Rio Tinto releases fourth quarter production results

MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said “We have delivered a strong safety and operational performance in the face of the significant global challenges of COVID-19. Our 2020 performance reflects the resilience of the business, and the commitment and flexibility of our employees, customers, communities and host governments.

“We are working to restore trust with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people. Some important progress has been made as set out in the joint statement issued in December following a meeting between the PKKP and Rio Tinto boards. We are also developing additional measures to strengthen our partnerships with Traditional Owners, including a commitment to modernise and improve agreements, particularly in the Pilbara. More broadly, we are determined to improve Rio Tinto’s approach to stakeholder engagement globally by embedding a more inclusive approach that strengthens our overall thinking, decision-making and performance. However, I do not underestimate the time and effort it will take, genuinely working together with our partners, in order for Rio Tinto to drive the changes necessary to help restore trust and rebuild our reputation.

“Safe and well-run operations, together with world-class assets and a strong balance sheet, leave Rio Tinto well placed to generate superior returns for shareholders, invest in sustaining and growing our portfolio, while continuing to pay taxes and royalties in our host communities and make a broader contribution to society, including employment and procurement.”

 

Production*

Quarter 4

2020

vs Q4

2019

vs Q3

2020

Full Year

2020

vs FY

2019

Pilbara iron ore shipments (100% basis) (Mt)

88.9

+2%

+8%

330.6

+1%

Pilbara iron ore production (100% basis) (Mt)

86.0

+3%

0%

333.4

+2%

Bauxite (Mt)

13.3

-12%

-8%

56.1

+2%

Aluminium (kt)

815

+4%

+2%

3,180

0%

Mined Copper (kt)

132.5

-4%

+2%

527.9

-9%

Titanium dioxide slag (kt)

272

-5%

-7%

1,120

-7%

IOC iron ore pellets & concentrate (Mt)

2.7

+7%

+17%

10.4

-1%

*Rio Tinto share unless otherwise stated

 

Q4 Operational update

  • Our 2020 safety performance was strong, fatality-free for a second year in a row. Health and safety remains our top priority as we maintain use of the critical controls that protect our employees and the local communities with the resurgence of COVID-19 in several regions where we operate. Our all injury frequency rate (AIFR) improved by more than 10% for 2020 versus 2019 (0.42), demonstrating our ability to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Pilbara iron ore achieved a strong performance across the network in 2020, despite impacts from Cyclone Damien in the first quarter and COVID-19 disruptions which also resulted in the deferral of maintenance to the second half. Shipments of 330.6 million tonnes (100% basis) were 1% higher than 2019 and production of 333.4 million tonnes (100% basis), 2% higher than 2019. This was underpinned by record total material moved, 7% higher than the previous record in 2019.
  • Bauxite production of 56.1 million tonnes was 2% higher than 2019 supported by the ramp-up of the expansion at the CBG mine in Guinea, and steady performance at the Pacific mines.
  • Aluminium production of 3.2 million tonnes was in line with 2019, with lower volumes from the curtailment of Line 4 at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in New Zealand and from the Kitimat smelter pot relining campaign, offset by the ramp-up of the Becancour smelter in Quebec.
  • On 14 January 2021, we announced a new electricity agreement had been reached with Meridian Energy that allows New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) to continue operating the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter until December, 2024.
  • Mined copper was above the guidance range, but 9% lower than 2019 due to lower grades at Kennecott as a result of planned pit sequencing and Oyu Tolgoi production phasing. The commercial and operational teams at Kennecott Utah achieved approximately 60,000 dry metric tonnes of copper concentrate sales in the fourth quarter to partly mitigate the impact of the delayed re-start of the smelter, which became fully operational during October.
  • On 16 December, we confirmed the definitive estimate of cost and schedule for Panel 0 of the Oyu Tolgoi underground project in Mongolia, with sustainable production expected to commence in October 2022 and development capital of $6.75 billion1, in line with previously announced ranges. Rio Tinto considers that additional milestones need to be met in order to ensure that the project can commence caving operations in 2021, including: outstanding government approvals; funding; and, a power solution. Further information can be found in the Investments, growth and development projects section below.
  • Titanium dioxide slag production of 1.1 million tonnes was 7% lower than 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec and South Africa, lower market demand and operational disruptions at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). With the COVID-19 resurgence in Quebec and South Africa, we continue to operate our assets with extensive measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees and communities.
  • Production of pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) was 1% lower than 2019 due to unplanned maintenance at the processing facilities in the third and fourth quarters. On 3 December, we signed a Reconciliation and Collaboration Agreement with the Innu communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John, re-confirming the long-term partnership between the company and the two communities over the coming decades.
  • On 10 December, we disclosed a maiden Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at the 100% owned Jadar lithium-borates project in western Serbia. The Ore Reserve is 16.6 million tonnes at 1.81% Li2O and 13.4% B2O3.2 Jadar would be capable of producing approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate, as well as 160 thousand tonnes of boric acid (B2O3 units) and 255 thousand tonnes of sodium sulfate as by-products per annum.3
  • On 17 December, we announced the appointment of Jakob Stausholm as Chief Executive, effective 1 January 2021. Peter Cunningham has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer, effective 1 January 2021.
  • On 15 January 2021, we announced that we have entered the next phase of public comment in the ongoing permitting process at the Resolution Copper Project in Arizona, led by the US Forest Service, with the release of its independently prepared Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The delay in publication of the Final EIS, which was originally scheduled for July 2020 by the Obama Administration, is a result of extensive public consultation, significant interagency coordination and COVID-19 related changes to the pace of work.

The full fourth quarter production results are available here

Footnotes

1 This estimate is at a better than feasibility study level of accuracy.

2 This Ore Reserve estimate was set out in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) dated 10 December 2020 “Rio Tinto declares maiden Ore Reserve at Jadar” (ASX release). The Competent Person responsible for the information in the ASX release that relates to Ore Reserves is Mr Allan Earl who is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM). Mr Earl’s assessment is supported from a metallurgical perspective by Mr Gary Davis who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (MAusIMM). Rio Tinto confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the ASX release, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the ASX release continue to apply and have not materially changed, and that the form and context in which the Competent Persons’ findings are presented have not been materially modified.

3 The production targets were previously reported in the ASX release on 10 December 2020. All material assumptions underpinning the production targets continue to apply and have not materially changed.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

LEI: 213800YOEO5OQ72G2R82

Classification: 3.1 Additional regulated information required to be disclosed under the laws of a Member State

Contacts

media.enquiries@riotinto.com
riotinto.com

Media Relations, United Kingdom
Illtud Harri

M +44 7920 503 600

David Outhwaite

T +44 20 7781 1623

M +44 7787 597 493

Media Relations, Americas
Matthew Klar

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Media Relations, Asia
Grant Donald

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M +65 9722 6028

Media Relations, Australia
Jonathan Rose

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M +61 447 028 913

Matt Chambers

T +61 3 9283 3087

M +61 433 525 739

Investor Relations, United Kingdom
Menno Sanderse

T: +44 20 7781 1517

M: +44 7825 195 178

David Ovington

T +44 20 7781 2051

M +44 7920 010 978

Clare Peever

M: +44 7788 967 87

Investor Relations, Australia
Natalie Worley

T +61 3 9283 3063

M +61 409 210 462

Amar Jambaa

T +61 3 9283 3627

M +61 4 7286 5948

Rio Tinto plc
6 St James’s Square

London SW1Y 4AD

United Kingdom

T +44 20 7781 2000

Registered in England

No. 719885

Rio Tinto Limited
Level 7, 360 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000

Australia

T +61 3 9283 3333

Registered in Australia

ABN 96 004 458 404

Category: General

 

CommScope Files Patent Infringement Suit Against SOLiD in Germany

HICKORY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, filed an additional patent infringement lawsuit in Germany against SOLiD, a manufacturer of distributed antenna systems (DAS) based in South Korea.

The complaint asserts German part of European Patent No. EP 2290850B1 relating to CommScope’s digital DAS innovations against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product. CommScope asserted the United Kingdom part of this patent against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product in the U.K. last year.

CommScope also enforced the U.S. counterparts of EP 2290850B1 in separate U.S. patent infringement actions against Dali Wireless and SOLiD. The U.S. action against SOLiD was filed in May of 2020 and, after noting that SOLiD withdrew its Genesis DAS product from the U.S. market, CommScope voluntarily dismissed that action.

“CommScope has invested heavily in innovation in the field of digital distributed antenna systems to benefit its customers and reinforce its position as a global leader in wireless and wireline network infrastructure. This leadership was recognized when Kathrein took a royalty-bearing license to CommScope’s digital DAS patents in 2017 and again in the 2019 U.S. case against Dali with a jury finding CommScope’s patents valid and that Dali willfully infringed. We continue to vigorously protect these valuable assets, and this additional action against SOLiD is a necessary step to prevent unauthorized infringement,” said Matt Melester, chief technology officer, Venue and Campus Networks, CommScope.

The new German action was filed December 18, 2020 in the Munich District Court. The German part of EP 2290850B1 is subject matter of nullity proceedings pending with the Federal Patent Court (docket no. 4 Ni 7/20 (EP)). The pending action before the U.K. Patents Court is Claim No. HP-2020-0017 and asserts both EP 2290850B1 and EP 1570626B1.

All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About CommScope:

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at www.commscope.com.

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Sign up for our press releases and blog posts.

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: CommScope

Contacts

News Media Contact:
Kris Kozamchak, CommScope

+1 972 792 3311 or publicrelations@commscope.com

Financial Contact:
Michael McCloskey, CommScope

+1-828-431-9874

U.K. Enterprises Look for Help with Rising Volume of Data

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees U.K. companies turning to data analytics providers to help them make sense of their huge data collections

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$III #DataAnalytics–Enterprises in the U.K. are seeing their data volumes skyrocket, and are looking to analytics providers to help them make sense of this flood of information, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. finds companies in the country looking for new insights to improve customer experience and support product and service rollouts, and are turning to analytics providers to help them with these goals.

While company executives recognize the need for new data insights, many U.K. companies often lack the resources and experience to create their own data management and analytics strategies, the report adds.

“U.K. companies, facing uncertain times, seek to base their business decisions on trusted data and evidence,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Analytics services allow companies to become more resilient by using solid data insights to plan for the future.”

Part of the challenge for U.K. enterprises is a skills shortage in data science and data analytics, the report says. In many cases, enterprises and service providers are training their own in-house employees to add data analytics skills. In addition, new automated tools are threatening to shake up the data science industry, such as Google Cloud Smart Analytics, which will start to compete with traditional data science services.

Some U.K. businesses are turning to self-service analytics tools, the report says. The growing demand for insights has driven some businesses to assemble their own analytics dashboards using tools that don’t require significant mathematical or business insight knowledge.

Data engineering services, meanwhile, make up the bulk of data analytics activities by companies in the U.K., the report adds. The demand for data engineering services is increasing as the number of decentralized data sources also grows. Companies are building data lakes to capture data from the network edge and other sources.

The demand for cloud integration of data analytics infrastructure environments is also growing, the report adds. As more businesses shift to digital operations, the cloud has become the inevitable choice for investment in data analytics infrastructure.

Finally, demand for data lifecycle management expertise is growing as well, the report says. The sheer volume of data being collected by businesses creates continuous operational challenges in governance and general data management.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 70 providers across six quadrants: Data Science Services, Data Engineering Services, Data Infrastructure and Cloud Integration Services, Data Lifecyle Management Services, Self-Service Analytics and BI Platforms as a Service, and Analytics Reporting Solutions.

The report names Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, DXC Technology and IBM as leaders in four quadrants and Infosys and TCS as leaders in three. Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, SAP, Tableau, Tech Mahindra and TIBCO are named as leaders in two quadrants, and Bosch, Ernst & Young, Infor Birst, KPMG, Microsoft, NTT DATA, PTC, PwC, Qlik, SAS and Sisense are all named leaders in one.

In addition, HCL, Hexaware, N-iX, NTT DATA and Tech Mahindra were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant.

Customized versions of the report are available from Hexaware and N-iX.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG’s global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG’s enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

Contacts

Will Thoretz, ISG

+1 203 517 3119

will.thoretz@isg-one.com

Kate Hartley, Carrot Communications for ISG

+44 7714065233

kate.hartley@carrotcomms.co.uk

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in 2021

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#consumertrends–Global market research company Euromonitor International reveals the trends that will define consumer behavior and influence business strategies this year in a new report, “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021.” The COVID-19 pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each trend.


In 2021, consumers:

  • Expect purpose-driven initiatives that support the triple bottom line—people, planet and profits (Build Back Better). Nearly 70% of professionals expect consumers to be more concerned about sustainability than before COVID-19.
  • Desire the ease of on-the-go, impulse and spontaneous occasions and simplicities of pre-pandemic life (Craving Convenience).
  • Reconnect with nature and turn to open-air venues for leisure and to safely socialize (Outdoor Oasis).
  • Use digital tools to stay connected at home and to facilitate safer procedures in brick-and-mortar outlets (Phygital Reality).
  • Gain newfound flexibility, scheduling activities in a non-conventional order to suit individual time demands (Playing with Time).
  • Distrust media and governments, defying misinformation and putting their needs first (Restless and Rebellious). In 2020, 29% of global consumers were actively involved in political and social issues.
  • Demand contactless services, exceptional sanitation standards and products that enhance hygiene and immunity (Safety Obsessed).
  • Reassess priorities and identities in pursuit of a more fulfilled life and improved mental resilience (Shaken and Stirred). Depression and mental health had a moderate or severe impact on 73% of global consumers’ everyday lives last year.
  • Budget cautiously and purchase value-added and affordable products and services (Thoughtful Thrifters).
  • Find a new work-life balance, as remote collaboration redefines the traditional office environment (Workplaces in New Spaces). More than half of global consumers previously had a strict boundary between work or school and personal life.

“2021 will be a pivotal year,” says Alison Angus, head of lifestyles at Euromonitor International. “Tailoring strategies to these emerging consumer trends will empower businesses to endure the unexpected and overcome adversities.”

Download Euromonitor’s “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021” report to explore the values and expectations that will drive consumer behavior this year. The report is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Japanese.

About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence, market analysis and consumer insights. From local to global and tactical to strategic, our research solutions support decisions on how, where and when to grow your business. Find the right report, database or custom solution to validate priorities, redirect assumptions and uncover new opportunities. With offices around the world, analysts in over 100 countries, the latest data science techniques and market research on every key trend and driver, we help you make sense of global markets.

Contacts

Marissa Bosler

Senior Communications Executive – Euromonitor International

Tel: +1 312 922 1115 ext. 8908

Marissa.Bosler@Euromonitor.com

EG Group Selects PDI to Bring Contactless Payments to its North American Sites

PDI’s payments platform powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards app that will be rolled out to thousands of sites

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#EGGroup–PDI (www.pdisoftware.com), a global provider of enterprise software solutions to convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers, announced it has reached an agreement with EG Group to expand the use of PDI Payments to nearly 1,700 sites across North America.

PDI added payments capabilities to its Marketing Cloud Solutions offering last year after acquiring ZipLine, the industry leader for ACH payment and provider of mobile payment technology. The PDI Payments platform currently powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards. The rewards program originated with Cumberland Farms—one of several U.S.-based convenience store brands EG Group acquired in recent years—and will soon be rolled out to EG Group’s remaining stores across North America.

Customers can download the free app and enjoy a contactless payment experience, whether making purchases in the store or at the pump. PDI will provide the technology to support customer enrollment in SmartPay and deliver ongoing customer service for reward members. The program also allows members to save 10 cents on every gallon of gas they buy as well as earn other rewards.

“We’ve seen significant consumer adoption at the locations where we’ve implemented our SmartPay program,” said Mohsin Issa, Founder and co-CEO at EG Group. “We’re excited to extend our partnership with PDI so we can quickly offer this valuable service to an even larger segment of our loyal customer base.”

Today’s news is the latest example of EG Group and PDI’s growing business relationship. PDI previously announced that the UK-based convenience retailer would implement its ERP, Fuel Pricing, and Logistics solutions to thousands of sites across Europe, North America and Australia.

“We’re proud to be a trusted partner in EG Group’s ongoing growth and development strategy,” said Jimmy Frangis, CEO at PDI. “Payments are such an integral part of creating a convenient, digital-first customer journey. We’re pleased to support a respected global brand like EG Group as they provide differentiated customer experiences at the pump and in the store.”

About PDI

Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI) helps convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers thrive through digital transformation and enterprise software that enables them to grow topline revenue, optimize operations and unify their business across the entire value chain. Over 1,500 customers in more than 200,000 locations worldwide count on our leading ERP, logistics, fuel pricing and marketing cloud solutions to provide insights that increase volume, margin and customer loyalty. PDI owns and operates the Fuel Rewards® loyalty program that is consistently ranked as a top-performing fuel savings program year after year. For more than 35 years, our comprehensive suite of solutions and unmatched expertise have helped customers of any size reimagine their enterprise and deliver exceptional customer experiences. For more information about PDI, visit www.pdisoftware.com.

Contacts

Cederick Johnson, PDI
+1 254.410.7600 I cjohnson@pdisoftware.com

Ixaka (formerly Rexgenero) Launches as an Integrated Cell and Gene Therapy Company

 Additional financing from existing shareholders will accelerate proprietary multi-cell and targeted nanoparticle technologies

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ixaka Ltd, an integrated cell and gene therapy company focused on the natural power of the body to cure disease, launches today. The Company’s shareholders have funded the business with over £40 million in financing.

Previously Rexgenero Ltd, a UK-based company pioneering the development of cell therapies to treat serious diseases such as cancer and chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI), the launch of Ixaka follows integration of its nanoparticle gene therapy business in France and a shareholder restructuring.

The new business will continue to develop Ixaka’s proprietary technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies (MCTs) and targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutics. Ixaka’s technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by targeting curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative function.

Joe Dupere, CEO of Ixaka, commented: “Ixaka’s broad offering of integrated cell and gene therapy capabilities, encompassing cell-based products and an innovative in vivo gene delivery platform, provides a strong foundation for our ambitions to become a leader in cell and gene therapies. Our focus is now on accelerating progress to help realise the potential for durable and curative cell and gene therapies. By exploring multiple therapies across oncology and cardiovascular, genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases, we are well positioned to bring life-changing treatments to multiple patient populations with critical unmet needs.”

REX-001, Ixaka’s lead MCT product, is an autologous cell-based product in clinical development for the treatment of CLTI. REX-001 is currently being evaluated in the pivotal Phase III SALAMANDER clinical trial at multiple sites across Europe.

Ixaka’s polymeric nanoparticle platform can be used to perform genetic modifications directly inside a patient’s body. The platform enables in vivo targeting and transduction of T cells, and is currently being applied to generate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies in vivo for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components will allow the technology to target a broad range of serious diseases, including cancers and genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases.

A total of $15.4 billion was raised in the first half of 2020 for the development of cell and gene therapies, with 1,078 regenerative medicine and advanced therapy clinical trials ongoing worldwide1.

References

1. https://alliancerm.org/sector-report/h1-2020-report/

– ENDS –

About Ixaka

Ixaka is a cell and gene therapy company focused on using the natural powers of the body to cure disease.

Ixaka’s proprietary technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by increasing the presence of curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative effect.

Ixaka’s technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies and nanoparticle therapeutics – demonstrate potential for the treatment of a broad range of serious diseases across oncology, cardiovascular, neurological and ocular diseases, and genetic disorders.

Ixaka has offices in London, UK with R&D and manufacturing operations in Seville, Spain and Paris, France and additional manufacturing capability in Frankfurt, Germany.

For more information, please visit www.ixaka.com

Connect with us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ixaka_Ltd; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ixaka-limited/

About Ixaka’s multi-cell therapies

Multi-cell therapies (MCT) are derived from natural tissue extracts which are selected for the most active cells, removing components (such as red blood cells and platelets) that potentially reduce the activity of therapeutic cells. Our first MCT is REX-001, which is currently in a multi-site Phase 3 clinical trial for chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI).

Ixaka’s REX-001 MCT consists of a combination of progenitor cells and immune cells (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) which are selected and concentrated from a patient’s own bone marrow and administered directly to the site of occluded blood vessels in the lower leg. Locally administered REX-001 acts to regenerate blood vessels (through both direct and indirect paracrine mechanisms), modulate immune responses, improve blood flow, improve tissue oxygenation, and promote wound healing. These effects lead to a significant improvement in clinical outcomes and quality of life through complete ulcer healing and alleviation of chronic ischemic rest pain.

About Ixaka’s in vivo gene delivery technology

Ixaka’s targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutic is a platform which enables therapeutic cells to be targeted and genetic modifications to be performed directly inside the body. The first application is in the generation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components however allows the technology to target a broad range of therapeutic cells for the treatment of many serious diseases including cancers, genetic disorders, neurological, autoimmune and ocular diseases.

The TNP in vivo gene delivery approach enables targeting of specific cells and expression of the gene of interest directly in the patient. The technology is also targeted and controllable offering potentially improved efficacy and safety. Generation of enhanced therapeutic cells through genetic modification inside the body also enables more standardized manufacturing which is less expensive as it does not require costly dedicated manufacturing sites needed to expand cells before use (as is required for ex vivo cell therapies).

Contacts

At Ixaka
Joe Dupere, CEO

+44 (0)20 3700 7480

info@ixaka.com

For media enquiries
Instinctif Partners
Tim Watson / Siobhan Sanford

+44 7837 674 500 / + 44 7534 247 411

ixaka@instinctif.com

Metrion Biosciences and LifeArc Further Extend Neuroscience-focused Ion Channel Drug Discovery Collaboration

Ongoing collaboration extended for another 12 months and successfully progresses into late stage hit-to-lead optimisation phase

CAMBRIDGE, England & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Metrion Biosciences Limited (Metrion), the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity, today announced a 12-month extension of their neuroscience drug discovery collaboration, as a result of the continued success of their ongoing agreement.

The collaboration is focused on the discovery of novel selective small molecular modulators of a specific two-pore domain potassium ion channel target, identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis, and has now progressed into the hit-to-lead optimisation phase. Initially signed in January 2019, the collaboration agreement was extended for the first time in December 2019. Following the achievement of mutually agreed criteria LifeArc has now exercised the option to extend the programme for a further 12 months.

Under the terms of the agreement, Metrion provides validated ion channel and electrophysiology-based assays and safety profiling services. LifeArc uses its expertise to identify novel modulators of CNS ion channel targets and all new chemical syntheses, with Metrion evaluating the pharmacological activities of LifeArc compounds using both automated electrophysiology and manual patch clamp technologies

Dr Edward Stevens, Head of Drug Discovery, Metrion Biosciences, said: “The continued success of our collaboration with LifeArc is testament to the strength of both teams and the long standing and successful research relationship between our companies. The transition to lead optimisation for key chemical series, along with continuation of selected hit-to-lead activities, is very exciting, and I look forward to working together through 2021.”

Dr Justin Bryans, Executive Director, Drug Discovery, LifeArc, commented: “We are delighted to continue our work with Metrion in the field of neuroscience, capitalising on our combined expertise and capabilities to develop potentially life-changing drugs.”

ENDS

Contacts

Katie Odgaard

Zyme Communications

E-mail: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

THB places the first risk with Global Health Risk Facility through Syndicate 1796

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#broking–THB, the specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today reveals it has placed the first risk with the newly launched Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF), a public-private collaboration developed by insurtech Parsyl to help protect and support the global distribution of critical health commodities including existing and newly-emerging vaccines.

Working closely with Phil Mason, Managing Partner of Armfield, Harrison & Thomas, LLC (AHT), a US retail broker specialising in international aid and development organisations, THB was engaged to put in place insurance for the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM) a supply chain solutions provider internationally recognised for its role in saving lives through stronger public health supply chains. PFSCM procures and delivers over $300 million worth of medicines, diagnostics, and medical supplies to more than 80 low- and middle-income countries every year.

THB brought PFSCM together with the GHRF – an alliance of insurance and technology partners providing comprehensive and data-driven cargo insurance and risk mitigation services for the storage and transit of life-saving medical supplies – including temperature-sensitive Covid-19 vaccines. The facility is anchored by the new Syndicate 1796 at Lloyd’s, led by Ascot as the managing agent and developed by Parsyl, which uses technology to affordably collect and analyse data across the entire supply chain to ensure medicines and vaccines remain safe and effective from the laboratory to use in the field.

Phil Mason, Managing Partner of AHT explained: “Supply chain insurance and risk management is mission critical for PFSCM. I trusted the cargo team at THB to find the right solution. Parsyl’s blend of insurance and technology promises the efficiencies we are seeking. We’re excited to be part of the placement of the first policy in this new Syndicate.”

Chris McGill, Head of Cargo at Ascot Group and Active Underwriter for Syndicate 1796 added: “This new Syndicate is a game-changer for healthcare in the developing world where, without the right data, insuring these vital products simply doesn’t happen. It’s been immensely satisfying to combine the expertise of colleagues throughout insurance and technology to establish this important operation.”

Victoria Zak, Director of Insurance, Parsyl said: “We’re incredibly proud that PFSCM, a proven leader in supply chain innovation for international development, has chosen to obtain insurance coverage from the GHRF. It shows that the critical components of quality monitoring and data collection add incredible value to clients, insurers, and ultimately all recipients of vaccines around the world.

Erin Seidner, CFO of PFSCM agreed: “We all know that 2021 will bring the additional challenge of distributing a new vaccine, adding to the pressures on supply chains, particularly cargo options for cold chain and frozen shipments. It’s reassuring to know that we now have this specialist insurance facility enabling us to continue our vital work with confidence.”

Toby Kayll, MD of THB Marine, said: “We’re very proud to place the first risk on the Global Health Risk Facility via Syndicate 1796. This is such a great example of the insurance market working collaboratively and making use of technology to address an issue with real-time human impact.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

THB Group is a specialist (re)insurance and risk management group, having at its core a Lloyd’s broking business (Thompson Heath & Bond Limited), providing services to clients worldwide. THB was named Broker of the Year at the Insurance Insider Honours Awards 2019.

THB is part of Amwins Group, Inc., a global specialty insurance distributor with some 5,400 employees across more than 100 office locations worldwide. AmWINS handles some $17billion in premium and is ranked the largest wholesale insurance broker in the U.S. by Business Insurance magazine. For further information on THB, please visit www.thbgroup.com.

Amwins offers expertise across a diversified mix of property and casualty (P&C) and group benefits insurance products, and also provides value-added services to support these products, including product development, underwriting, premium and claims administration and actuarial services. For further information on Amwins, please visit www.amwins.com.

PFSCM (Partnership for Supply Chain Management) specialises in prevention, diagnostic and treatment products for COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and child health. Since its inception in 2005, PFSCM has delivered $6.8 billion in health products in over 45,000 shipments to over 100 countries. For further information on PFSCM, please visit www.pfscm.org.

Ascot Group is a Bermuda-domiciled specialty insurance and reinsurance business founded in 2001 with four operating divisions: Ascot Underwriting, the Managing Agency for Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd’s; Ascot Bermuda, which writes excess insurance and reinsurance as well as managing the Group’s alternative capital vehicles; Ascot U.S., a specialty insurance provider to middle market customers through retail and wholesale brokers in the United States, and; Ethos Specialty, a New York headquartered Managing General Underwriter (MGU) which provides underwriting and insurance services to third parties. Ascot Group is owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the largest pension plan in Canada with over C$400 billion in invested assets and representing the retirement contributions of over 20 million Canadians. CPPIB is rated ‘AAA’ by S&P and Moody’s. For further information on Ascot, please visit www.ascotgroup.com/lloyds.

Parsyl is a supply chain data platform and cargo insurer for shippers of sensitive goods. Parsyl’s combined IoT and software solution helps shippers understand, mitigate and insure risks to goods as they move through the supply chain, both in transit and storage. Parsyl is an approved Coverholder with Lloyd’s of London. Syndicate 1796 was developed by Parsyl and serves as the anchor of the Global Health Risk Facility, the world’s dedicated risk facility for Covid-19 related transit and storage risks. It is the first public-private syndicate created to address a global health emergency in the history of Lloyd’s. The Syndicate has been given the number ‘1796’ in honour of the year physician Edward Jenner carried out his first experiments in what would become the smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine and the only disease the world has ever eradicated through vaccination. The GHRF is open to all brokers with eligible business. For more policy details visit www.parsyl.com/ghrf/.

AHT, a Baldwin Risk Partner, is an insurance brokerage and consulting firm offering property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal and international services for a wide range of industries – boasting national recognition for its practices in areas including technology, manufacturing, government contracting and non-profits. AHT has been honoured with more than 60 industry awards, including being ranked one of the “100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business”, named one of the “Best Places to Work in Insurance” by Business Insurance, named to the “Top 25 Insurance Brokers and Agents” list by Washington Business Journal and a Washington Post “Top Workplace” for consecutive years. For further information on AHT, please visit www.ahtins.com.

Contacts

Julian Vereker

THB Group

+44 (0)20 7469 0100

jvereker@thbgroup.com

Rio Tinto releases fourth quarter production results

MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said “We have delivered a strong safety and operational performance in the face of the significant global challenges of COVID-19. Our 2020 performance reflects the resilience of the business, and the commitment and flexibility of our employees, customers, communities and host governments.

“We are working to restore trust with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people. Some important progress has been made as set out in the joint statement issued in December following a meeting between the PKKP and Rio Tinto boards. We are also developing additional measures to strengthen our partnerships with Traditional Owners, including a commitment to modernise and improve agreements, particularly in the Pilbara. More broadly, we are determined to improve Rio Tinto’s approach to stakeholder engagement globally by embedding a more inclusive approach that strengthens our overall thinking, decision-making and performance. However, I do not underestimate the time and effort it will take, genuinely working together with our partners, in order for Rio Tinto to drive the changes necessary to help restore trust and rebuild our reputation.

