Evening Standard 11/03/19 | Vox Markets

Evening Standard 11/03/19

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has the answer to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is a major problem affecting 40 million people across Europe. In mild cases the deficiency can be solved through a better diet. But for those suffering anemia brought on by malnutrition, menstrual bleeding or chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease — otherwise known as Crohn’s — and chronic kidney disease, medication is required. The most common way is by tablet but most cause side-effects. Those unable to swallow the tablets have to have intravenous iron infusion injections, which are hugely expensive and must be done in a hospital with a resuscitation team present. AIM tiddler Shield Therapeutics believes it has the answer. Its tablet Feraccru goes straight into the blood and doesn’t hang around the gut, which is what causes the side-effects. Recent tests on the drug have been positive and the company is waiting for a decision from the US Federal Drug Agency by the end of July. Feraccru is already approved in the European Union and is sold via Norgine, which manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products. There’s still a long way to go and recent results in September showed the firm generated revenues of just £495,000 in the six months to the end of June, with a net loss of £8 million. Much rests on US approval for this company — its future is the hands of the US Federal Drug Agency.

Interserve (IRV) attacks hedge fund Coltrane over rescue. Coltrane, the US hedge fund threatening to scupper a rescue of struggling outsourcer Interserve this week, has rebuffed board attempts to engage with it since December by refusing to sign confidentiality agreements, the Standard understands. It will be forced into pre-pack administration with all shareholders wiped out this Friday unless shareholders back a plan to convert most of its £632 million debt into equity, leaving existing shareholders with just 5% of the new shares. Coltrane, which owns 28% of the firm’s bombed-out equity, has come up with alternative proposals which would see it underwrite a £110 million rights issue that leaves current holders with 37.5% of the stock.


Superdry fights founder Julian Dunkerton’s return. Superdry (SDRY) on Monday stepped up its acrimonious row with the co-founder of the fashion brand, Julian Dunkerton, saying his return to the board would be “extremely damaging”. In a strongly worded letter to investors, the company asked them to vote against the appointment of Dunkerton, who stepped down as a director last March, as a non-executive director at a meeting on April 2. Today’s rebuke comes after Dunkerton, Superdry’s largest shareholder, demanded an extraordinary meeting with investors last month to enable his return to the table after criticising the management’s strategy.


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