ValiRx shares drop sharply as placing kicks in to raise £1 million

Valirx logo

On December 18th ValiRx (VAL) shot up to 7p as it received approval from the drug regulator, the MHRA, for a dose-ranging study.  Following that news, I wrote " The news is indeed good for ValiRx but a 25% rise for a dose ranging study in early clinical development seems a little excessive. The market cap is now £44 million.  The company now needs phase II studies with a reasonable number of patients after a good dose ranging result to attract big name pharmaceutical interest to pay for the expensive phase III clinical trials.I will be keeping an eye on this company."

ValiRx share price December 22nd 2017

Yesterday, surprise, surprise, the company announced a deeply discounted placing to raise funds for this dose-ranging study. It raised £1.0 million of gross proceeds through the issue of 23,529,412 new ordinary shares at a price of 4.25 pence per share.

"The Company has agreed to grant placees a total of 11,764,706 warrants to subscribe for shares at an exercise price of 8 pence at a ratio of one warrant per two Placing Shares issued. The warrants may be exercised at any time in the period expiring on the first anniversary of the date of Admission of the Placing Shares.

The Company has agreed to grant Beaufort a warrant to subscribe for 1,882,353 shares at an exercise price of 4.25 pence per share. The warrants may be exercised at any time in the period expiring on the third anniversary of the date of Admission of the Placing Shares."

Interesting that the additional warrants will be issued at 8p. The warrants for Beaufort amount to a fee of £80,000. With  373,839,860 shares in issue, the company is now valued at £17.3 million. 

All eyes now on VAL201 study results after this placing which has battered small investors who bought in after the initial trial results earlier in December. At least there is an incentive for VAL to try and drive the price over 8p to attempt to convert the 11,764,706 warrants. 

That's the issue with small cap pharmaceuticals. Studies are expensive and high risk which means plenty of dilutive fund raising activities before any positive results. Bad news for small investors who can't take part in discounted placings. 

UKOG update December 21st 2017

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Plenty of excitement for UKOG shares as a newsletter emerged on the afternoon of December 21st on various Facebook and Twitter posts apparently from Hoyer Petrolog . HOYER Petrolog  - "delivering logistics solutions for every kind of bulk Petroleum-based product from bulk retail, commercial and aviation fuels such as petrol, diesel, gasoil and kerosene through to jet fuel, bitumen, bitumen emulsions, fuel oils and lubricants".

The shares ended up 17% up 4.125p, after a bounce from 3.35p the day before. 

Hoyer Petrolog newsletter Winter 2017 UKOG
Hoyer Petrolog newsletter UKOG winter 2017

If this a hoax it is a very well constructed one and it does seem unlikely but an RNS is needed. So if a contract has been announced by Hoyer Petrolog UK with UKOG for two tankers for oil deliveries from Broadford Bridge in West Sussex to Hythe in Southampton Monday - Friday this is highly encouraging. It is not a memorandum of understanding, it states a signed contract for tankers. If this is the case, it seems oil must be flowing at a reasonable rate from Broadford Bridge or a contract was set up with a caveat that it can be cancelled if no flows. 

But news could and should be due today, December 22nd, to confirm or refute these social media claims. It has been over one month since the last operational update from Broadford so it is about time that Steve Sanderson told shareholders what is going on. If the newsletter is anything to go by, could be a mighty exciting RNS. After the botched cementing on BB-1-z, shareholders could do with some extra good news from Broadford to revisit the 10p area, rather than 4p.

UKOG share price December 21st 2017

In addition to action at BB, on 19th December the Horse Hill consortium, which drilled the original HH-1 well near Gatwick Airport issued an ops update confirming that the "150-day production flow-test and new drilling programme set to commence in late winter 2017/18". UKOG is fully funded for Horsehill and PEDL 143 (Holmwood near Dorking) following the painful £10m loan agreement with Cuart Investments, a consortium arranged by Riverfort Global Capital. This arrangement has depressed the share price in recent weeks as shares have flooded the market to meet this loan obligation.

2018 Horse Hill Flow Test Programme

Following a short period of civil works to upgrade site facilities, a 150-day production testing programme focused upon the Portland, KL3 and KL4 reservoirs will commence. As commercially viable initial flow rates were established by the 2016 flow tests, the 2018 testing programme's goal is to confirm that HH-1's reservoirs are each connected to a commercially viable oil volume, thus enabling a declaration of commerciality to be made.

The Portland, KL3 and KL4 flow tests, each planned for around 30-40 days duration, will consist of a sequence of stabilised steady state flow and shut in periods to establish the oil in place ("OIP") directly connected to the well. A short maximum flow-rate test will also be included for each reservoir. If time permits, a further short-term test of a deeper untested Kimmeridge reservoir may be undertaken.

