Monday 27 April 2020
Here is our summary of the day's hottest RNS alerts from across London's Alternative Investments Market (AIM).
Novacyt S.A. (NCYT.L)
Contract with UK Department of Health and Social Care for supply of COVID-19 tests
Novacyt, an international specialist in clinical diagnostics, announced it has signed a supply contract with the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its COVID-19 (CE IVD) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, developed by Primerdesign, the Company's molecular diagnostics division based in the UK .
Under the terms of the agreement, Novacyt will supply its COVID-19 test to the DHSC for an initial term of six months, starting from 4 May 2020. Novacyt has initially committed to supply 288,000 tests per week to the DHSC for use in the NHS, with the option to expand the agreement.
This partnership with the DHSC reinforces Novacyt's existing support of the UK government's five pillar plan to increase testing for COVID-19. The contract is in addition to the Company's collaboration with AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge, announced on 8 April 2020, where Novacyt is committed to ensure an effective workflow process within the facility for COVID-19 testing, as well as provide its COVID-19 test to generate results data.
Omega Diagnostics (ODX.L)
CE-Mark of COVID-19 ELISA antibody test
Omega, the medical diagnostics company focused on CD4, infectious diseases, food intolerance and allergy testing, announced that it has CE-Marked Mologic Ltd's first generation ELISA1 antibody test for COVID-19.
The CE-Mark follows successful independent validation of Mologic's ELISA test by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St George's, University of London. Ongoing validations are being performed by Public Health England, NHS Scotland and in the Republic of Ireland.
Omega will use its ELISA manufacturing facility in Littleport, Cambridgeshire to manufacture up to 46,000 COVID-19 tests per day. Omega and Mologic will now finalise a longer-term supply agreement to commercialise this test which will be used on patient samples sent by hospitals or GPs for laboratory testing.
Partnering with Mologic is separate from, and additional to, the announcement made by the Company on 9 April 2020 relating to the UK Rapid Test Consortium (RTC), which is to jointly develop and manufacture a Point-of-Care COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test which could be used 'at-home' and which will be manufactured in Omega's Alva facility in Scotland.
Empire Metals Ltd (EEE.L)
Acquisition of Interest in Australian PGE Project
Empire Metals Limited, the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, announced that it has entered into a Binding Heads of Agreement with ASX listed Artemis Resources Limited to acquire a 41% interest in the Munni Munni Palladium Project in the West Pilbara, Western Australia and has first right of refusal on a further 29% interest in the project.
Munni Munni hosts the largest intrusion in the globally recognised resource destination of West Pilbara and is the largest undeveloped primary Platinum Group Elements Resource in Australia:
JORC 2004 Resource of 24Mt @ 2.9 g/t Platinum Group Element (PGE) and gold (12.4Mt Measured, 9.8Mt Indicated, and 1.4Mt Inferred), containing 1.14Moz palladium, 0.83Moz platinum, 152Koz gold and 76Koz rhodium)
Four granted mining leases covering a total of 64km2
Layered mafic/ultramafic intrusion with mineralisation hosted in the Ferguson Reef with all likely extensions contained within Munni Munni exploration tenements
PGEs are a group of six precious metals clustered together on the periodic table: platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), iridium (Ir), osmium (Os), rhodium (Rh) and ruthenium (Ru).
Palladium is extremely rare and is now one of the most valuable precious metals, with a supply shortage driving current prices to circa US$2,000/oz; Rhodium prices are currently circa US$7,500/oz
Agreement advances Empire's strategy to diversify project portfolio and expand geographic focus:
The Pilbara in Western Australia is one of the most highly mineralised regions globally and hosts numerous world class mines within a stable mining jurisdiction
Munni Munni represents a low-cost entry point to an attractive and mature investment environment with significant upside potential
Total cost of acquisition of £975,000, to be settled via the issue of 95 million new ordinary shares at a price of 1 pence per share and a cash option payment of £25,000
Completion subject to satisfaction of certain conditions including transfer of licences and regulatory approvals
Initial work programme to consist of reinterpretation of existing data with a view to undertaking an initial drill programme in the second half of the year.