Wednesday 8 April
Here is our summary of the day's hottest RNS alerts from across London's Alternative Investments Market (AIM).
Novacyt S.A. (NCYT.L)
1) COVID test eligible for WHO Emergency Use Listing
Novacyt, an international specialist in clinical diagnostics, announced that its test for COVID-19 has been listed as eligible for World Health Organization (WHO) procurement under the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) process.
The test will be eligible for procurement for one year, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. The test has been developed by Novacyt's molecular diagnostics division, Primerdesign, based in Southampton, UK.
2) Partnership with AstraZeneca, GSK & University of Cambridge
Novacyt also announced that as part of the UK Government's announcement of a new five pillar plan to increase testing for COVID-19, Novacyt is collaborating with AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge to take action to support this national effort.
A new testing laboratory will be set up by AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge at the university's Anne McLaren laboratory. This facility will be used for high throughput screening for COVID-19 testing and to explore the use of alternative chemical reagents for test kits in order to help overcome current supply shortages.
As part of the collaboration, Novacyt will ensure an effective workflow process within the facility for COVID-19 testing, as well as provide its COVID-19 test to generate results data. Novacyt's COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test has been developed by its molecular diagnostics division, Primerdesign, based in Southampton, UK.
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas Company Plc (NTOG.L)
Fundraise & Corporate Update
Nostra Terra, the oil & gas exploration and production company with a portfolio of development and production assets in Texas, USA, is pleased to announcethat it has raised £318,055 (the "Fundraise"), before expenses, in order to strengthen its balance sheet and position the Company for potential further growth in 2020 despite challenging market conditions.
£318,055, before expenses, raised via a Placing and Subscription
Directors have participated in the Subscription, amounting to, in aggregate, £90,000
Fundraise completed to strengthen the Company's balance sheet
Portfolio of conventional oil assets with relatively low operating cost
Significant reduction in CEO's remuneration
Additional reductions in overheads being implemented, with cost review ongoing
Reduction in corporate debt pursuant to the Partial Loan Conversion
Novum appointed as joint broker
The net proceeds of the Fundraise will be utilised to further the Company's strategy and for general short to medium term working capital purposes. Further fundraises are likely to be necessary thereafter.
The Issue Price represents a discount of approximately 47% to the closing middle market price of the Company's ordinary shares on AIM of 0.47p on 7 April 2020, being the latest practicable date prior to this announcement. The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares represent approximately 64% of the Company's issued share capital.
For full RNS details, see: https://www.investegate.co.uk/nostra-terra-o-g-co/rns/fundraise---corporate-update/202004080745011878J/
Avacta Group Plc (AVCT.L)
Avacta & Cytiva Collaborate on COVID-19 Rapid Test
Avacta Group plc, the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Cytiva, formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences. The companies will develop and manufacture an Affimer-based point-of-care rapid test intended for screening of large populations to diagnose the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
Avacta is already generating Affimer reagents that detect the COVID-19 virus and together with Cytiva will develop and manufacture a test capable of diagnosing the infection in minutes using a respiratory sample such as saliva. Cytiva will transfer this diagnostic assay onto its proprietary point-of-care test strip platform and both companies will work together to complete analytical and clinical validation of the test as quickly as possible.
Avacta will own the intellectual property relating to the COVID-19 Affimer-reagents and will retain all the commercial rights to future products. Further commercial details have not been disclosed.
Anexo Group Plc (ANX.L)
High Court Judgment re. Volkswagen
Anexo Group plc, the specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider, notes the preliminary judgment announced on 6 April 2020 in the High Court of Justice regarding the class action against Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries. Mr Justice Waksman ruled that VW subverted key air pollution tests by using special software to reduce emissions of nitrous oxides under test conditions. The High Court ruling applies not only to VW cars but also to those manufactured by Audi, SEAT and Skoda.
A specialist team within the Group's legal services division, Bond Turner, is acting on behalf of a number of individuals who have registered their intention to pursue a claim against VW. A number of these clients have been acquired through their status as past customers of the Group and others have contacted Bond Turner following a marketing campaign which was predominantly conducted through social media channels. The total number of claims currently being handled by Bond Turner stands at c. 8000 and this number is expected to grow following publicity around the ruling by the High Court.
VW has previously been involved in and settled a number of legal actions concerning emissions in various jurisdictions globally and the quantum of damages awarded has varied widely. In the US, individual settlements included a number of options and the compensation packages were set at various levels depending on the age and model of vehicle involved, with the sums ranging from US$5,100 (£4,150) to over US$40,000 (£32,520). In Germany, there was a similar range of options depending on the age and model of the vehicle involved, and the sums ranged from €1,350 to €6,257 (£1,190 to £5,540) plus a payment of €190 (£170) towards legal costs. In Australia, the settlement sums varied from AU$1,589 to AU$6,554 (£800 to £3,290).
The Board believes that, in the event of a settlement, the percentage of potential damages and associated costs accruing to Anexo would have a significant positive impact on the Group's expectations for profits and cash flow for the relevant accounting period. Any revenue from a settlement would be unlikely to accrue until FY-2021 at the earliest. There is no certainty that a settlement in favour of Bond Turner's clients will be reached, nor is there any guarantee that such a settlement would include financial compensation.
For full RNS details, see: https://www.investegate.co.uk/anexo-group-plc/rns/high-court-judgment-re--volkswagen/202004080700041304J/