Pain app ePat all smiles in last week’s small cap winners and losers list
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It was a painless week for ePat Technologies, which is developing an app that measures patient suffering by analysing facial “micro-expressions”.
Disregarding stocks like Medigard that shoot up and down in price based on a few trades, ePat (ASX:EPT) was one of the top small cap gainers on the ASX last week.
The shares pushed up 73 per cent to 7c this week, valuing the company at $50.1 million.
An initial version of the app for patients with dementia was cleared for use as a medical device in Australia by the TGA in July, and a second version for young children was in development, he said.
Strong gains in the previous week had already prompted the ASX to issue a speeding ticket.
ePat told the ASX on Monday it was not aware of any reason for the share price growth.
The next day ePat announced a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicated its app was “a valid and reliable pain assessment tool for people with moderate to severe dementia, who can no longer self-report their pain”.
One of the article authors, Mustafa Atee, is ePAT’s Scientific Officer. But peer-reviewed is peer-reviewed and investors were impressed.
Canada-focused explorer Atrum Coal was another big winner after replacing directors yet again following long-running boardroom dramas that have stifled progress in recent years.
Atrum’s shares rose 71 per cent to 29c, valuing the company at almost $70 million.
Atrum (ASX:ATU) was once a high-flyer, reaching $2 after it floated on the ASX back in 2013. Over the past year it has drifted down, reaching 15c on August 1, before sudden redemption.
Atrum appointed a new chief executive Max Wang, new chairman Chuck Blixt and two directors, George Edwards and Charles Fear.
Two other directors departed including Perth mining exec Craig Burton who only joined the board earlier this year after seizing 9.3 per cent of the company, according to The Australian.
The shares jumped sharply to 25c on Monday.
On Thursday Atrum appointed Canadian engineer Wang. On Friday it announced the other board changes.
Wang, who holds a bachelor degree in Railway Engineering and a PhD in Civil Engineering, will be paid $C350,000 salary and 10 million options exerciseable from 18c to $1.
One million of those options are already in the money, valued at $290,000 based on Friday’s close.
This week another speeding ticket went to manganese explorer OM Holdings (ASX:OMH), which said it knew of no unannounced information which could explain a recent jump in trading volume.
OM’s shares soared 65 per cent this week from 20c on Monday to a 12-month high of 35c on Thursday. It closed the week at 33c.
In a statement, the company said it “does acknowledge the recent market releases that Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese Industry Co Ltd has announced of its intention to re-start production at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in Western Australia before the end of the calendar year, following recent manganese price strengthening and positive manganese market conditions.”
The week’s other winners included gold explorer Artemis Resources, which finalised a deal to fast-track exploration in Karratha, WA and lithium play Argosy which agreed on a China sales deal.
Artemis was up 57 per cent and Argosy 54 per cent.
Here are the week’s ASX small cap winners:
The week’s biggest losers
At the other end of the table, supercharger maker Sprintex (ASX:SIX) fell 50 per cent after announcing on Wednesday it had borrowed $US400,000 for working capital. The loan is due to be repaid by the end of December with a $45,000 fee.
Sprintex burned $1.2 million in the June quarter, leaving it with $195,000 in the bank — and projected costs this quarter of $1.7 million.
The company said it was exploring long term funding options.
Pot stock Algae.Tec also was on a big downer this week, with shares dropping 41 per cent to 2.9c.
Algae.Tec (ASX:AET) this week appointed the President of the Industrial Hemp Association of NSW, James Vosper, as “medical marijuana consultant” – and announced its first cannabis crop would be planted in Uruguay in September.
But investors were clearly unimpressed.
It was a similar story with Nicaragua-focused gold explorer Oro Verde (ASX:OVL). Oro’s share price lost 33 per cent despite an announcement that it had a “bonanza” gold zone at Topacio gold project.
Shareholders were spooked by news that the ASX’s biggest gold producer Newcrest had pulled out of the project.
Metalstech was also down 31 per cent despite announcing this week that tests showed “the presence of high grade cobalt mineralisation” at its Ontario, Canada project.
Here are the week’s ASX small cap losers: