trading programs for hedge funds and other investment firms reliant on high-frequency trading. This area represents a $1 billion market opportunity by the company’s estimates.

“That speed is what is going to make the difference for hedge funds to make money versus someone who is not using a quantum computer,” says Liscouski. “The speed of those calculations is going to give them the practical edge that they need to be able to make the appropriate trades and investments to give them a financial edge.”

“We’re very focused right now on the fintech space. We expect to be rolling out other algorithms over the next year or so, but our first goal is to do the fintech algorithms,” he added.

A second area that throws up sizeable commercial potential for Quantum’s computer scientists is artificial Intelligence. The possibilities for the use of quantum software applications here extend from improving facial recognition technology to handling the in-flight requirements of aircraft.

And Liscouski applauds this year’s introduction of the Artificial Intelligence in Government Act, which seeks to improve the use of artificial Intelligence across the federal government. Quantum Computing aims to one day win government contracts. “We think there’s a big play for us there,” he says.

Code-cracking another focus

Given the threat of cybercrime, encryption security and code-cracking are another hot spot. The company’s commercial-stage quantum cryptography applications are expected to launch in the first quarter of next year. And the company has recruited experts in cryptography, artificial Intelligence and financial technology, to its advisory board, in a bid to assist in the development of its programs.

Quantum Computing is also courting companies involved in genetics that are looking for new gene therapies and different ways to conduct genetic analysis. “We have partners with whom we are currently talking that are genetic resource companies that are interested in taking a quantum computing approach towards genetic analysis,” says Liscouski.

The algorithms that Quantum is writing can be tailored to address particular problems faced by prospective clients. “We may have a number of clients that want the same basic algorithm as a platform, but they can tailor the use of that particular algorithm to their specific need,” says Liscouski.

Revenue ahead

Liscouski expects the pre-profit company to be generating revenue by the end of next year. It’s about a third of the way towards raising its target of $15 million for the runway costs to fund its business.

“We’re having great success in raising the money,” reports Liscouski. “We want to make sure we have enough to get through our operational and development cycle.”

Next year will bring announcements of partnerships with hedge funds and financial institutions as well as the licensing and commercial launch of finance and cryptography applications.

Liscouski describes the algorithms being written now at Quantum as the equivalent of the programs that paved the way for an MS-DOS computer to do more than what the operating system MS Dos could do.

“We’re not looking to be Windows, we’re looking to be Excel or some other complex system that runs on their system,” he says. “You need a baseline system but then you need the applications that are going to be running the business.”

There are many possibilities, including potential interest from some of the larger fish in the technology ecosystem. Google, IBM, Intel, Alibaba, Mitsubishi, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft are all reported to be toiling away on quantum computing research, according to a report from the research house CB Insights.

“Clearly, we’re in a position that as we demonstrate promise, we would be attractive to 'a Google,'” concludes Liscouski. “I’m not suggesting that’s our goal, but that’s clearly how that works.”

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:08:00 -0500
Lexaria Bioscience announces partnership with U.S. giant Altria to fund R&D Lexaria Bioscience (CSE:LXX-OTCQX:LXRP) CEO Chris Bunka joined Steve Darling from Proactive Investors Vancouver to talk about Lexaria's new partnership with U.S. tobacco giant Altria.

Altria will fund a milestone-based research & development program in exchange for a minority equity interest in Lexaria Nicotine. Altria will provide initial funding of US$1 million, with the option for additional funding of up to US$12 million.

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:06:00 -0500
Newmont Mining’s $10 billion shopping spree shows ‘consolidation is necessary’ to deliver value, growth among gold miners Newmont Mining Corp’s (NYSE:NEM) planned acquisition of Canadian rival Goldcorp Inc (TSX:G) for $10 billion shows that consolidation has become necessary and will deliver value and growth to shareholders, said mining company chief executives.

The deal will create the world’s biggest gold producer by output.