“Safe and well-run operations, together with world-class assets and a strong balance sheet, leave Rio Tinto well placed to generate superior returns for shareholders, invest in sustaining and growing our portfolio, while continuing to pay taxes and royalties in our host communities and make a broader contribution to society, including employment and procurement.”

 

Production*

Quarter 4

2020

vs Q4

2019

vs Q3

2020

Full Year

2020

vs FY

2019

Pilbara iron ore shipments (100% basis) (Mt)

88.9

+2%

+8%

330.6

+1%

Pilbara iron ore production (100% basis) (Mt)

86.0

+3%

0%

333.4

+2%

Bauxite (Mt)

13.3

-12%

-8%

56.1

+2%

Aluminium (kt)

815

+4%

+2%

3,180

0%

Mined Copper (kt)

132.5

-4%

+2%

527.9

-9%

Titanium dioxide slag (kt)

272

-5%

-7%

1,120

-7%

IOC iron ore pellets & concentrate (Mt)

2.7

+7%

+17%

10.4

-1%

*Rio Tinto share unless otherwise stated

 

Q4 Operational update

  • Our 2020 safety performance was strong, fatality-free for a second year in a row. Health and safety remains our top priority as we maintain use of the critical controls that protect our employees and the local communities with the resurgence of COVID-19 in several regions where we operate. Our all injury frequency rate (AIFR) improved by more than 10% for 2020 versus 2019 (0.42), demonstrating our ability to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Pilbara iron ore achieved a strong performance across the network in 2020, despite impacts from Cyclone Damien in the first quarter and COVID-19 disruptions which also resulted in the deferral of maintenance to the second half. Shipments of 330.6 million tonnes (100% basis) were 1% higher than 2019 and production of 333.4 million tonnes (100% basis), 2% higher than 2019. This was underpinned by record total material moved, 7% higher than the previous record in 2019.
  • Bauxite production of 56.1 million tonnes was 2% higher than 2019 supported by the ramp-up of the expansion at the CBG mine in Guinea, and steady performance at the Pacific mines.
  • Aluminium production of 3.2 million tonnes was in line with 2019, with lower volumes from the curtailment of Line 4 at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in New Zealand and from the Kitimat smelter pot relining campaign, offset by the ramp-up of the Becancour smelter in Quebec.
  • On 14 January 2021, we announced a new electricity agreement had been reached with Meridian Energy that allows New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) to continue operating the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter until December, 2024.
  • Mined copper was above the guidance range, but 9% lower than 2019 due to lower grades at Kennecott as a result of planned pit sequencing and Oyu Tolgoi production phasing. The commercial and operational teams at Kennecott Utah achieved approximately 60,000 dry metric tonnes of copper concentrate sales in the fourth quarter to partly mitigate the impact of the delayed re-start of the smelter, which became fully operational during October.
  • On 16 December, we confirmed the definitive estimate of cost and schedule for Panel 0 of the Oyu Tolgoi underground project in Mongolia, with sustainable production expected to commence in October 2022 and development capital of $6.75 billion1, in line with previously announced ranges. Rio Tinto considers that additional milestones need to be met in order to ensure that the project can commence caving operations in 2021, including: outstanding government approvals; funding; and, a power solution. Further information can be found in the Investments, growth and development projects section below.
  • Titanium dioxide slag production of 1.1 million tonnes was 7% lower than 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec and South Africa, lower market demand and operational disruptions at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). With the COVID-19 resurgence in Quebec and South Africa, we continue to operate our assets with extensive measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees and communities.
  • Production of pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) was 1% lower than 2019 due to unplanned maintenance at the processing facilities in the third and fourth quarters. On 3 December, we signed a Reconciliation and Collaboration Agreement with the Innu communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John, re-confirming the long-term partnership between the company and the two communities over the coming decades.
  • On 10 December, we disclosed a maiden Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at the 100% owned Jadar lithium-borates project in western Serbia. The Ore Reserve is 16.6 million tonnes at 1.81% Li2O and 13.4% B2O3.2 Jadar would be capable of producing approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate, as well as 160 thousand tonnes of boric acid (B2O3 units) and 255 thousand tonnes of sodium sulfate as by-products per annum.3
  • On 17 December, we announced the appointment of Jakob Stausholm as Chief Executive, effective 1 January 2021. Peter Cunningham has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer, effective 1 January 2021.
  • On 15 January 2021, we announced that we have entered the next phase of public comment in the ongoing permitting process at the Resolution Copper Project in Arizona, led by the US Forest Service, with the release of its independently prepared Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The delay in publication of the Final EIS, which was originally scheduled for July 2020 by the Obama Administration, is a result of extensive public consultation, significant interagency coordination and COVID-19 related changes to the pace of work.

The full fourth quarter production results are available here

Footnotes

1 This estimate is at a better than feasibility study level of accuracy.

2 This Ore Reserve estimate was set out in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) dated 10 December 2020 “Rio Tinto declares maiden Ore Reserve at Jadar” (ASX release). The Competent Person responsible for the information in the ASX release that relates to Ore Reserves is Mr Allan Earl who is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM). Mr Earl’s assessment is supported from a metallurgical perspective by Mr Gary Davis who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (MAusIMM). Rio Tinto confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the ASX release, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the ASX release continue to apply and have not materially changed, and that the form and context in which the Competent Persons’ findings are presented have not been materially modified.

3 The production targets were previously reported in the ASX release on 10 December 2020. All material assumptions underpinning the production targets continue to apply and have not materially changed.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

LEI: 213800YOEO5OQ72G2R82

Classification: 3.1 Additional regulated information required to be disclosed under the laws of a Member State

Contacts

media.enquiries@riotinto.com
riotinto.com

Media Relations, United Kingdom
Illtud Harri

M +44 7920 503 600

David Outhwaite

T +44 20 7781 1623

M +44 7787 597 493

Media Relations, Americas
Matthew Klar

T +1 514 608 4429

Media Relations, Asia
Grant Donald

T +65 6679 9290

M +65 9722 6028

Media Relations, Australia
Jonathan Rose

T +61 3 9283 3088

M +61 447 028 913

Matt Chambers

T +61 3 9283 3087

M +61 433 525 739

Investor Relations, United Kingdom
Menno Sanderse

T: +44 20 7781 1517

M: +44 7825 195 178

David Ovington

T +44 20 7781 2051

M +44 7920 010 978

Clare Peever

M: +44 7788 967 87

Investor Relations, Australia
Natalie Worley

T +61 3 9283 3063

M +61 409 210 462

Amar Jambaa

T +61 3 9283 3627

M +61 4 7286 5948

Rio Tinto plc
6 St James’s Square

London SW1Y 4AD

United Kingdom

T +44 20 7781 2000

Registered in England

No. 719885

Rio Tinto Limited
Level 7, 360 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000

Australia

T +61 3 9283 3333

Registered in Australia

ABN 96 004 458 404

Category: General

 

CommScope Files Patent Infringement Suit Against SOLiD in Germany

HICKORY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, filed an additional patent infringement lawsuit in Germany against SOLiD, a manufacturer of distributed antenna systems (DAS) based in South Korea.

The complaint asserts German part of European Patent No. EP 2290850B1 relating to CommScope’s digital DAS innovations against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product. CommScope asserted the United Kingdom part of this patent against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product in the U.K. last year.

CommScope also enforced the U.S. counterparts of EP 2290850B1 in separate U.S. patent infringement actions against Dali Wireless and SOLiD. The U.S. action against SOLiD was filed in May of 2020 and, after noting that SOLiD withdrew its Genesis DAS product from the U.S. market, CommScope voluntarily dismissed that action.

“CommScope has invested heavily in innovation in the field of digital distributed antenna systems to benefit its customers and reinforce its position as a global leader in wireless and wireline network infrastructure. This leadership was recognized when Kathrein took a royalty-bearing license to CommScope’s digital DAS patents in 2017 and again in the 2019 U.S. case against Dali with a jury finding CommScope’s patents valid and that Dali willfully infringed. We continue to vigorously protect these valuable assets, and this additional action against SOLiD is a necessary step to prevent unauthorized infringement,” said Matt Melester, chief technology officer, Venue and Campus Networks, CommScope.

The new German action was filed December 18, 2020 in the Munich District Court. The German part of EP 2290850B1 is subject matter of nullity proceedings pending with the Federal Patent Court (docket no. 4 Ni 7/20 (EP)). The pending action before the U.K. Patents Court is Claim No. HP-2020-0017 and asserts both EP 2290850B1 and EP 1570626B1.

All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About CommScope:

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at www.commscope.com.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for our press releases and blog posts.

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: CommScope

Contacts

News Media Contact:
Kris Kozamchak, CommScope

+1 972 792 3311 or publicrelations@commscope.com

Financial Contact:
Michael McCloskey, CommScope

+1-828-431-9874

U.K. Enterprises Look for Help with Rising Volume of Data

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees U.K. companies turning to data analytics providers to help them make sense of their huge data collections

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$III #DataAnalytics–Enterprises in the U.K. are seeing their data volumes skyrocket, and are looking to analytics providers to help them make sense of this flood of information, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. finds companies in the country looking for new insights to improve customer experience and support product and service rollouts, and are turning to analytics providers to help them with these goals.

While company executives recognize the need for new data insights, many U.K. companies often lack the resources and experience to create their own data management and analytics strategies, the report adds.

“U.K. companies, facing uncertain times, seek to base their business decisions on trusted data and evidence,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Analytics services allow companies to become more resilient by using solid data insights to plan for the future.”

Part of the challenge for U.K. enterprises is a skills shortage in data science and data analytics, the report says. In many cases, enterprises and service providers are training their own in-house employees to add data analytics skills. In addition, new automated tools are threatening to shake up the data science industry, such as Google Cloud Smart Analytics, which will start to compete with traditional data science services.

Some U.K. businesses are turning to self-service analytics tools, the report says. The growing demand for insights has driven some businesses to assemble their own analytics dashboards using tools that don’t require significant mathematical or business insight knowledge.

Data engineering services, meanwhile, make up the bulk of data analytics activities by companies in the U.K., the report adds. The demand for data engineering services is increasing as the number of decentralized data sources also grows. Companies are building data lakes to capture data from the network edge and other sources.

