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Open Orphan: Flu vaccine data showcased in peer reviewed article – Proactive Investors

by Ian Lyall. 

FLU-v has been developed by Imutex, 49%-owned by Open Orphan unit hVIVO

The results of a successful phase IIb trial of a potential flu vaccine being developed by an Open Orphan PLC  (LON:ORPH) joint-venture have been written up in a peer-reviewed article carried by a scientific journal.

The data from FLU-v 004 challenge study underlined its ability to reduce mild-to-moderate symptoms of the illness.

FLU-v has been developed by Imutex, 49%-owned by Open Orphan unit hVIVO, as the first ‘universal’, broad-spectrum influenza vaccine.

The publication of the results in the periodical ‘npj Vaccines’ follows hard on the heels of results from a separate field assessment of the drug, which revealed “cellular and humoral immunogenicity” from a single dose of adjuvanted FLU-v.

In other words, the jab immediately provoked an immune response.

Imutex, meanwhile, is scheduling meetings with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of further trials.

“Progression to larger phase III studies with FLU-v can further describe the cellular immune response and evaluate how the vaccine interacts with influenza disease,” said Open Orphan chief executive Trevor Phillips.

Chairman Cathal Friel added: “The need for better, more broadly protective vaccines against influenza is a high priority worldwide, and few new vaccines have demonstrated efficacy in humans as seen in the results of the challenge study for FLU-v 004. 

“This is the first universal influenza vaccine that has shown this protection from influenza and reduction of symptoms in late-stage studies and together with the highly statistical immune results reported in a peer review article earlier this week means that the risk of failure in a phase III setting is greatly reduced compared with entering into phase III studies with no efficacy data.”

Link here to view the original Proactive article

Cadence Minerals chief provides upbeat assessment of Brazil iron ore project as green light is given for stockpile exports – Proactive Investors

by Ian Lyall. 

Speaking to Proactive’s Andrew Scott earlier, Kiran Morzaria said the former Anglo American and Cliffs Natural Resources mine, which is in the north of the country, had been “substantially de-risked”

Cadence Minerals PLC (LON:CNC) chief executive, Kiran Morzaria, provided an upbeat assessment of the potential of the Amapá iron ore project in Brazil after the green light was given to begin high-grade exporting stockpiled material to China.

Shipments are likely to start in “late Q2, early Q3”, he confirmed, adding: “We are in advanced discussions with off-takers and contractors, including the local port authorities and trucking companies.”

Speaking to Proactive’s Andrew Scott earlier, Morzaria said the former Anglo American and Cliffs Natural Resources mine, which is in the north of the country, had been “substantially de-risked”.

He pointed out the formerly producing operation comes complete with a rail spur and port – two pieces of infrastructure than can add significant costs to a project such as Amapá.

“Yes, it all requires some rehabilitation,” he added. “But it’s de-risked technically and has a product that was well-liked in China.”

Mineral resource investor Cadence has US$2.5mln sitting in escrow which it will hand over for a 20% stake in Amapá once the last of its pre-conditions is met. This requires a settlement to be reached with the secured bank creditors.

Amapá is host to 1.39 Mt ore in three stockpiles with an average grade of just over 62%.  The proceeds from sales will help bring the mine back into production.

The project, which was shuttered in 2012, produced 6.1 Mt of iron ore concentrate.

Link here to view the original Proactive article

Mail Online: Small Cap Movers – A good week for Tertiary Minerals #TYM

by Ian Lyall –

Proactive Investors for This Is Money

Sticking with the risers for a little while longer: it was a good week for AIM-listed Tertiary Minerals #TYM which doubled in value on Friday.

This came after the German group Possehl said it would help the junior miner develop its three main projects.

Tertiary is London’s only publically-traded fluorspar company. Fluorspar? No, me neither.

Anyhoo, here’s a quick cut-out-and-keep we purloined from the Proactive Investors website.

Fluorspar is the mineral form of calcium fluoride – CaF2.

When mined, it is separated into two main grades – acidspar is at least 97 per cent calcium fluoride, while metspar (metallurgical spar) is a much lower purity – at between 60 per and 85 per cent.

The latter is used for iron smelting, and to manufacture glass, steel, enamels and aluminium products, while acidspar is generally converted to hydrofluoric acid, by combining it with sulphuric acid.

This can then be made into other things like fluorocarbons, which are used in Teflon (the stuff your frying pan is coated with), fridges, freezers and air conditioning units.

It is perhaps worth noting that new environmentally friendly refrigerants, required by regulation, contain more fluorine than the older ozone depleting ones.

Physiomics and Tertiary aside, it was a fairly dour week for investors in the junior market with the AIM All Share down 0.8 per cent over the last five trading days to 1,022.57. It did, however, outperform the FTSE 100, which had a rather rough week as it posted a 1.3 per cent decline.

Mail Online full story link here

Feedback chairman says cancer software has ‘real potential’ – Proactive Investors

By Ian Lyall – Proactive Investors

Distilled down to the basics, the company’s TexRAD technology is essentially a very smart piece of software that analyses medical images, to reveal features that are not always evident to the human eye.

Dr Alastair Riddell’s CV reveals a high-flying career with the forerunners of what are now GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, followed by spells guiding businesses to IPO or trade sale.

So, what attracted him to the challenge of Feedback plc (LON:FDBK), an AIM-listed medical imaging firm worth less than £4mln?

“The persistence of Tom Charlton, who would not give me any peace until I said yes,” jokes Riddell.

Charlton is one of Feedback’s major shareholders who recruited the company’s new chairman.

However, Riddell’s mind was actually made up by cold hard data that underscored the potential of its main product, TexRAD.

“When I went to Cambridge and spoke to the people who do the work there it became clear there was real potential in this,” he told Proactive Investors.

“What really convinced me was a small study they’d done.”

Before we get to that study, it is worth getting a feel for TexRAD does.

It was the brainchild of the PhD of Dr Balaji Ganeshan, an expert on textural analysis of images gleaned from computed tomography (CT) scans.

Distilled down to the basics, it is essentially a very smart piece of software that analyses medical images, to reveal features that are not always evident to the human eye.

In doing so, it may “in a very statistical, objective and numerical way relate the output to a prognosis for the patient”, says Riddell.

Ganeshan carried out a study of patients with liver cancer using TexRAD and the results were, in the words of the Feedback chairman, “quite remarkable”.

“It quickly dawned on me that this could be a really valuable objective tool for giving an accurate prognosis,” he adds.

Riddell was announced as chairman in June, which hasn’t given him a lot of time to shape strategy.

But he has a good idea how to get the business into the full commercial phase within the next six to nine months.

He has hired a person with experience in the imaging industry to put together a marketing strategy and business plan “which should be sorted in the next few weeks”.

Feedback is already making money from TexRAD with sales to institutions carrying out research.

To fully commercialise the product it must be granted a CE Mark, European certification for the technology.

It hopes to receive the regulatory green light sometime in the first quarter of next year.

This will enable it to sell TexRAD to hospitals, where it will lend numerical support to the very skilled, interpretative work carried out by radiologists.

At that point it will require funds to hire a sales and sales support team, which in turn means Feedback will have to raise a little money to bankroll the expansion of what is currently a very lean team.

Riddell, the consummate City veteran, won’t say when he will call on shareholders, or just how much Feedback requires, but he acknowledges there will be a need to fund growth.

“We will go the market when I think we have a compelling story and we have some numbers for the market,” he says.

“We are not yet at that stage. We are ticking over; investing a little in market analysis and market development that I think will pay off.”

Riddell’s sights are set first and foremost on securing the CE mark. After that he expects to be able to unveil a new product that analyses tumour deposits in the lung.

In this regard it has partnership with a firm called Alliance Medical Group, which wants to integrate TexRAD into its scanners.

Meanwhile, a tie-up with a company in Poland called Future Processing provides Feedback with the coding know-how to develop a wider product suite.

Sales of the current product, though modest, reveal there is demand from a very specialist audience in the research sphere.

It means the technology is being cited in literature by some of the leading centres for cancer research – providing a great endorsement of the TexRAD from key opinion leaders.

In fact, the technology is also starting to make an impression with businesses operating in the field.

“My view is at the moment we are far too small and far too young to be engaged in corporate discussion,” says Riddell.

“But, if we can grow sales the way I hope we can grow them, then in two or three years we might look differently at these corporate approaches.”

In the meantime, it is about “investing in the company and doing things to a particular standard”, the Feedback chairman says.

“Of course, the next milestone will be getting the CE Mark for TexRAD,” he adds.

“This will enable us to market not just to scientists, but radiologists everywhere, which should lead to a marked expansion in sales.”

Full article here

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