Small Cap Wrap: 17th March 2017
17th March 2017
Petards on the right track
That’s an Elegant Agreement
On this day:
1867—First publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery, in The Lancet.
1935 – Adolf Hitler orders German rearmament in violation of The Treaty of Versailles
1999 – The 20 members of the European Union’s European Commission announced their resignations amid allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.
Allergy Therapeutics (LON:AGY 28.00p/£164.51m)
Allergy Therapeutics, the fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical Company specialising in allergy vaccines, announced the recruitment of the first patient in its Phase III study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of its ultra-short course, aluminium-free Pollinex® Quattro Birch immunotherapy to address the cause of symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The first patient in the B301 Phase III study was recruited in Austria on 15 March. The study is anticipated to run for one year and involve more than 550 patients over 50 sites across Germany, Sweden, Austria and Poland. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of Pollinex® Quattro Birch in birch pollen-induced rhinoconjunctivitis and to enable registration of the product in Germany via the Therapieallergene-Verordnung (TAV) process of the Paul Ehrlich Institut, before anticipated marketing authorisation in 2019. The adopted cumulative dose has been demonstrated to be efficacious in two recent dose range finding studies with respect to reduction of symptoms induced by a conjunctival provocation test (CPT) with no prior safety concerns.
Byotrol (LON:BYOT 4.56p/£12.73m)
Byotrol, the specialist anti-microbial technology Company, announced the purchase of the entire share capital of Winch Pharma Consumer Healthcare Ltd for an initial cash consideration of £70k. Deferred consideration of up to £44k will be payable in cash in 2018, subject to contract renewal by its key customer, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSSC). Winch Pharma has one key asset, being a formal one year (extendable to three) contract to supply the NHSSC with non-alcohol hand sanitising products, plus certain other surface disinfection products, all under the Athenian brand. Prior to the acquisition, Byotrol was supplying Winch Pharma with all its hand sanitising products, which were repackaged under the Athenian brand. Winch Pharma’s revenue is predominantly from the NHSSC, although it also sells into other health and elderly-care providers. The acquisition will allow Byotrol to benefit directly from Winch Pharma’s recent growth, and secure 100 percent of the resulting margin, all from within existing Byotrol resources, and without having to engage in a lengthy process to become a new, formal NHSSC supplier. The Directors do not expect the acquisition to impact the Company’s earnings in the current financial year, to 31 March 2017. They do however expect this transaction to materially boost hand hygiene sales in the new financial year, particularly from sales into the NHSSC of their newly-patented formulation.
Elegant Hotels Group (LON:EHG 80.38p/£70.15m)
Elegant Hotels Group, the owner and operator of six upscale freehold hotels and a beachfront restaurant on the island of Barbados, announced that it has signed a Marketing and Sales Services Agreement with The Landings Resort and Spa by Elegant Hotels in St. Lucia. The Agreement commences with immediate effect and will involve Elegant Hotels providing The Landings with a variety of services across the areas of sales, marketing, reservations, revenue management and public relations across all key feeder markets. The value of the contract to the Group is expected to be approximately US$0.2m per annum, and the property will be fully branded as part of the Elegant Hotels portfolio as “The Landings Resort and Spa by Elegant Hotels”. The Landings is situated within 19 acres of tropical landscaped gardens in St. Lucia’s exclusive Rodney Bay, and consists of 85 villa suites with ocean, beachfront or marina views. This will be Elegant Hotels’ second hotel offering outside Barbados, following the signing in November 2016 of a management contract with Hodges Bay Resort in Antigua, which is due to open in autumn 2017. The Board of Elegant Hotels continues to believe that arrangements of this kind represent a compelling opportunity for the Group to expand beyond Barbados, given they require far less capital investment than full ownership.
Genedrive (LON:GDR 41.50p/£8.13m)
Genedrive, the near patient molecular diagnostics Company, announced that it has successfully completed clinical validation studies to support a submission for CE regulatory approval of its Genedrive® HCV ID Kit. The studies, performed at Institut Pasteur, Paris, and Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, demonstrated an overall sensitivity of greater than 99 percent and specificity of 100 percent over a 955 sample cohort, comparing the test to the Abbott Molecular RealTime HCV Viral Load Assay. The Genedrive® HCV ID Kit sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection meet the Target Product Profile specifications for decentralised use in resource limited settings, as outlined by the Foundation for Innovation in Diagnostics (FIND). The validation studies were supported by the European Commission FP7 PoC-HCV programme. The HCV test is performed on the Company’s Genedrive® portable molecular diagnostics platform, designed for use at the point of need. The assay uses only a small amount of human plasma (25ul), eliminating the need for a separate RNA viral extraction process, and yields results within 90 minutes.