The demand for cloud integration of data analytics infrastructure environments is also growing, the report adds. As more businesses shift to digital operations, the cloud has become the inevitable choice for investment in data analytics infrastructure.

Finally, demand for data lifecycle management expertise is growing as well, the report says. The sheer volume of data being collected by businesses creates continuous operational challenges in governance and general data management.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 70 providers across six quadrants: Data Science Services, Data Engineering Services, Data Infrastructure and Cloud Integration Services, Data Lifecyle Management Services, Self-Service Analytics and BI Platforms as a Service, and Analytics Reporting Solutions.

The report names Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, DXC Technology and IBM as leaders in four quadrants and Infosys and TCS as leaders in three. Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, SAP, Tableau, Tech Mahindra and TIBCO are named as leaders in two quadrants, and Bosch, Ernst & Young, Infor Birst, KPMG, Microsoft, NTT DATA, PTC, PwC, Qlik, SAS and Sisense are all named leaders in one.

In addition, HCL, Hexaware, N-iX, NTT DATA and Tech Mahindra were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant.

Customized versions of the report are available from Hexaware and N-iX.

The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG’s global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG’s enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

Contacts

Will Thoretz, ISG

+1 203 517 3119

will.thoretz@isg-one.com

Kate Hartley, Carrot Communications for ISG

+44 7714065233

kate.hartley@carrotcomms.co.uk

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in 2021

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#consumertrends–Global market research company Euromonitor International reveals the trends that will define consumer behavior and influence business strategies this year in a new report, “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021.” The COVID-19 pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each trend.


In 2021, consumers:

  • Expect purpose-driven initiatives that support the triple bottom line—people, planet and profits (Build Back Better). Nearly 70% of professionals expect consumers to be more concerned about sustainability than before COVID-19.
  • Desire the ease of on-the-go, impulse and spontaneous occasions and simplicities of pre-pandemic life (Craving Convenience).
  • Reconnect with nature and turn to open-air venues for leisure and to safely socialize (Outdoor Oasis).
  • Use digital tools to stay connected at home and to facilitate safer procedures in brick-and-mortar outlets (Phygital Reality).
  • Gain newfound flexibility, scheduling activities in a non-conventional order to suit individual time demands (Playing with Time).
  • Distrust media and governments, defying misinformation and putting their needs first (Restless and Rebellious). In 2020, 29% of global consumers were actively involved in political and social issues.
  • Demand contactless services, exceptional sanitation standards and products that enhance hygiene and immunity (Safety Obsessed).
  • Reassess priorities and identities in pursuit of a more fulfilled life and improved mental resilience (Shaken and Stirred). Depression and mental health had a moderate or severe impact on 73% of global consumers’ everyday lives last year.
  • Budget cautiously and purchase value-added and affordable products and services (Thoughtful Thrifters).
  • Find a new work-life balance, as remote collaboration redefines the traditional office environment (Workplaces in New Spaces). More than half of global consumers previously had a strict boundary between work or school and personal life.

“2021 will be a pivotal year,” says Alison Angus, head of lifestyles at Euromonitor International. “Tailoring strategies to these emerging consumer trends will empower businesses to endure the unexpected and overcome adversities.”

Download Euromonitor’s “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021” report to explore the values and expectations that will drive consumer behavior this year. The report is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Japanese.

About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence, market analysis and consumer insights. From local to global and tactical to strategic, our research solutions support decisions on how, where and when to grow your business. Find the right report, database or custom solution to validate priorities, redirect assumptions and uncover new opportunities. With offices around the world, analysts in over 100 countries, the latest data science techniques and market research on every key trend and driver, we help you make sense of global markets.

Contacts

Marissa Bosler

Senior Communications Executive – Euromonitor International

Tel: +1 312 922 1115 ext. 8908

Marissa.Bosler@Euromonitor.com

EG Group Selects PDI to Bring Contactless Payments to its North American Sites

PDI’s payments platform powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards app that will be rolled out to thousands of sites

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#EGGroup–PDI (www.pdisoftware.com), a global provider of enterprise software solutions to convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers, announced it has reached an agreement with EG Group to expand the use of PDI Payments to nearly 1,700 sites across North America.

PDI added payments capabilities to its Marketing Cloud Solutions offering last year after acquiring ZipLine, the industry leader for ACH payment and provider of mobile payment technology. The PDI Payments platform currently powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards. The rewards program originated with Cumberland Farms—one of several U.S.-based convenience store brands EG Group acquired in recent years—and will soon be rolled out to EG Group’s remaining stores across North America.

Customers can download the free app and enjoy a contactless payment experience, whether making purchases in the store or at the pump. PDI will provide the technology to support customer enrollment in SmartPay and deliver ongoing customer service for reward members. The program also allows members to save 10 cents on every gallon of gas they buy as well as earn other rewards.

“We’ve seen significant consumer adoption at the locations where we’ve implemented our SmartPay program,” said Mohsin Issa, Founder and co-CEO at EG Group. “We’re excited to extend our partnership with PDI so we can quickly offer this valuable service to an even larger segment of our loyal customer base.”

Today’s news is the latest example of EG Group and PDI’s growing business relationship. PDI previously announced that the UK-based convenience retailer would implement its ERP, Fuel Pricing, and Logistics solutions to thousands of sites across Europe, North America and Australia.

“We’re proud to be a trusted partner in EG Group’s ongoing growth and development strategy,” said Jimmy Frangis, CEO at PDI. “Payments are such an integral part of creating a convenient, digital-first customer journey. We’re pleased to support a respected global brand like EG Group as they provide differentiated customer experiences at the pump and in the store.”

About PDI

Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI) helps convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers thrive through digital transformation and enterprise software that enables them to grow topline revenue, optimize operations and unify their business across the entire value chain. Over 1,500 customers in more than 200,000 locations worldwide count on our leading ERP, logistics, fuel pricing and marketing cloud solutions to provide insights that increase volume, margin and customer loyalty. PDI owns and operates the Fuel Rewards® loyalty program that is consistently ranked as a top-performing fuel savings program year after year. For more than 35 years, our comprehensive suite of solutions and unmatched expertise have helped customers of any size reimagine their enterprise and deliver exceptional customer experiences. For more information about PDI, visit www.pdisoftware.com.

Contacts

Cederick Johnson, PDI
+1 254.410.7600 I cjohnson@pdisoftware.com

Ixaka (formerly Rexgenero) Launches as an Integrated Cell and Gene Therapy Company

 Additional financing from existing shareholders will accelerate proprietary multi-cell and targeted nanoparticle technologies

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ixaka Ltd, an integrated cell and gene therapy company focused on the natural power of the body to cure disease, launches today. The Company’s shareholders have funded the business with over £40 million in financing.

Previously Rexgenero Ltd, a UK-based company pioneering the development of cell therapies to treat serious diseases such as cancer and chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI), the launch of Ixaka follows integration of its nanoparticle gene therapy business in France and a shareholder restructuring.

The new business will continue to develop Ixaka’s proprietary technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies (MCTs) and targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutics. Ixaka’s technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by targeting curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative function.

Joe Dupere, CEO of Ixaka, commented: “Ixaka’s broad offering of integrated cell and gene therapy capabilities, encompassing cell-based products and an innovative in vivo gene delivery platform, provides a strong foundation for our ambitions to become a leader in cell and gene therapies. Our focus is now on accelerating progress to help realise the potential for durable and curative cell and gene therapies. By exploring multiple therapies across oncology and cardiovascular, genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases, we are well positioned to bring life-changing treatments to multiple patient populations with critical unmet needs.”

REX-001, Ixaka’s lead MCT product, is an autologous cell-based product in clinical development for the treatment of CLTI. REX-001 is currently being evaluated in the pivotal Phase III SALAMANDER clinical trial at multiple sites across Europe.

Ixaka’s polymeric nanoparticle platform can be used to perform genetic modifications directly inside a patient’s body. The platform enables in vivo targeting and transduction of T cells, and is currently being applied to generate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies in vivo for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components will allow the technology to target a broad range of serious diseases, including cancers and genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases.

A total of $15.4 billion was raised in the first half of 2020 for the development of cell and gene therapies, with 1,078 regenerative medicine and advanced therapy clinical trials ongoing worldwide1.

References

1. https://alliancerm.org/sector-report/h1-2020-report/

– ENDS –

About Ixaka

Ixaka is a cell and gene therapy company focused on using the natural powers of the body to cure disease.

Ixaka’s proprietary technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by increasing the presence of curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative effect.

Ixaka’s technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies and nanoparticle therapeutics – demonstrate potential for the treatment of a broad range of serious diseases across oncology, cardiovascular, neurological and ocular diseases, and genetic disorders.

Ixaka has offices in London, UK with R&D and manufacturing operations in Seville, Spain and Paris, France and additional manufacturing capability in Frankfurt, Germany.

For more information, please visit www.ixaka.com

Connect with us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ixaka_Ltd; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ixaka-limited/

About Ixaka’s multi-cell therapies

Multi-cell therapies (MCT) are derived from natural tissue extracts which are selected for the most active cells, removing components (such as red blood cells and platelets) that potentially reduce the activity of therapeutic cells. Our first MCT is REX-001, which is currently in a multi-site Phase 3 clinical trial for chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI).

Ixaka’s REX-001 MCT consists of a combination of progenitor cells and immune cells (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) which are selected and concentrated from a patient’s own bone marrow and administered directly to the site of occluded blood vessels in the lower leg. Locally administered REX-001 acts to regenerate blood vessels (through both direct and indirect paracrine mechanisms), modulate immune responses, improve blood flow, improve tissue oxygenation, and promote wound healing. These effects lead to a significant improvement in clinical outcomes and quality of life through complete ulcer healing and alleviation of chronic ischemic rest pain.

About Ixaka’s in vivo gene delivery technology

Ixaka’s targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutic is a platform which enables therapeutic cells to be targeted and genetic modifications to be performed directly inside the body. The first application is in the generation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components however allows the technology to target a broad range of therapeutic cells for the treatment of many serious diseases including cancers, genetic disorders, neurological, autoimmune and ocular diseases.

