• Silk Laser signs scheme implementation deed with Wesfarmers subsidiary for $3.35/share
  • ECS Botanics nabs two new offtake deals worth nearly $12 million for medicinal cannabis dried flower
  • Nyrada says cholesterol-lowering drug candidate won’t be proceeding to human trials, falls 50%

Silk Laser agrees to superior takeover by Wesfarmers subsidiary

Cosmetic group SILK Laser Australia (ASX:SLA) has signed a scheme implementation deed with Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) wholly-owned subsidiary Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) after it matched a rival $3.35/share bid, valuing the company at ~$180 million.

Hong Kong listed EC Healthcare made a non-binding and indicative proposal for the acquisition of 100% of the shares in SLA  at an indicative offer price of $3.35/share by way of a scheme of arrangement in May.

SLA announced on June 2 its intention to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the EC Indicative proposal on various conditions including no superior proposal being received.

API first offered $3.15/share in April before EC healthcare came back with a higher offer.

SLA said the board determined the API Binding Offer to be a superior proposal to the EC indicative proposal.

WES health managing director Emily Amos said that the acquisition of SLA would complement the division’s existing Clear Skincare Clinics, providing scale and efficiency benefits through an expanded presence in the attractive and growing market for aesthetics products and services.

“Wesfarmers Health’s acquisition of SILK would provide SILK franchisees and business owners with the benefits associated with being part of a broader healthcare, wellness and beauty network and access to capital to support future growth,” Amos said.

SLA’s board has unanimously recommended the API offer in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert’s assessment.

“Wesfarmers Health represents a logical, long-term owner for the SILK business, with the expertise and capacity to support continued growth for SILK and its franchise partners,” SLA chairman Boris Bosnich said.

“The API offer provides certainty for shareholders, and we have been pleased with the alignment between the businesses seen through due diligence.”


ECS Botanics secures offtake deals worth nearly $12 million

Pot stock ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) has entered into two binding offtake agreements worth at least $11.9m to supply medicinal cannabis dried flower over the next three years.

ECS will supply Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufactured, medicinal cannabis dried flower worth $10.2 million over three years to Melbourne-based medicinal cannabis company Entoura Pty Ltd, and GMP manufactured.

The company will also supply medicinal cannabis dried flower worth $1.7 million over 12 months to Sydney-based Precision Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, in an agreement to be reviewed annually.

ECS said Entoura develops and supplies high quality medicinal cannabis products, undertakes training, education and actively supports medicinal cannabis research.

Under the offtake agreement ECS will supply a minimum of three strains of GMP medicinal cannabis dried flower exclusively to Entoura.

Precision retails various medicinal cannabis products and conducts research and development. ECS will supply Precision exclusive strains of dried medicinal cannabis flower for inclusion in the Precision retail product range.

First supply under both agreements will is forecast for Q1 FY24.

“It is rewarding to see the momentum across our entire business, with sales, distribution and customer relationships performing strongly,” ECS managing director, Nan-Maree Schoerie said.

“These latest two Australian offtake agreements, worth at least $11.9m in sales, come soon after recent agreements worth $9.9 million to supply products in the German market.”


Nyrada’s plummets 50% after drug candidate won’t proceed to human trials

Nyrada (ASX:NYR) has dropped in morning trade after announcing its cholesterol-lowering drug candidate will not be taken forward into the planned Phase I/IIa clinical trial.

NYR, which specialises in novel small molecule drugs to treat cardiovascular and neurological diseases, said while the drug candidate returned no unusual safety signals in all but one key study, due to an adverse signal observed in a Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) toxicology study, it won’t be taken forward into the planned Phase I/IIa clinical trial.

NYR was advised by the US Contract Research Organisation (CRO) engaged to conduct the preclinical safety and toxicology studies that during the later stages of the recently completed 28-day in vivo GLP toxicology study, adverse pathology findings in response to the company’s drug candidate were observed in a number of animal subjects.

After seeking advice from NYR’s consultant toxicologist, and following further discussions with the US CRO, it was determined that the company’s clinical drug candidate is not suitable to be advanced into a first-in-human study.

“The team and I were encouraged by preliminary study readouts in the lead-up to completion of the 28-day toxicology study,” NYR CEO James Bonnar said.

“The observed adverse pathology findings were unexpected, with our drug candidate successfully passing safety and toxicology studies except for one.

“Although this development means a temporary delay in the program, we remain committed to our mission to develop an oral small molecule PCSK9 inhibitor drug, as we believe it to be the optimal approach to lowering high cholesterol.”


Avita Medical rejoins the Russell 3000 Index

Regenerative medicine and dual US listed company Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) (NASDAQ: RCEL) has rejoined the broad-market FTSE Russell 3000 Index following the conclusion of the 2023 Russell indexes annual reconstitution, effective after the US market opens on June 26, 2023.

The annual Russell indexes reconstitution captures the 4,000 largest US stocks as of April 28, 2023, ranking them by total market capitalisation, including both the Russell 3000 and Russell Microcap Indexes.

Membership in the US all-cap Russell 3000 Index, which remains in place for one year, means automatic inclusion in the small-cap Russell 2000 Index as well as the appropriate growth and value style indexes.

FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market capitalisation rankings, and style attributes.

“We are pleased to rejoin the globally recognised Russell indexes,” said AVH CEO Jim Corbett.

“We believe our inclusion will expand our exposure to the investment community and broaden our investor base, further advancing our strategic growth initiatives.”

Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies.

AVH last week announced the US FDA had provided Premarket Approval (PMA) of its RECELL System for treatment of vitiligo.

Using the device, a clinician can deliver autologous skin cells from pigmented skin to stable depigmented areas, offering a safe and effective treatment for vitiligo, which affects up to 2% of the population worldwide.

The FDA also recently signed off on a PMA for the use of RECELL to treat full-thickness skin defects. The RECELL System was first approved in the US for treatment of severe burns in 2018.


The SLA, ECS, NYR & AVH share price today: