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Immunodiagnostics surges as coronavirus testing kits go on sale


Immunodiagnostics Systems Holdings PLC (LON:IDH), up 32% at 265p, was the top riser on Friday morning after two of its SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test kits went on sale in Europe.

Both antigen rapid test kits can be performed by a trained healthcare professional in community locations, such as workplaces, schools and doctors’ surgeries, without the need for any laboratory equipment.

These tests, which are on sale in all countries that accept the European Union’s CE mark as a basis of regulatory approval, determine the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein antigen using direct nasopharyngeal swab samples, providing a result within 15 minutes.

In other coronavirus news, Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) shares surged 4.6% at 4.6p after it said production of a new washable functionalised graphene-enhanced fabric mask has started.

IRPC, which developed the facemask in conjunction with Haydale, has now placed a follow-on order for 200 kilograms of Haydale’s bespoke ink, and further follow-on orders are expected.

The face masks are currently being produced for use internally within the IRPC group; IRPC expects to start building an external order book next year.

Proactive news headlines:

Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) has announced that its partner IRPC has now completed the development project with Haydale and started production of its new washable functionalised graphene-enhanced fabric mask. IRPC has placed a follow-on order for 200 kilograms of Haydale’s bespoke ink, with further orders anticipated, the advanced materials group said. The face masks are currently being produced for use internally within the IRPC group, with a forecasted external order book for 2021.

DeepVerge plc (LON:DVRG) has hailed interim analysis from a University of Aberdeen research team that showed the company’s Labskin cloned human skin microbiome was able to host the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This breakthrough means that real-world testing of anti-viral compounds can be carried out without human volunteers. Scientists at Aberdeen have been using the DeepVerge innovation to assess transmissibility from surfaces to airways via the body’s largest organ.

IXICO PLC (LON:IXI) said it has won a follow-on contract worth GBP1.9mln with an existing sponsor that will use the company’s AI and neuro-imaging technology in a phase Ib/II clinical trial of a drug for Huntington’s disease (HD). “The new award reflects and reinforces the confidence customers place in IXICO as the trusted and leading neuroimaging partner for Huntington’s disease clinical trials,” the company said. Practically and financially, it adds to IXICO’s strong and growing order book.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) has highlighted its debt-free status and a continued focus on cost management and the efficient operation of its portfolio in its interim financials as it narrowed its quarterly losses. In results for the three months to September 30, 2020, the company reported a loss of US$146,000 compared to a US$764,000 loss a year ago, while revenues were steady at US$1,000. The company also reported a cash balance at the end of the period of US$11.5mln, while net finance income swung to a US$279,000 gain from a US$360,000 loss a year ago.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) has updated on cost estimates and funding arrangements for its well operations in The Bahamas. The AIM-listed oil and gas firm said that to provide appropriate financial headroom, a previously announced conditional convertible note facility has been increased by GBP4.75mln to GBP15mln in total, with an initial subscription notice issued for GBP3mln and the balance of the facility to be provided in a timeframe consistent with the demands of operations.

Quadrise Fuels International PLC (LON:QFI) said it is continuing to build “positive momentum” and demonstrate significant progress in several key areas of its business as the company said it has been able to mitigate the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on its business. In an update to be delivered at its AGM later on Friday, the AIM-listed firm said while the timetable of some specific activities had been impacted by the pandemic, it has worked with clients to ensure that overall programmes remain on track.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture biotechnology business, said it ended its financial year in a significantly stronger financial position after its programme of asset disposals. Liquidity at the end of September 2020 was GBP83.2mln, the company revealed in its fiscal fourth-quarter update, which was an improvement on the end-June figure of GBP67mln. Net debt at the end of September stood at GBP37.6mln, versus net debt three months earlier of GBP54.7mln. The group said its restructuring is now complete, with GBP44mln raised from five divestments in the three months to the end of September.

LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) said its core Professional Services (PS) Meetings and Events business has continued to trade robustly versus pre-pandemic levels. The audio meetings technology specialist said it has also continued to see strong momentum in its Cloud Telephony business, which was launched on its global cloud platform in July. Things are a bit tougher in the non-PS sectors, where the company said the churn rate – the frequency of customers defecting to rival services – is accelerating.

Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA), the Malawi-focused rare earths project developer, posted a net loss of US$793,393 in the three months to the end of September, compared to a net loss of US$1.11mln in the same period of 2019. The pre-revenue company had cash of US$5.78mln at the end of September, compared to cash of US$6.44mln at the end of June.

Salt Lake Potash Limited LON:SO4) (ASX:SO4) advised that trading in the shares of the company have been halted on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) effective from Friday, November 27, 2020. The halt was requested by the company pending an update in relation to completion of the debt financing as announced on August 5, 2020, and a capital raising. The group said the trading halt will remain until the earlier of an announcement to the market regarding the above or the opening of trade on ASX on December 3, 2020. Trading in the company’s ordinary securities will continue on AIM during this period.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK), the global provider of secure payment products and customer contact solutions, said it has received notification of two share transactions by Nik Philpot, its chief executive officer. It noted that on November 25 and 26, 2020, Philpot purchased a total of 25,000 ordinary shares of 0.25p in the company at an average price of 63.7p each. The newly purchased shares will be held by Philpot’s Self Invested Personal Pension. Further, on 25 November 2020, Philpot transferred, through an on-market crossing, a further 25,000 ordinary shares from his personal account to his SIPP, at a price of 63p per ordinary share. Following the purchase of the 25,000 ordinary shares, the group said, Philpot is beneficially interested in 7,001,285 Eckoh ordinary shares, representing approximately 2.74% of the issued share capital.

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) said it has been notified that on November 25, 2020, Scott Fletcher, a non-executive director of the company, purchased an aggregate of 933,690 Ncondezi ordinary shares of no par value. Following this transaction, it noted, Fletcher’s beneficial interest in the company increased to 61,661,887 ordinary shares, representing 17.63% of the issued share capital. For the avoidance of doubt, the group added, after this transaction and following the admission of the placing shares on December 8, 2020, Fletcher’s beneficial interest will be 63,439,687 Ncondezi ordinary shares, representing 17.32% of the then enlarged issued share capital.

Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, has said its chief executive officer and technical director, Bill Brodie Good, will be presenting at the ‘Turner Pope Investments / Vox Markets Resources Webinar Evening’ on Thursday 3 December 2020 at 5pm GMT. The group said he will provide an update on the company’s silver and iron ore projects in Mexico and Australia including the movements in the silver and iron ore market. Following its successful placing (announced November 23 2020), he will touch on the company’s plans to expand and accelerate its exploration programmes across its portfolio, as well as to continue to evaluate strategic opportunities. The company has a number of projects including the Los Campos and San Celso silver projects in Mexico, the Elizabeth Hill silver Project and Hamersley iron ore projects in Western Australia.

Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR), an oil and gas company focused on responsible resource development in the Rocky Mountain region has said that Colin Harrington, the company’s chief executive officer, will be presenting at the Turner Pope Investments / Vox Markets resources webinar evening taking place on Thursday, December 3, 2020, commencing at 5pm.

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