The TNP in vivo gene delivery approach enables targeting of specific cells and expression of the gene of interest directly in the patient. The technology is also targeted and controllable offering potentially improved efficacy and safety. Generation of enhanced therapeutic cells through genetic modification inside the body also enables more standardized manufacturing which is less expensive as it does not require costly dedicated manufacturing sites needed to expand cells before use (as is required for ex vivo cell therapies).

Contacts

At Ixaka
Joe Dupere, CEO

+44 (0)20 3700 7480

info@ixaka.com

For media enquiries
Instinctif Partners
Tim Watson / Siobhan Sanford

+44 7837 674 500 / + 44 7534 247 411

ixaka@instinctif.com

Metrion Biosciences and LifeArc Further Extend Neuroscience-focused Ion Channel Drug Discovery Collaboration

Ongoing collaboration extended for another 12 months and successfully progresses into late stage hit-to-lead optimisation phase

CAMBRIDGE, England & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Metrion Biosciences Limited (Metrion), the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity, today announced a 12-month extension of their neuroscience drug discovery collaboration, as a result of the continued success of their ongoing agreement.

The collaboration is focused on the discovery of novel selective small molecular modulators of a specific two-pore domain potassium ion channel target, identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis, and has now progressed into the hit-to-lead optimisation phase. Initially signed in January 2019, the collaboration agreement was extended for the first time in December 2019. Following the achievement of mutually agreed criteria LifeArc has now exercised the option to extend the programme for a further 12 months.

Under the terms of the agreement, Metrion provides validated ion channel and electrophysiology-based assays and safety profiling services. LifeArc uses its expertise to identify novel modulators of CNS ion channel targets and all new chemical syntheses, with Metrion evaluating the pharmacological activities of LifeArc compounds using both automated electrophysiology and manual patch clamp technologies

Dr Edward Stevens, Head of Drug Discovery, Metrion Biosciences, said: “The continued success of our collaboration with LifeArc is testament to the strength of both teams and the long standing and successful research relationship between our companies. The transition to lead optimisation for key chemical series, along with continuation of selected hit-to-lead activities, is very exciting, and I look forward to working together through 2021.”

Dr Justin Bryans, Executive Director, Drug Discovery, LifeArc, commented: “We are delighted to continue our work with Metrion in the field of neuroscience, capitalising on our combined expertise and capabilities to develop potentially life-changing drugs.”

ENDS

Contacts

Katie Odgaard

Zyme Communications

E-mail: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

THB places the first risk with Global Health Risk Facility through Syndicate 1796

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#broking–THB, the specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today reveals it has placed the first risk with the newly launched Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF), a public-private collaboration developed by insurtech Parsyl to help protect and support the global distribution of critical health commodities including existing and newly-emerging vaccines.

Working closely with Phil Mason, Managing Partner of Armfield, Harrison & Thomas, LLC (AHT), a US retail broker specialising in international aid and development organisations, THB was engaged to put in place insurance for the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM) a supply chain solutions provider internationally recognised for its role in saving lives through stronger public health supply chains. PFSCM procures and delivers over $300 million worth of medicines, diagnostics, and medical supplies to more than 80 low- and middle-income countries every year.

THB brought PFSCM together with the GHRF – an alliance of insurance and technology partners providing comprehensive and data-driven cargo insurance and risk mitigation services for the storage and transit of life-saving medical supplies – including temperature-sensitive Covid-19 vaccines. The facility is anchored by the new Syndicate 1796 at Lloyd’s, led by Ascot as the managing agent and developed by Parsyl, which uses technology to affordably collect and analyse data across the entire supply chain to ensure medicines and vaccines remain safe and effective from the laboratory to use in the field.

Phil Mason, Managing Partner of AHT explained: “Supply chain insurance and risk management is mission critical for PFSCM. I trusted the cargo team at THB to find the right solution. Parsyl’s blend of insurance and technology promises the efficiencies we are seeking. We’re excited to be part of the placement of the first policy in this new Syndicate.”

Chris McGill, Head of Cargo at Ascot Group and Active Underwriter for Syndicate 1796 added: “This new Syndicate is a game-changer for healthcare in the developing world where, without the right data, insuring these vital products simply doesn’t happen. It’s been immensely satisfying to combine the expertise of colleagues throughout insurance and technology to establish this important operation.”

Victoria Zak, Director of Insurance, Parsyl said: “We’re incredibly proud that PFSCM, a proven leader in supply chain innovation for international development, has chosen to obtain insurance coverage from the GHRF. It shows that the critical components of quality monitoring and data collection add incredible value to clients, insurers, and ultimately all recipients of vaccines around the world.

Erin Seidner, CFO of PFSCM agreed: “We all know that 2021 will bring the additional challenge of distributing a new vaccine, adding to the pressures on supply chains, particularly cargo options for cold chain and frozen shipments. It’s reassuring to know that we now have this specialist insurance facility enabling us to continue our vital work with confidence.”

Toby Kayll, MD of THB Marine, said: “We’re very proud to place the first risk on the Global Health Risk Facility via Syndicate 1796. This is such a great example of the insurance market working collaboratively and making use of technology to address an issue with real-time human impact.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

THB Group is a specialist (re)insurance and risk management group, having at its core a Lloyd’s broking business (Thompson Heath & Bond Limited), providing services to clients worldwide. THB was named Broker of the Year at the Insurance Insider Honours Awards 2019.

THB is part of Amwins Group, Inc., a global specialty insurance distributor with some 5,400 employees across more than 100 office locations worldwide. AmWINS handles some $17billion in premium and is ranked the largest wholesale insurance broker in the U.S. by Business Insurance magazine. For further information on THB, please visit www.thbgroup.com.

Amwins offers expertise across a diversified mix of property and casualty (P&C) and group benefits insurance products, and also provides value-added services to support these products, including product development, underwriting, premium and claims administration and actuarial services. For further information on Amwins, please visit www.amwins.com.

PFSCM (Partnership for Supply Chain Management) specialises in prevention, diagnostic and treatment products for COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and child health. Since its inception in 2005, PFSCM has delivered $6.8 billion in health products in over 45,000 shipments to over 100 countries. For further information on PFSCM, please visit www.pfscm.org.

Ascot Group is a Bermuda-domiciled specialty insurance and reinsurance business founded in 2001 with four operating divisions: Ascot Underwriting, the Managing Agency for Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd’s; Ascot Bermuda, which writes excess insurance and reinsurance as well as managing the Group’s alternative capital vehicles; Ascot U.S., a specialty insurance provider to middle market customers through retail and wholesale brokers in the United States, and; Ethos Specialty, a New York headquartered Managing General Underwriter (MGU) which provides underwriting and insurance services to third parties. Ascot Group is owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the largest pension plan in Canada with over C$400 billion in invested assets and representing the retirement contributions of over 20 million Canadians. CPPIB is rated ‘AAA’ by S&P and Moody’s. For further information on Ascot, please visit www.ascotgroup.com/lloyds.

Parsyl is a supply chain data platform and cargo insurer for shippers of sensitive goods. Parsyl’s combined IoT and software solution helps shippers understand, mitigate and insure risks to goods as they move through the supply chain, both in transit and storage. Parsyl is an approved Coverholder with Lloyd’s of London. Syndicate 1796 was developed by Parsyl and serves as the anchor of the Global Health Risk Facility, the world’s dedicated risk facility for Covid-19 related transit and storage risks. It is the first public-private syndicate created to address a global health emergency in the history of Lloyd’s. The Syndicate has been given the number ‘1796’ in honour of the year physician Edward Jenner carried out his first experiments in what would become the smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine and the only disease the world has ever eradicated through vaccination. The GHRF is open to all brokers with eligible business. For more policy details visit www.parsyl.com/ghrf/.

AHT, a Baldwin Risk Partner, is an insurance brokerage and consulting firm offering property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal and international services for a wide range of industries – boasting national recognition for its practices in areas including technology, manufacturing, government contracting and non-profits. AHT has been honoured with more than 60 industry awards, including being ranked one of the “100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business”, named one of the “Best Places to Work in Insurance” by Business Insurance, named to the “Top 25 Insurance Brokers and Agents” list by Washington Business Journal and a Washington Post “Top Workplace” for consecutive years. For further information on AHT, please visit www.ahtins.com.

Contacts

Julian Vereker

THB Group

+44 (0)20 7469 0100

jvereker@thbgroup.com

Genus plc Provides Update on Financial Performance for First Half of Fiscal 2021

Global biotechnology leader in animal genetics reports continued strong performance for the six-months period ending December 31, 2020.

Company reports continuing growth in volumes, revenues and operating profits in both porcine and bovine genetics operations

BASINGSTOKE, England & MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#cellandgeneGenus plc (LSE: GNS), a global biotechnology leader in animal genetics, today reported continued strong performance across its operations for the six-months period ending December 31, 2020.

The strong trading performance reported by the Company at its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 25, 2020 has continued through the first half of Genus’s financial year, and the adjusted profit before tax of the Group in actual currency is now expected to be within a range of £47.0m and £49.0m for the first half (six months to December 31, 2019: £36.6m). Revenue for the period is now expected to be within a range of £285.0m to £287.0m (six months to December 31, 2019: £270.7m). High growth in volumes, revenue and adjusted operating profit were achieved across the Groups’ operations by both PIC and ABS, our porcine and bovine genetics businesses respectively. Business trends are consistent with those previously announced at the time of the AGM, including further strong growth achieved, in particular, by PIC in China and by ABS in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Outlook

The prevalence of COVID-19 across the globe has increased substantially since the trading update provided in November and Genus expects there will continue to be some challenges for our customers and employees for the remainder of our financial year, despite the prospect of better conditions as vaccines are being made available. However, based on the strong first half trading performance and the current momentum of PIC and ABS, the Board currently anticipates that although growth in the second half is likely to be lower than experienced in the first half, Genus will perform ahead of its previous profit growth expectations for the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

The Interim results are due to be announced 25 February 2021.

About Genus

Genus advances animal breeding and genetic improvement by applying biotechnology and sells added value products for livestock farming and food producers. Its technology is applicable across livestock species and is currently commercialised by Genus in the dairy, beef and pork food production sectors.

Genus’s worldwide sales are made in over 80 countries under the trademarks ‘ABS’ (dairy and beef cattle) and ‘PIC’ (pigs) and comprise semen, embryos and breeding animals with superior genetics to those animals currently in farms. Genus’s customers’ animals produce offspring with greater production efficiency and quality, and our customers use them to supply the global dairy and meat supply chains.

Genus’s competitive edge comes from the ownership and control of proprietary lines of breeding animals, the biotechnology used to improve them and its global supply chain, technical service and sales and distribution network.

Headquartered in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, Genus companies operate in over 25 countries on six continents, with research laboratories located in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Forward-looking Statements

This Announcement may contain, and the Company may make verbal statements containing “forward-looking statements” with respect to certain of the Company’s plans and its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial condition, performance, strategic initiatives, objectives and results. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Announcement. Forward-looking statements sometimes use words such as “aim”, “anticipate”, “target”, “expect”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “believe”, “seek”, “may”, “could”, “outlook”, “will” or other words of similar meaning. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond the control of the Company, including amongst other things, diverse factors such as domestic and global economic business conditions, market-related risks such as fluctuations in commodity prices, interest rates and exchange rates, the policies and actions of governmental and regulatory authorities, the effect of competition, inflation, deflation, the timing effect and other uncertainties of future acquisitions or combinations within relevant industries, the rate of on-going porcine re-stocking in China after African Swine Fever, the continued development and improvement of our IntelliGen® technology, the development and registration of our innovative new products, such as our gene edited porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus resistant pigs, the continued growth in emerging markets, the effect of tax and other legislation and other regulations in the jurisdictions in which the Company and its respective affiliates operate, the effect of volatility in the equity, capital and credit markets on the Company’s profitability and ability to access capital and credit, a decline in the Company’s credit ratings; the effect of operational risks; and the loss of key personnel. As a result, the actual future financial condition, performance and results of the Company may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in any forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to publish any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this Announcement to reflect any changes in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

No statement in this Announcement is intended to be a profit forecast, and no statement in this Announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of the Company for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per share of the Company. Information contained in this Announcement should not be relied upon as a guide to the Company’s future performance.

This announcement is available on the Genus website www.genusplc.com

Contacts

Company Contacts:

Genus plc

Stephen Wilson, Chief Executive Officer

Alison Henriksen, Chief Financial Officer

Tel: +44 1256 345970

Investor Relations and Media Contacts:

United States
LaVoieHealthScience
Donna LaVoie / Sharon Choe / Paul Sagan

Tel: +1 617 374 8800

psagan@lavoiehealthscience.com

United Kingdom

Buchanan

Charles Ryland / Chris Lane / Charlotte Slater

Tel: +44 207 466 5000

Business Wire
  • UK Export Finance unlocks trade to Egypt and supports UK jobs with £1.7bn guarantee
    Support to level up opportunities in Derbyshire as Bombardier invests in manufacturing capacity to build…
  • Rio Tinto releases fourth quarter production results

    MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said “We have delivered a strong safety and operational performance in the face of the significant global challenges of COVID-19. Our 2020 performance reflects the resilience of the business, and the commitment and flexibility of our employees, customers, communities and host governments.

    “We are working to restore trust with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people. Some important progress has been made as set out in the joint statement issued in December following a meeting between the PKKP and Rio Tinto boards. We are also developing additional measures to strengthen our partnerships with Traditional Owners, including a commitment to modernise and improve agreements, particularly in the Pilbara. More broadly, we are determined to improve Rio Tinto’s approach to stakeholder engagement globally by embedding a more inclusive approach that strengthens our overall thinking, decision-making and performance. However, I do not underestimate the time and effort it will take, genuinely working together with our partners, in order for Rio Tinto to drive the changes necessary to help restore trust and rebuild our reputation.

    “Safe and well-run operations, together with world-class assets and a strong balance sheet, leave Rio Tinto well placed to generate superior returns for shareholders, invest in sustaining and growing our portfolio, while continuing to pay taxes and royalties in our host communities and make a broader contribution to society, including employment and procurement.”

     

    Production*

    Quarter 4

    2020

    vs Q4

    2019

    vs Q3

    2020

    Full Year

    2020

    vs FY

    2019

    Pilbara iron ore shipments (100% basis) (Mt)

    88.9

    +2%

    +8%

    330.6

    +1%

    Pilbara iron ore production (100% basis) (Mt)

    86.0

    +3%

    0%

    333.4

    +2%

    Bauxite (Mt)

    13.3

    -12%

    -8%

    56.1

    +2%

    Aluminium (kt)

    815

    +4%

    +2%

    3,180

    0%

    Mined Copper (kt)

    132.5

    -4%

    +2%

    527.9

    -9%

    Titanium dioxide slag (kt)

    272

    -5%

    -7%

    1,120

    -7%

    IOC iron ore pellets & concentrate (Mt)

    2.7

    +7%

    +17%

    10.4

    -1%

    *Rio Tinto share unless otherwise stated

     

    Q4 Operational update

    • Our 2020 safety performance was strong, fatality-free for a second year in a row. Health and safety remains our top priority as we maintain use of the critical controls that protect our employees and the local communities with the resurgence of COVID-19 in several regions where we operate. Our all injury frequency rate (AIFR) improved by more than 10% for 2020 versus 2019 (0.42), demonstrating our ability to adapt to changing conditions.
    • Pilbara iron ore achieved a strong performance across the network in 2020, despite impacts from Cyclone Damien in the first quarter and COVID-19 disruptions which also resulted in the deferral of maintenance to the second half. Shipments of 330.6 million tonnes (100% basis) were 1% higher than 2019 and production of 333.4 million tonnes (100% basis), 2% higher than 2019. This was underpinned by record total material moved, 7% higher than the previous record in 2019.
    • Bauxite production of 56.1 million tonnes was 2% higher than 2019 supported by the ramp-up of the expansion at the CBG mine in Guinea, and steady performance at the Pacific mines.
    • Aluminium production of 3.2 million tonnes was in line with 2019, with lower volumes from the curtailment of Line 4 at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in New Zealand and from the Kitimat smelter pot relining campaign, offset by the ramp-up of the Becancour smelter in Quebec.
    • On 14 January 2021, we announced a new electricity agreement had been reached with Meridian Energy that allows New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) to continue operating the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter until December, 2024.
    • Mined copper was above the guidance range, but 9% lower than 2019 due to lower grades at Kennecott as a result of planned pit sequencing and Oyu Tolgoi production phasing. The commercial and operational teams at Kennecott Utah achieved approximately 60,000 dry metric tonnes of copper concentrate sales in the fourth quarter to partly mitigate the impact of the delayed re-start of the smelter, which became fully operational during October.
    • On 16 December, we confirmed the definitive estimate of cost and schedule for Panel 0 of the Oyu Tolgoi underground project in Mongolia, with sustainable production expected to commence in October 2022 and development capital of $6.75 billion1, in line with previously announced ranges. Rio Tinto considers that additional milestones need to be met in order to ensure that the project can commence caving operations in 2021, including: outstanding government approvals; funding; and, a power solution. Further information can be found in the Investments, growth and development projects section below.
    • Titanium dioxide slag production of 1.1 million tonnes was 7% lower than 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec and South Africa, lower market demand and operational disruptions at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). With the COVID-19 resurgence in Quebec and South Africa, we continue to operate our assets with extensive measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees and communities.
    • Production of pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) was 1% lower than 2019 due to unplanned maintenance at the processing facilities in the third and fourth quarters. On 3 December, we signed a Reconciliation and Collaboration Agreement with the Innu communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John, re-confirming the long-term partnership between the company and the two communities over the coming decades.
    • On 10 December, we disclosed a maiden Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at the 100% owned Jadar lithium-borates project in western Serbia. The Ore Reserve is 16.6 million tonnes at 1.81% Li2O and 13.4% B2O3.2 Jadar would be capable of producing approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate, as well as 160 thousand tonnes of boric acid (B2O3 units) and 255 thousand tonnes of sodium sulfate as by-products per annum.3
    • On 17 December, we announced the appointment of Jakob Stausholm as Chief Executive, effective 1 January 2021. Peter Cunningham has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer, effective 1 January 2021.
    • On 15 January 2021, we announced that we have entered the next phase of public comment in the ongoing permitting process at the Resolution Copper Project in Arizona, led by the US Forest Service, with the release of its independently prepared Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The delay in publication of the Final EIS, which was originally scheduled for July 2020 by the Obama Administration, is a result of extensive public consultation, significant interagency coordination and COVID-19 related changes to the pace of work.

    The full fourth quarter production results are available here

    Footnotes

    1 This estimate is at a better than feasibility study level of accuracy.

    2 This Ore Reserve estimate was set out in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) dated 10 December 2020 “Rio Tinto declares maiden Ore Reserve at Jadar” (ASX release). The Competent Person responsible for the information in the ASX release that relates to Ore Reserves is Mr Allan Earl who is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM). Mr Earl’s assessment is supported from a metallurgical perspective by Mr Gary Davis who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (MAusIMM). Rio Tinto confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the ASX release, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the ASX release continue to apply and have not materially changed, and that the form and context in which the Competent Persons’ findings are presented have not been materially modified.

    3 The production targets were previously reported in the ASX release on 10 December 2020. All material assumptions underpinning the production targets continue to apply and have not materially changed.