“Large gold miners are no longer capable of delivering value and growth organically ounces in existing mines are becoming harder and more expensive to mine. Hence, to deliver into the value growth expectations of their shareholders, consolidation has become necessary,” DRDGOLD CEO Niel Pretorius told Proactive Investors.

READ: Newmont Mining to create world’s biggest gold producer by output with $10bn deal to buy Goldcorp

Pretorius knows exactly what he is talking about as DRDGOLD Limited (NYSE:DRD) (JSE:DRD), one of the oldest continuously listed miners on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, recently acquired gold and platinum miner Sibanye-Stillwater’s West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project (WRTRP).

According to analysts, the acquisition transforms DRDGOLD in one stroke giving it a platform from which to grow aggressively into Africa and other commodities. It also cuts overhead unit costs through increased production and puts an end to DRDGOLD’S single asset operating risk.

DRDGOLD wants to bring the high-grade tailings dumps into production by early 2019. The new West Rand crown jewel virtually doubles the miner’s gold reserves, giving it immediate access to facilities that can generate cash for it in a matter of months.

Growth and cleansing process

This is the second high-profile merger in the mining industry since Barrick Gold agreed to buy Randgold Resources in September last year to cut costs.

“This second mega-merger highlights the difficulty for large mining companies to replace ounces. To reverse the forecasted trend of less production back into a grow story they apparently need to acquire other companies to replace and grow ounces and production,” said Gold Resource Corporation (NYSEAMERICAN:GORO) CEO Jason Reid.

Reid also saw it as both a “growth and cleansing process” for the industry.

“It’s interesting in this case as well as the Barrick/Randgold mega-merger that both deals announced divestitures of the survivor company’s consolidated assets," he told Proactive. "Most likely the planned divestitures are the marginal or non-profitable mining operations. It looks to be both a growth and cleansing process for the industry.”

READ: Gold Resource declares December dividend

Mining executives say that falling gold reserves and higher extraction costs have prompted miners to look for cost efficiencies.

“The strategic rationale for combining Goldcorp with Newmont is powerfully compelling on many levels,” said Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo.

The combined company is expected to produce 6 million to 7 million ounces of gold over the next 10 years. In 2017, Newmont produced 5.3 million ounces of gold, while Goldcorp mined 2.6 million ounces.

Their reserves and resources will represent the largest in the gold sector and will spread through mining jurisdictions in the Americas, Australia, and Ghana.

Expect further consolidation

“As the larger companies reset margin and increase production through consolidation, the smaller operators will become increase expensive and uncompetitive. More consolidation across the board is likely to start taking place,” said DRD's Pretorius.

Similarly, Gold Resources' Reid said most likely this trend will continue as a mean to show shareholders “a growth story while simultaneously getting rid of marginal operations.”

"We view the deal as a further positive signal of an inflection point in the mining industry. With increasing precious metal prices and improving investor confidence, we will likely see an acceleration of merger activity. We announced our acquisition of Beadell Resources (BDR: ASX) on Sep 23, the night before Barrick and Rangold, and look forward to closing next month, creating a new growth-oriented intermediate precious metals producer," said Great Panther Silver Ltd (TSX:GPR) (NYSE:GPL) CEO James M Bannantine.

Shareholder meetings to approve Vancouver-based Great Panther’s acquisition of Australia-based Beadell are scheduled for February 11 in Vancouver and February 12 in Perth.

Great Panther agreed in September to acquired Beadell for $105 million. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

-- (Updates with comments from Great Panther Silver CEO James M. Bannantine) -- 

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:55:00 -0500
Microbot extends rally after citing progress with self-cleaning shunt used in hydrocephalus treatment Microbot Medical Inc (NASDAQ:MBOT) extended its gain Tuesday after reporting in a securities filing that a test of its self-cleaning shunt showed promise in preventing blockage of a shunt system used for the treatment of hydrocephalus.

