SMALL CAP MOVERS: Novacyt jumps on growing demand for its coronavirus test

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Novacytflagged 


SMALL CAP MOVERS: Novacyt jumps on growing demand for its coronavirus test; Genedrive struggles to sell hepatitis C diagnostics kit

Novacyt climbed 21 per cent to 45p after flagging ‘unprecedented interest’ in its coronavirus test launched a week ago.

The Anglo-French diagnostics company’s phone has been ringing off the hook after the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global emergency.

Its subsidiary, Primedesign, has already received orders for 33,000 tests and requests for quotations for another 32,000 from over 30 countries.

Novacytflagged  ‘unprecedented interest’ in its coronavirus test launched a week ago

Novacyt has also applied to the US Food & Drug Administration for emergency use approval. Here in Europe, it is planning to launch a CE-Mark approved version of the kit later this month that can be used for clinical diagnostic testing rather than just screening.

It was a far less edifying week for investors in Genedrive, which saw 56 per cent wiped from its value after it said it was struggling to find sufficient buyers of its new kits to detect hepatitis C. India is the last of fourteen countries to approve the diagnostic, but commercialisation remains ‘slow’.

Looking at the wider market, the AIM All-Share inched up 1 per cent to 964, though it underperformed the FTSE 100, which rose 3 per cent to 7,481 in the last five trading days.

The well-followed Victoria Oil & Gas was another big loser. Its shares tumbled 24 per cent to 5.5p after it said it was owed $10.5million by Cameroon’s electricity provider ENEO and is now working with the government to recover the outstanding cash.

Also in the sick bay was National Accident Helpline owner NAHL Group, which tanked 36 per cent to 61p as the outlook for 2020 is now ‘significantly’ worse than previously thought due to government’s plans to change personal injury reforms.

Digital marketer XLMedia slumped 37 per cent to 29p as it expects lower revenues because Google’s algorithm is pushing clients’ websites down the search rankings for unknown reasons.

Another alert came from surveillance systems firm Petards Group, down 28 per cent to 9.5p after a delay to orders prompted a profit warning.

UK-focused oiler Hurricane Energy plunged 32 per cent to 17p after admitting a key well may have to be abandoned.

In the same boat was FireAngel Safety Technology Group, which slipped 9 per cent to 14p after it said full-year loss will be over 30 per cent wider as it incurred in extra costs for product replacement and restructuring.

The initial crash was followed by a modest pickup after new boss chief executive Stuart Simms spent £228,000 to buy 0.47 per cent of the company.

Among the risers, Andalas Energy and Power rocketed 62 per cent to 0.2p after appointing Leslie Peterkin as chief executive and Mark Rollins as chairman, who subscribed for £500,000 of shares in the company.

The AIM All-Share inched up 1 %, though it underperformed the FTSE 100, which rose 3%

Touchstone Exploration leaped 36 per cent to 37p on the back of successful results at a well offshore Trinidad confirming a natural gas discovery.

Coal producer Oracle Power surged 25 per cent to 0.8p after a major investor, a member of the ruling family of Dubai, agreed to a 12-month lock-in for 200million shares.

In the clean energy sector, AFC Energy shot up 16 per cent to 22p as it began a hydrogen-fuelled ‘roadshow’ to present its new zero-emission H-Power electric vehicle charger.

ECR Minerals advanced 8 per cent to 0.6p after it retained a royalty on future production at the SLM gold project in Argentina following the disposal of the asset to Chinese group Hanaq.

Elsewhere, Image Scan Holdings climbed 26 per cent to 2.3p as trading for real-time X-ray imaging for the security and industrial inspection markets has been ‘robust’ as it plans increased North America activity.

Back home, cosmetics producer Warpaint London rose 4 per cent to 83p on the back of a collaboration with an unnamed UK supermarket group, set to sell a range of branded products in more than 50 stores.

 

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