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FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) advanced 11% to 9.24p in the early afternoon after its investee EMMAC Life Sciences received approval to cultivate medical cannabis at its Medalchemy manufacturing site in Alicante.

EMMAC, in which FastForward holds a 2.3% stake, said Medalchemy now has fully integrated cannabis supply facilities, with a licence to grow medical cannabis commercially and as an active pharmaceutical ingredient.

EMMAC has another licence in Portugal at its primary cultivation site Terra Verde, which in 2020 has produced and exported around two tonnes of medical cannabis flower. It also holds multiple medical cannabis licences in four countries across Europe.

11.15am: European Metals rises on agreement with European Battery Alliance leader

European Metals Holdings Ltd (ASX:EMH)(LON:EMH) was the top riser in late morning, surging 25% to 19.05p on the back of a partnership agreement with KIC InnoEnergy SE, the European Battery Alliance leader.

The aim is to sourcing construction finance, source grant funding, and assist in off-take introductions and negotiations in respect of the Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic.

EIT InnoEnergy leads the European Battery Alliance which was initiated by the European Commission in 2017 to create a competitive and sustainable battery cell manufacturing value chain in Europe.

10.30am: Elementis gets slammed despite profits beating forecasts

Elementis plc (LON:ELM) was one of the biggest fallers on Tuesday morning, even though its first half profits were much better than expected.

The chemicals groups sales were 9% above the consensus forecast and underlying profit was a 20% beat.

But the FTSE 250 companys shares fell 7% to below 74p after it confirmed that it had decided not to declare an interim dividend for 2020 “to ensure we conserve cash and remain well positioned for long-term success”.

9.05am: M&C Saatchi screams higher after winning contracts with TikTok, BP, Iceland

M&C Saatchi PLC (LON:SAA) shares shot 15% higher to 53.37p in early trading on Tuesday after the marketing agency advertised a “particularly resilient” period of trading.

With shares having sunk to a decades low earlier in the year after enduring a sharp drop in demand, the company said it expects to report a “small underlying profit” for the year after a quarter that saw new business wins that included TikTok and BP, plus government contracts include the launch of the UKs better health campaign and an Iceland Tourism campaign featuring scream therapy.

The state of the balance sheet has also improved, with total cash at £59mln as of July 23, 2020, approval received for £7mln in funding through the UK government's coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and a relaxation agreed of its banking covenants out to next June.

Elsewhere, Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) jumped 6% to 14.65p after its hVIVO subsidiarys state-of-the-art quarantine facility in London has won a contract with US biotech Codagenix to carry out a first-in-human trial of a potentially breakthrough nasal vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Work is expected to begin in the autumn with first data expected by the end of the year.

“hVIVO, with its unique quarantine facility, is one of the few organisations in the world that has now publicly stated that it is working on testing COVID-19 vaccines for efficacy using human challenge model clinical trials,” said Open Orphan chairman Cathal Friel.

Proactive news headlines:

European Metals Holdings Ltd (ASX:EMH) (LON:EMH) has announced that a "Value Added Services Agreement" with KIC InnoEnergy SE, the principal facilitator and organiser of the European Battery Alliance, has been entered into today by Geomet s.r.o. in respect of the Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic. The aim is to sourcing construction finance, source grant funding, and assist in off-take introductions and negotiations. EIT InnoEnergy leads the European Battery Alliance which was initiated by the European Commission in 2017 to create a competitive and sustainable battery cell manufacturing value chain in Europe.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) has noted the announcement by Global Petroleum Ltd of updated prospective resource estimates in respect of its license PEL 94, covering block 2011A, which is immediately to the south of Tower's block 1911. Global Petroleum estimates that its Welwitschia Deep Albian carbonate prospect has best estimate unrisked gross prospective resources of 671mln barrels of oil, with a geological chance of success of 17%. In a statement, Tower observed that this figure corresponds to the portion of the prospect on block 2011A, and noted that approximately 25% of the Welwitschia structure lies in block 1911, which is covered by Tower's license PEL 96.

EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT) said it has issued a letter to Aries Clean Energy inviting it to withdraw all of its claims of patent infringement made on July 9 as it reiterated its “absolute rejection” to Aries claims and its “anti-competitive application of legal threat to achieve undue commercial ends”. The waste gasification to energy group said it has been advised that Aries has yet to legally serve its complaint against EQTEC, and as a result it has yet to formally respond to the lawsuit. However, EQTEC said its letter has been sent to correct misinformation in Aries' complaint and to put Aries on notice of its potential liability and legal obligations if it does not withdraw the complaint immediately.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said that US biotech Codagenix Inc has commissioned its hVIVO arm to carry out a first-in-human trial of a potentially breakthrough nasal vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). The phase I study of 48 healthy young adults will take place at hVIVO's state-of-the-art quarantine facility in Londons Whitechapel. Work is expected to begin in the autumn with first data assessing safety and immunogenicity (whether the drug provokes an immune response) expected by the end of the year.

Norman Broadbent (LON:NBB), the recruitment and consultancy firm, has said it will post an underlying profit for the half-year to June with coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption only slightly affecting revenue. In a statement ahead of the groups AGM, Norman Broadbent's chief executive, Mike Brennan said that net fee income in the six months to June 30, 202, declined by less than 10% compared to a year ago while it recorded a small positive underlying profit (EBITDA). "Early and decisive action was taken to align our cost base to changed circumstances and to put in place the necessary technical solutions and working protocols enabling us to continue serving clients despite lockdown," the CEO added.

Digitalbox PLC (LON:DBOX) has said it expects to report an adjusted pre-tax profit “ahead of management expectations” for its first half and that advertising spending is showing signs of recovery in the third quarter. In a trading update for the six months to June 30, 2020, the owner of the Daily Mash and Entertainment Daily websites said trading in the period has been “encouraging” with strong operating margins and a rise in its cash balance to £1.2mln, up from £600,000 on December 31, 2019.

Incanthera PLC (AQSE:INC) said it has filed a new patent application covering its Sol sun cream used to prevent a skin condition called solar keratosis and related cancers. If granted, it will further extend the life of the patent family protecting Sol to 2041. “This new patent filing demonstrates the robust foundations of our Sol programme and strengthens the commercial protection for the product,” Incanthera chairman Tim McCarthy said in a statement. “We are looking forward to the next steps as we bring Sol forward to market-facing partners.”

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) said its deal to acquire an extra 3% of the Biscathorpe oil project in Lincolnshire has been given the greenlight from regulator Oil & Gas UK. Once completed, the AIM-quoted company will own a 30% interest in the asset ahead of planned work programmes. "We are pleased to complete this transaction, following which the company will hold a meaningful 30% interest in what we consider to be a key, potentially high-impact project within our well balanced portfolio,” David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack said in a statement.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) returned a profit before tax of just under £7mln for the year to December 31, 2019. The profit came as the company continued to enjoy revenues from its Kiziltepe gold mine in Turkey, where operations are now well established. “This has been another outstanding year for Ariana, which has delivered production and profitability well above its plans,” Ariana chairman Michael Read More – Source