The Hingham, Massachusetts-based micro-robotic medical technology company said in the filing that a test carried out by Envigo CRS Israel “validates the operational effectiveness" of the self-cleaning shunt to prevent blockage.

According to Microbot, it’s estimated that more than 1 million people in the US live with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the cavities within the brain.

READ: Microbot Medical shares pop on clinching of new European patent

Separately, Microbot announced a $3 million registered direct offering of shares to an institutional investor. 

The company sold 455,000 shares at $6.50 per share. HC Wainwright & Co is acting as the exclusive placement agent for the offering.

Shares of Microbot surged 7.1% to $17.15 in Tuesday’s Nasdaq trading after earlier trading at $19.40. The stock is about four times higher than where it traded Friday.

The stock rallied Monday after the company clinched a European patent for its ViRob technology platform.

Contract Dennis Fitzgerald at

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:35:00 -0500
Cardlytics shares pop on rosy 4Q preliminary results Shares of Cardlytics Inc (NASDAQ:CDLX), are still popping a day after the marketing-focused technology company posted preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The Atlanta, Georgia company, which partners with more than 2,000 financial institutions to run banking reward programs, said its total revenue for last year’s final quarter, ending on December 31, is set to fall between $47 million and $48 million.

In other news, its so-called FI MAUs, which track log-ins and visits to its online or mobile banking applications, is set to exceed 80 million in the fourth quarter.

Happy about the preliminary report, investors sent Cardlytics shares up 16% to $17.41 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.

READ: Ipsidy and Ayonix team up to develop new biometric security system

“We are pleased with our revenue performance in the fourth quarter, which is expected to be above our prior guidance,” said Scott Grimes, CEO of Cardlytics in a statement. “In addition, we had strong MAU growth in the fourth quarter and expect that growth to continue into 2019.”

The company will report its full fourth quarter 2018 results on March 5.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Cardlytics has offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Visakhapatnam in India. It uses the intelligence it gleans from data on banking rewards programs to help marketers reach buyers and measure the sales impact of marketing campaigns.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:30:00 -0500
BSQUARE and Amazon Web Services collaborate to accelerate Internet of Things adoption Bsquare Corporation (NASDAQ:BSQR), a provider of industrial internet of things (IIoT) services and software, announced Tuesday that it is collaborating with Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Services (AWS) to meet increasing demand for digitalization solutions.

Bsquare said it has selected AWS as its preferred cloud services provider and is leveraging it to expand new offerings around DataV, a suite of edge-to-cloud IoT services and software designed to “improve uptime, manageability, and performance of enterprise assets,” said Bsquare acting CEO Kevin Walsh.

Bsquare stock shot up nearly 30% to $2.48 Tuesday.

READ: Oppenheimer analyst offers thoughts on Amazon Web Services' unveiling of AWS Outposts

The industrial internet of things has been heralded primarily as a way to improve operational efficiency. Business technology must now interconnect people with the proliferating devices, data and systems that populate our digitalized world via the internet. The type of infrastructure that enables a business to address this evolution is dubbed the industrial internet of things.

"Bsquare has a long track record of success developing solutions running on AWS that help industrial businesses reach their IoT goals," said Walsh. The technology software company would mine the collaboration with AWS to develop “more advanced solutions for our customers," he added.

The company said that PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR), a Fortune 500 company that is one of the largest builders of heavy-duty commercial trucks in the world, is using DataV to “adaptively diagnose truck failures” in order to reduce time-to-repair and improve first-time-fix ratio.

"By leveraging AWS IoT services, Bsquare's DataV suite can help customers accelerate time-to-value versus customizing solutions inhouse," pointed out Joshua Hofmann from Amazon Web Services.

BSQUARE Corporation was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:07:00 -0500
The Green Organic Dutchman to license dehydrating method for its organic cannabis The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TSX:TGOD) (OTCQX:TGODF) CEO Brian Athaide tells Proactive Investors the company has formed a royalty-bearing commercial sublicense with tech company EnWave (TSX:ENW) and fellow cannabis company Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY).