Haydale Graphene Industries (LON:HAYD 174.00p/£30.70m)
Haydale Graphene Industries, the global nanomaterials group, announced that its subsidiary, Advanced Composite Materials LLC, (ACM), has entered into a four-year agreement to supply Silicon Carbide (SiC) micro-fibre to a global industrial manufacturer of tooling and wear-resistant solutions. This sole supply Agreement has a potential sales value of over US$2.6m over the initial four year term with first orders to be delivered in the final quarter of this financial year. The Agreement has a minimum annual order quantity which the Board expects will equate to an average annual revenue of approximately US$0.6m. Following a period of stringent testing, the Haydale SiC fibre has been approved for use in the production of SiC whisker reinforced (hard edged) cutting tools. There is considerable demand for SiC whisker reinforced cutting tools which are used extensively across a range of industries and more specifically, for the production, of land based turbines and jet engine fan blades. This Agreement marks a significant step forward for ACM, which is also now proactively selling Haydale’s range of graphene enhanced composites, 3D printing filaments and additives into the North American market. ACM was acquired by Haydale in September 2016.
MediaZest (LON:MDZ 0.09p/£1.18m)*
MediaZest, the creative digital audio visual Company, updated shareholders on recent business wins. Since the start of 2017, the Group has already confirmed business wins in the retail sector alone that relate to projects that will generate approximately £0.5m of new revenue. These projects include the ongoing roll out of business from existing clients and a substantial new project for a UK high street bank. All are due for completion by 30 June 2017. These new business wins include a large proportion of UK based work but also installations as far afield as the United States and Australia. In addition, the Group continues to grow its recurring revenue base, which has underpinned recent improved results. At present, run rate recurring revenues total approximately £0.4m per annum and management expect these to grow by at least 15 during the next quarter.
Petards Group (LON:PEG 28.12p/£10.17m)*
Petards Group, the developer of advanced security and surveillance systems, reports its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Financial highlights showed revenues up 17 percent to £15.3m (2015: £13.1m) , EBITDA increased 28 percent to £1.62m (2015: £1.27m) and profit after tax £0.91m (2015: £0.77m). The Company generated £1m of operating cash inflows (2015: £1.2m) and had £2.3m in cash at 31 December 2016 with no bank debt. Operational highlights showed a closing order book of £20m (2015: £16m), with the order book growing by £8m in H2 2016 with orders received from Siemens Mobility, Bombardier Transportation, Greater Western Rail, Hitachi Rail Europe and the MOD. Exports increased by 57 percent to £5.3m and comprise over one third of Group revenues. Investments were made in the development of eyeTrain range particularly focus on software features and the expansion of the Group’s software development personnel and facilities. The current order book includes £12m scheduled for delivery in 2017.
Prometic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI CAD2.39/CAD1,638.98m)*
Prometic Life Sciences announced that an orphan drug designation status has been granted, by the United States Food and Drug Administration, for its orally active, anti-fibrotic, lead drug candidate, PBI-4050, for the treatment of Alstrӧm Syndrome (AS). This condition is chronically debilitating due to permanent blindness, deafness, type 2 diabetes and life-threatening due to progressive organ failure. To this day, no satisfactory method of treatment has been authorised in the USA for patients affected by AS. Prometic is currently investigating the effects of PBI-4050 on multiple organs in AS patients in an ongoing, open label, Phase 2, clinical study in the United Kingdom (UK) with plans to expand the clinical program, both in the USA and elsewhere in Europe, once an optimal regulatory pathway has been defined with the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, respectively.
Touchstone Innovations (LON:IVO 350.21p/£581.42m)
Touchstone Innovations has participated in a £2.9m funding round in Resolving Limited the parent company of Resolver.co.uk, the independent website dedicated to consumer rights and complaint resolution. Innovations has committed £1.1m to the round alongside co-investor Draper Esprit. As a result of this investment, Innovations will have an interest of 8.1 percent in the Company. Founded in 2014 and based in London, Resolver.co.uk is a website dedicated to making it easier for consumers to make complaints or raise issues with brands, companies and organisations. Users can sign up in seconds via the web site (or its iOS or Android apps) to create a case and send it off in minutes to the more than 30,000 companies, brands and organisations in the Resolver database. The Company is also working with the London School of Economics to analyse data within complaints, assess the severity of these complaints at scale and attach a severity index to each complaint. This can be used to rank large volumes of complaints. The new funding will allow Resolver to expand its team and invest in new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning helping to predict the outcome of a customer case. This will allow the Company to automate key processes to increase the speed at which cases can be raised and also to help predict the likelihood of successful resolution.
Venn Life Sciences (LON:VENN 19.87p/£12.10m)*
Venn Life Sciences, a growing Contract Research Organisation providing drug development, clinical trial management and resourcing solutions to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device organisations, provided the following update. 2016 represented another year of strong growth for Venn with sales in excess of €18m (2015 €11m). The business finished 2016 with a strong cash position of €3m (€1.75m 30 June 2016). The strong momentum enjoyed by the business in 2016 has continued into 2017 to date, with new business contracts signed to the value €5.7m in the first two months of the year.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP