Braveheart (AIM: BRH), the fund management and strategic investment group, is pleased to announce that it has conditionally acquired 22,145 shares in Phasefocus Holdings Limited (“Phasefocus”) from Synergy Investments Limited (the “Phasefocus Acquisition”) and is pleased to provide a further operational update on its 100 per cent. owned investment, Paraytec Limited (“Paraytec”).
The Phasefocus Acquisition will be satisfied by the issue to Synergy Investments Limited of 700,000 new ordinary shares in Braveheart (the “Consideration Shares”). The Consideration Shares had a value of £203,000, based on the closing mid-market price of a Braveheart ordinary share of 29p per share on 20 May 2020, the last practicable date prior to the date of the Phasefocus Acquisition. When issued, the Consideration Shares will rank pari passu in all respects with the Company’s existing ordinary shares.
The Phasefocus Acquisition is subject to agreement by certain Phasefocus shareholders and, if approved, will increase Braveheart’s holding in Phasefocus from 25 per cent. to 42.67 per cent. of the issued share capital of Phasefocus. A further announcement will be made in due course.
Operational update on Paraytec
The Nexus Project
The Innovate UK grant funded part of the Nexus Project has now been completed. The technology developed under this project concerns microbore size exclusion chromatography (“µSEC”) and is now the subject of a number of patent applications being prepared by Paraytec.
Commercial exploitation is expected to come from the development of a new analytical instrument used in two main areas, the analysis of high concentration monoclonal antibody (“mAb”) formulations and characterising critical quality attributes of Virus Like Particles (“VLP”) for use in Gene Therapy, which has possible uses in the development of therapeutics and vaccines for Covid-19.
The potential addressable market for an instrument aimed at the mAb formulations is considered to be in excess of $10 million of sales per annum. It is too early to quantify the addressable market for the Gene Therapy area. There is currently significant merger and acquisition activity in this market, and scientific methodologies, which are in their infancy have yet to become established. This presents opportunities for innovations such as Paraytec’s. The Covid-19 pandemic has additionally stimulated interest in this market sector.
The proposed instrument requires a number of key subsystems in addition to Paraytec’s imaging capability and commercial discussions with potential providers are underway.
One of the key features of the Nexus Project has been the high level of meaningful interaction with end users including GSK, AstraZeneca, Fujifilm Diosynth, The University of Central Lancashire and The Centre for Process Innovation. All end users have expressed a wish to be involved in the continuation of the development work.
The AD Scanner Project
Through the AD Scanner Project, Paraytec is part of a European consortium with two SMEs (Biomotif AB in Sweden and Spectrometry Vision BV in Holland) as well as the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the VU University Medical Center in Holland (together the “Consortium”). The aim of the project is to develop a test for Alzheimer’s Disease by detecting certain biomarkers connected to neurodegeneration. The Consortium has proved that it is possible to follow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease by measuring protein concentration in blood samples, using a method which has been shown to classify Alzheimer’s Disease patients into those who will later rapidly lose their mental abilities, categorised as “fast decliners”, compared with those who will slowly decline mentally, categorised as “slow decliners”. A blood biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease onset or progression is a highly desirable alternative to the current markers in cerebrospinal fluid which can only be acquired with an invasive lumbar puncture procedure, unlike blood analysis which is widely utilised and considered non-invasive.
Commercial exploitation of this project is expected to be by Biomotif AB taking a licence to use Paraytec’s imaging technology in the analytical instrument being developed.
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