Testing will commence with the Portland reservoir, which in the Company's opinion, given the 323 bopd stable pumped rate achieved in 2016 and the 32 million barrels most likely OIP calculated by Xodus in 2017, is a strong candidate for commercial viability. Subject to a successful test, a Portland commercial declaration is expected to be made by mid-2018. A Kimmeridge commerciality declaration would follow programme completion and analysis of reservoir engineering data.

2018 HH drilling programme

Subject to a successful testing outcome in the Kimmeridge and Portland, the HH-2 well is planned as a future Portland producer, with an expected spud towards the end of Summer 2018. Drilling plans include optionality to deepen HH-2 into the Kimmeridge to gather core and image log data, together with a possible northwards deviation to access the adjacent oil bearing Collendean Farm fault block's significant Portland OIP.

The HH-1z Kimmeridge sidetrack spud is now planned for 2019 following construction of a Kimmeridge reservoir model utilising HH-1 Kimmeridge production data, reservoir data from the Company's 100% owned Broadford Bridge-1 & 1z Kimmeridge discovery and any future HH-2 Kimmeridge core.

ValiRx moves up sharply on news that regulator will allow dose ranging study for VAL201

ValiRx share price December 18th

ValiRx Plc (AIM: VAL) announced today that it has received approval from the UK medicines regulator the MHRA and REC for the company to expand its VAL201 trial for the Phase I/II Dose Escalation Study in Patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Prostate Cancer and other Advanced Solid Tumours. On the news VAL shares shot up over 25% to hit 7p at one point. They are currently trading at around 6.6p, move than 100% up in the last week.

VAL201 is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials at UCLH for prostate cancer. 

The news is indeed good for ValiRx but a 25% rise for a dose ranging study in early clinical development seems a little excessive. The market cap is now £44 million. 

The company now needs phase II studies with a reasonable number of patients after a good dose ranging result to attract big name pharmaceutical interest to pay for the expensive phase III clinical trials.

I will be keeping an eye on this company.

The company say that:

As VAL201 had shown no serious drug-related adverse events in the recently completed phase I study, regulators have accepted the Company and clinical team's request for this escalation to the study. This approval allows for a substantial increase in the dose of VAL201 being administered to patients, thereby allowing treatment to more speedily reach its full therapeutic potential and potential anti-cancer impact.  

This regulatory approval permits ValiRx to;

·      To substantially raise the dosing level in patients in order to reach therapeutic levels and reduce disease progression; 

·      To assess at what stage in disease development the compound can be most effectively deployed in subsequent, larger, outcome-oriented clinical trials; and

·      To determine which route and with whom to take the project to its next stage - by the Company or with a partner.

"The VAL201 treatment is differentiated from current advanced prostate cancer therapies, by not including complete and general androgen hormone deprivation.

The molecule is a peptide that inhibits the interaction between the androgen receptor and/or the oestrogen receptor complex with Src Kinase complex Domain 3. This very specific mode of action has been shown in pre-clinical studies to provide a potent therapeutic benefit with fewer side effects compared to the standard hormone therapy.  VAL201 is potentially and uniquely able to treat prostate cancer without many of the other debilitating side effects associated with other therapies."

Dr Satu Vainikka, CEO of ValiRx, commented: "Successfully reaching the endpoints in VAL201 clinical studies and receiving the approval for the acceleration of the trial and to substantially escalate the dose, is a pivotal and substantial breakthrough for our lead compound.  SinceVAL201 has demonstrated disease stabilisation, with a lower dose than was predicted, we anticipate that by increasing the dosage we will be able to see further anti-cancer activity. This accelerated study will speed-up the human development of the compound and by doing so, it will save both time and money. "

How to become a Bitcoin miner

bitcoins

Bitcoins are made or mined using powerful computers to solve complex "hashing" algorithms.

Users that deploy enough of their computer power to the Bitcoin network are rewarded in freshly minted Bitcoin but at a significant cost in time and electricity. 

Miners are not just paid in new Bitcoins but in fees. When Bitcoin moves from one wallet to another, the sender typically pays a small proportion of that to miners. Every time a new block - a record of transactions - is created on the blockchain, miners are also rewarded with a portion of the transaction fees recorded.

There are several mining apps for Windows or Mac which allow you to harvest Bitcoin from a powerful home computer.

But as more Bitcoins are made, they become more complex to mine and take longer. As the coins approach their 21 million limit, things will become even more difficult. Early miners were able to earn reasonable amount of money but now one computer mining coins for several days will earn less than $1. Nowadays it is professional mining outfits located in places like China or Mongolia with huge sever farms and access to cheap electricity. 

For the guy at home with a laptop, Bitcoin mining isn't going to make you much if any money at the end of 2017.