Athaide says TGOD's use of the new tech will promote consistency in the manufacturing, improve space efficiency by reducing the need for drying rooms, and quicken TGOD's time from harvest to sale.

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:52:00 -0500
ZephyRx developing video games for respiratory therapy ZephyRx CEO Dwight Cheu joins Proactive at the Biotech Showcase in San Francisco. 

The company is developing a respiratory lung exercise game. 

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:28:00 -0500
Tyme Technologies stock flies ahead of data release on SM-88 in fighting pancreatic cancer Shares in Tyme Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:TYME) flew Tuesday after the New York-based clinical-stage biotechnology company said it will hold a conference call to discuss data from a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating lead therapy SM-88 in battling pancreatic cancer.

The management team will hold a conference call with analysts and investors at 9 am EST on January 18 to discuss the SM-88 preliminary Phase 2 pancreatic cancer data.

This data will also be presented in four posters at the three-day Gastrointestinal Cancers symposium being organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in San Francisco starting January 17.

Investors anticipating positive data sent shares of the biotech up 19.3% to $2.93.

READ: Lexaria Bioscience inks deal with Altria Ventures to develop reduced-risk nicotine products; shares soar

Tyme Technologies is developing cancer therapeutics that are intended to be broadly effective across tumor types and have low toxicity profiles. Unlike targeted therapies that attempt to regulate specific mutations within cancer, the company’s therapeutic approach is designed to take advantage of a cancer cell’s innate metabolic weaknesses to compromise its defenses, leading to cell death through oxidative stress.

The biotech is developing SM-88, a novel combination therapy that utilizes a proprietary dysfunctional tyrosine derivative to interrupt the metabolic processes of cancer cells, breaking down the cells’ key defenses and making them vulnerable to oxidative stress and death.

Tyme said its SM-88 therapy has demonstrated “efficacy in the treatment of multiple oncology indications, including breast and prostate, and pancreatic cancer” without serious adverse events.

The SM-88 program is expected to enter a pivotal trial in metastatic pancreatic cancer during 2019. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:06:00 -0500
Zix agrees to acquire cloud-based cybersecurity provider AppRiver for $275M in cash Zix Corp (NASDAQ:ZIXI) said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire AppRiver, a provider of cloud-based cybersecurity products, for $275 million in cash.

Dallas-based Zix, a provider of e-mail security, said in a press release that it expects the combined entity will have annual recurring revenue of $180 million at closing. Zix is aiming for annual recurring revenue of about $200 million to $207 million at the end of its 2019 fiscal year, which would represent a growth rate of 11% to 15% year over year. 

READ: Zix reports beat 3Q EPS and revenue, raises guidance for full year

AppRiver serves more than 60,000 companies worldwide and is supported by what Zix says is “a 4,500-strong” reseller community. The company provides Microsoft Office 365 and Secure Hosted Exchange services, which serve as a lead generator for security products, according to Zix. AppRiver launched its spam and virus service in 2002.

“From a cross-selling standpoint, the acquisition provides attractive and abundant synergies at the onset, including the opportunity to drive stronger attach rates by attaching Zix’s solutions to AppRiver’s customer base,” Zix CEO David Wagner said in a statement.

Zix added Tuesday that it has secured a $100 million convertible preferred equity commitment from True Wind Capital and a $200 million debt commitment from SunTrust Banks Inc (NYSE:STI) and KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Shares of Zix dropped 2.9% to $5.80 in Tuesday's Nasdaq trading.

Drawing on preliminary, unaudited results, Zix said Tuesday that it expects fourth-quarter revenue of $18.3 million to $18.4 million, compared with the $18.1 million average estimate of analysts.

