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Proactive news headlines: 88 Energy, C4X Discovery, MaxCyte, Panther Metals …

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) said it has reached an agreement with XCD Energy Ltds (LON:ASX:XCD) board for a unanimously recommended merger. The prior unsolicited takeover bid had achieved backing of about 18.5% of XCDs shareholders, and the recommended merger comes with improved terms. In the all-paper deal, 88 Energy will issue 2.4 new 88 Energy shares and 0.7 for every listed share option held – up from 1.67 per share and 0.5 per option. XCDs board now recommend that its shareholders accept the offer, in the absence of any superior proposals. They will hold around 20% of the enlarged company as a result of the transaction.

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC (LON:C4XD), the AIM-listed drug discovery company, has announced plans to raise at least £1mln by placing shares at 15p a throw. C4X shares closed at 15.25p yesterday. The net proceeds from the placing will be used to further strengthen the companys balance sheet as its partnering and strategic collaborations progress and will boost working capital during the progression of its pipeline portfolio.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has signed a clinical and commercial agreement with a US life sciences group for its cutting edge gene-editing technology. Caribou Biosciences will use MaxCytes flow electroporation systems and the companys ExPERT platform in its allogeneic t-cell therapy programmes. MaxCyte will receive undisclosed development and approval milestones as well as sales-based payments and “other licensing fees”. “This important agreement represents another key expansion for MaxCyte, emphasising the value of our technology platform to companies developing pioneering gene-editing and cell therapies,” MaxCytes chief executive, Doug Doerfler said in a statement.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) has announced the commencement of a three-week field exploration programme from this weekend on the gold-focused Big Bear property in Ontario, Canada. The main market-listed company, which is focused on mineral exploration in Canada and Australia, said the three-week work sampling and mapping programme, which will build its understanding of possible drill and trench targets is commencing on May 10. It noted that the work will target both orogenic gold and volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) style mineralisation.

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) said new positive data relating to its CTX cell therapy candidate have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Stem Cells. The developer of cell-based therapeutics said the data was included in a paper entitled "Implantation of the clinical-grade human neural stem cell line, CTX0E03, rescues the behavioural and pathological deficits in the quinolinic acid-lesioned rodent model of Huntington's disease". It said the new data show for the first time that ReNeuron's CTX human neural stem cell line can rescue deficits associated with an accepted animal model of Huntington's disease, a progressive genetic brain disorder.

NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) has unveiled a new resource statement for the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. Total resources rise to 1.454mln tonnes at a grade of 10.3 grams per tonnes (g/t), for 483,000 ounces gold. There are 354,000 ounces in measured and inferred resources, 485,000 tonnes at 11.4 g/t in measured for 177,000 ounces and 492,000 tonnes at 11.2 g/t in indicated for 177,000 ounces. A further 477,000 tonnes at 8.4 g/t remains in the inferred resource category, and, the company told investors that significant additional gold potential is still to be assessed.

Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC (LON:NFC) has announced that Penny will become the new chair of its board with effect from February 1, 2021, replacing Richard Eyre who will complete nine years as its chairman on May 11, 2020. Ladkin-Brand, who has chaired the Next 15 Audit Committee since 2017, also becomes the companys Senior Independent Director with immediate effect. The group said its board has asked Eyre to continue in the post to the end of the current financial year, and, consequently, he will seek re-election at the AGM and be available to support a smooth transition. Ladkin-Brand is currently chief financial officer at Future PLC (LON:FUTR), the FTSE 250 global multi-platform media company, and she will be moving into a new role of chief strategy officer on June 1, 2020, and will step down from the groups board.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) said its portfolio firm Exscientia has entered into a collaboration with US research centre SRI International to expedite the discovery of molecules for a high value oncology target. The IP investor said the agreement will see the two firms implement a new approach to drug discovery using SRIs automated synthetic-chemistry system with Exscientia's Centaur Chemist system. Frontier IP owns a 2.3% stake in Exscientia.

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) said it is “poised to capitalise on new product and market opportunities in 2020” as it predicted more sales for its Cedroz product. Posting its results for the year ended December 31, 2019, the biopesticide specialist said it expected to “build on the sales achieved in the territories where it received approvals during 2019 and early 2020”, including sales for Cedroz in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom where the applications for registrations have now been outstanding from the early part of 2019. The firm also said it expected US regulators to approve Cedroz and its Mevalone product during 2020, although the pace of approvals has been slowed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM) has agreed to acquire a further 7% interest in the Otjozondu manganese mining project in Namibia. The transaction sees Premier buy a 7% interest in MN Holdings Limited, the projects owner, for US$700,000 paid in new shares. It will increase Premier Africans stake in MN to 19%. “This further proposed increase in our holding in MNH is based on the same valuation formula applied to our initial acquisition,” George Roach, Premier African's chief executive said in a statement released after the market close on Wednesday.

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) has taken another important step towards the global launch of its phase III treatment for the rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB) by announcing its brand name. AP101 will be launched commercially as FILSUVEZ. “This, alongside our recent completion of recruitment into the EASE study, represents further progress as we endeavour to develop a therapy for patients with EB, a rare and distressing genetic skin disorder affecting young children and adults for which there is currently no approved treatment," Amryt chief executive, Dr Joe Wiley said in a statement.

Amryt Pharma also announced that its results for the year ended December 31, Read More – Source