–This story has been updated to give Zix's preliminary revenue outlook–

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at


Tue, 15 Jan 2019 12:46:00 -0500
Lexaria Bioscience inks deal with Altria Ventures to develop reduced-risk nicotine products; shares soar Cannabinoid-focused Lexaria Bioscience Corp (CSE:LXX) (OTCMKTS:LXRP) is adding to its roster with a new partnership deal with venture capital firm Altria Ventures aimed at developing reduced-risk nicotine consumer products.

The company said the partnership will focus on using Lexaria's Bioscience's proprietary DehydraTECH™ platform, which allows cannabidiol (CBD) and other oils to be dehydrated into an odorless, tasteless powder.

DehydraTECH also allows drugs and vitamins – in the case of cannabis, CBD – to get into the bloodstream quicker.

Shares of Lexaria Bioscience jumped Tuesday, up 25% at C$2.10 in Toronto.

READ: Lexaria Bioscience: The cannabis company developing a potentially life-saving technology

"Lexaria Bioscience is proud that, after careful selection, Altria has chosen to fund research into DehydraTECH™ technology and potentially commercialize this technology for oral nicotine," said Chris Bunka, CEO of Lexaria Bioscience, in a statement.

"This partnership will provide significant benefits to Lexaria Bioscience and its shareholders with a world-class R&D Program and regulatory compliance process. We believe Altria is the best corporate partner we could work with to truly make a difference in the lives of millions of consumers."

Agreement terms

Under the terms of the agreement, Altria has been granted exclusive DehydraTECH license rights to commercialize oral nicotine products in the US.

Altria will fund a research & development program in exchange for a minority equity interest in Lexaria Nicotine and certain DehydraTECH(™) license rights. Altria will provide initial funding of US$1 million, with the option for additional funding of up to US$12 million through multiple phased private financings.

The company said Altria will initially have the right to appoint one of the seven directors on Lexaria Nicotine's board of directors and, through the additional phased investments, may have the right to appoint up to three of the seven directors.

The company added that Altria has the option to acquire 100% ownership interest in Lexaria Nicotine commensurate with fair market value. Lexaria Bioscience has not sold or optioned any of its own equity.

'Powerful' patented DehydraTECH technology

"Lexaria Bioscience has repeatedly demonstrated the powerful effects of its patented DehydraTECH(™) technology for enhancing the palatability and speed of onset of orally-consumed bioactive substances such as nicotine," said John Docherty, president of Lexaria Bioscience.

"Laboratory research to date on oral nicotine formulations has been quite encouraging. We are very excited to advance the clinical phases of our comprehensive R&D Program together with Altria with a view to full commercial product development."


Contact Katie Lewis at
Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 12:27:00 -0500
THC Global appoints Mark Fortugno as CFO THC Global Group Ltd (ASX:THC) has appointed Mark Fortugno to replace Jarrod White as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO).

Fortugno has over 15 years of financial experience and is a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Australia and Canada, in addition to being a Certified Public Accountant in the US.

He has worked at KPMG (USA & Canada) in Cross Border Taxation, and as CFO for private-equity backed Cater Care in Australia

At Cater Care he was a part of its growth in headcount by 720% and revenues by 474% (to $237 million) within 5 years of his appointment.

Canadian experience relevant to growth strategy

Fortugno is a Canadian national and has significant financial management experience in Canada.

This will benefit THC Global as it grows its Canadian asset portfolio including a cannabis cultivation site in Nova Scotia, Canada to be completed shortly.

READ: THC Global shares rise after securing cannabis permits from the Office of Drug Control

THC Global’s CEO Ken Charteris said: “Mark’s specialisation in cross border transactions and implementation of high-growth strategies are a perfect mix for THC Global as we seek to aggressively expand into new regions and markets over the next 12 to 24 months in addition to transitioning into full-scale operations at our domestic cannabis production facilities.

“We look forward to working closely with him in an exciting new period of growth for THC Global.”

Tue, 15 Jan 2019 11:17:00 -0500