    This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

    LEI: 213800YOEO5OQ72G2R82

    Classification: 3.1 Additional regulated information required to be disclosed under the laws of a Member State

    Contacts

    media.enquiries@riotinto.com
    riotinto.com

    Media Relations, United Kingdom
    Illtud Harri

    M +44 7920 503 600

    David Outhwaite

    T +44 20 7781 1623

    M +44 7787 597 493

    Media Relations, Americas
    Matthew Klar

    T +1 514 608 4429

    Media Relations, Asia
    Grant Donald

    T +65 6679 9290

    M +65 9722 6028

    Media Relations, Australia
    Jonathan Rose

    T +61 3 9283 3088

    M +61 447 028 913

    Matt Chambers

    T +61 3 9283 3087

    M +61 433 525 739

    Investor Relations, United Kingdom
    Menno Sanderse

    T: +44 20 7781 1517

    M: +44 7825 195 178

    David Ovington

    T +44 20 7781 2051

    M +44 7920 010 978

    Clare Peever

    M: +44 7788 967 87

    Investor Relations, Australia
    Natalie Worley

    T +61 3 9283 3063

    M +61 409 210 462

    Amar Jambaa

    T +61 3 9283 3627

    M +61 4 7286 5948

    Rio Tinto plc
    6 St James’s Square

    London SW1Y 4AD

    United Kingdom

    T +44 20 7781 2000

    Registered in England

    No. 719885

    Rio Tinto Limited
    Level 7, 360 Collins Street

    Melbourne 3000

    Australia

    T +61 3 9283 3333

    Registered in Australia

    ABN 96 004 458 404

    Category: General

     

  • CommScope Files Patent Infringement Suit Against SOLiD in Germany

    HICKORY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, filed an additional patent infringement lawsuit in Germany against SOLiD, a manufacturer of distributed antenna systems (DAS) based in South Korea.

    The complaint asserts German part of European Patent No. EP 2290850B1 relating to CommScope’s digital DAS innovations against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product. CommScope asserted the United Kingdom part of this patent against SOLiD’s Genesis DAS product in the U.K. last year.

    CommScope also enforced the U.S. counterparts of EP 2290850B1 in separate U.S. patent infringement actions against Dali Wireless and SOLiD. The U.S. action against SOLiD was filed in May of 2020 and, after noting that SOLiD withdrew its Genesis DAS product from the U.S. market, CommScope voluntarily dismissed that action.

    “CommScope has invested heavily in innovation in the field of digital distributed antenna systems to benefit its customers and reinforce its position as a global leader in wireless and wireline network infrastructure. This leadership was recognized when Kathrein took a royalty-bearing license to CommScope’s digital DAS patents in 2017 and again in the 2019 U.S. case against Dali with a jury finding CommScope’s patents valid and that Dali willfully infringed. We continue to vigorously protect these valuable assets, and this additional action against SOLiD is a necessary step to prevent unauthorized infringement,” said Matt Melester, chief technology officer, Venue and Campus Networks, CommScope.

    The new German action was filed December 18, 2020 in the Munich District Court. The German part of EP 2290850B1 is subject matter of nullity proceedings pending with the Federal Patent Court (docket no. 4 Ni 7/20 (EP)). The pending action before the U.K. Patents Court is Claim No. HP-2020-0017 and asserts both EP 2290850B1 and EP 1570626B1.

    All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

    About CommScope:

    CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at www.commscope.com.

    Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and like us on Facebook.

    Sign up for our press releases and blog posts.

    This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    Source: CommScope

    Contacts

    News Media Contact:
    Kris Kozamchak, CommScope

    +1 972 792 3311 or publicrelations@commscope.com

    Financial Contact:
    Michael McCloskey, CommScope

    +1-828-431-9874

  • U.K. Enterprises Look for Help with Rising Volume of Data

    ISG Provider Lens™ report sees U.K. companies turning to data analytics providers to help them make sense of their huge data collections

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$III #DataAnalytics–Enterprises in the U.K. are seeing their data volumes skyrocket, and are looking to analytics providers to help them make sense of this flood of information, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

    The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. finds companies in the country looking for new insights to improve customer experience and support product and service rollouts, and are turning to analytics providers to help them with these goals.

    While company executives recognize the need for new data insights, many U.K. companies often lack the resources and experience to create their own data management and analytics strategies, the report adds.

    “U.K. companies, facing uncertain times, seek to base their business decisions on trusted data and evidence,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Analytics services allow companies to become more resilient by using solid data insights to plan for the future.”

    Part of the challenge for U.K. enterprises is a skills shortage in data science and data analytics, the report says. In many cases, enterprises and service providers are training their own in-house employees to add data analytics skills. In addition, new automated tools are threatening to shake up the data science industry, such as Google Cloud Smart Analytics, which will start to compete with traditional data science services.

    Some U.K. businesses are turning to self-service analytics tools, the report says. The growing demand for insights has driven some businesses to assemble their own analytics dashboards using tools that don’t require significant mathematical or business insight knowledge.

    Data engineering services, meanwhile, make up the bulk of data analytics activities by companies in the U.K., the report adds. The demand for data engineering services is increasing as the number of decentralized data sources also grows. Companies are building data lakes to capture data from the network edge and other sources.

    The demand for cloud integration of data analytics infrastructure environments is also growing, the report adds. As more businesses shift to digital operations, the cloud has become the inevitable choice for investment in data analytics infrastructure.

    Finally, demand for data lifecycle management expertise is growing as well, the report says. The sheer volume of data being collected by businesses creates continuous operational challenges in governance and general data management.

    The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 70 providers across six quadrants: Data Science Services, Data Engineering Services, Data Infrastructure and Cloud Integration Services, Data Lifecyle Management Services, Self-Service Analytics and BI Platforms as a Service, and Analytics Reporting Solutions.

    The report names Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, DXC Technology and IBM as leaders in four quadrants and Infosys and TCS as leaders in three. Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, SAP, Tableau, Tech Mahindra and TIBCO are named as leaders in two quadrants, and Bosch, Ernst & Young, Infor Birst, KPMG, Microsoft, NTT DATA, PTC, PwC, Qlik, SAS and Sisense are all named leaders in one.

    In addition, HCL, Hexaware, N-iX, NTT DATA and Tech Mahindra were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant.

    Customized versions of the report are available from Hexaware and N-iX.

    The 2020 ISG Provider LensAnalytics – Solutions and Service Partners Report for the U.K. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

    About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

    The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG’s global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG’s enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

    A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

    About ISG

    ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

    Contacts

    Will Thoretz, ISG

    +1 203 517 3119

    will.thoretz@isg-one.com

    Kate Hartley, Carrot Communications for ISG

    +44 7714065233

    kate.hartley@carrotcomms.co.uk

  • Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in 2021

    CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#consumertrends–Global market research company Euromonitor International reveals the trends that will define consumer behavior and influence business strategies this year in a new report, “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021.” The COVID-19 pandemic created, influenced or accelerated each trend.


    In 2021, consumers:

    • Expect purpose-driven initiatives that support the triple bottom line—people, planet and profits (Build Back Better). Nearly 70% of professionals expect consumers to be more concerned about sustainability than before COVID-19.
    • Desire the ease of on-the-go, impulse and spontaneous occasions and simplicities of pre-pandemic life (Craving Convenience).
    • Reconnect with nature and turn to open-air venues for leisure and to safely socialize (Outdoor Oasis).
    • Use digital tools to stay connected at home and to facilitate safer procedures in brick-and-mortar outlets (Phygital Reality).
    • Gain newfound flexibility, scheduling activities in a non-conventional order to suit individual time demands (Playing with Time).
    • Distrust media and governments, defying misinformation and putting their needs first (Restless and Rebellious). In 2020, 29% of global consumers were actively involved in political and social issues.
    • Demand contactless services, exceptional sanitation standards and products that enhance hygiene and immunity (Safety Obsessed).
    • Reassess priorities and identities in pursuit of a more fulfilled life and improved mental resilience (Shaken and Stirred). Depression and mental health had a moderate or severe impact on 73% of global consumers’ everyday lives last year.
    • Budget cautiously and purchase value-added and affordable products and services (Thoughtful Thrifters).
    • Find a new work-life balance, as remote collaboration redefines the traditional office environment (Workplaces in New Spaces). More than half of global consumers previously had a strict boundary between work or school and personal life.

    “2021 will be a pivotal year,” says Alison Angus, head of lifestyles at Euromonitor International. “Tailoring strategies to these emerging consumer trends will empower businesses to endure the unexpected and overcome adversities.”

    Download Euromonitor’s “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021” report to explore the values and expectations that will drive consumer behavior this year. The report is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Japanese.

    About Euromonitor International

    Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence, market analysis and consumer insights. From local to global and tactical to strategic, our research solutions support decisions on how, where and when to grow your business. Find the right report, database or custom solution to validate priorities, redirect assumptions and uncover new opportunities. With offices around the world, analysts in over 100 countries, the latest data science techniques and market research on every key trend and driver, we help you make sense of global markets.

    Contacts

    Marissa Bosler

    Senior Communications Executive – Euromonitor International

    Tel: +1 312 922 1115 ext. 8908

    Marissa.Bosler@Euromonitor.com

  • EG Group Selects PDI to Bring Contactless Payments to its North American Sites

    PDI’s payments platform powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards app that will be rolled out to thousands of sites

    ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#EGGroup–PDI (www.pdisoftware.com), a global provider of enterprise software solutions to convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers, announced it has reached an agreement with EG Group to expand the use of PDI Payments to nearly 1,700 sites across North America.

    PDI added payments capabilities to its Marketing Cloud Solutions offering last year after acquiring ZipLine, the industry leader for ACH payment and provider of mobile payment technology. The PDI Payments platform currently powers EG Group’s SmartPay Rewards. The rewards program originated with Cumberland Farms—one of several U.S.-based convenience store brands EG Group acquired in recent years—and will soon be rolled out to EG Group’s remaining stores across North America.

    Customers can download the free app and enjoy a contactless payment experience, whether making purchases in the store or at the pump. PDI will provide the technology to support customer enrollment in SmartPay and deliver ongoing customer service for reward members. The program also allows members to save 10 cents on every gallon of gas they buy as well as earn other rewards.

    “We’ve seen significant consumer adoption at the locations where we’ve implemented our SmartPay program,” said Mohsin Issa, Founder and co-CEO at EG Group. “We’re excited to extend our partnership with PDI so we can quickly offer this valuable service to an even larger segment of our loyal customer base.”

    Today’s news is the latest example of EG Group and PDI’s growing business relationship. PDI previously announced that the UK-based convenience retailer would implement its ERP, Fuel Pricing, and Logistics solutions to thousands of sites across Europe, North America and Australia.

    “We’re proud to be a trusted partner in EG Group’s ongoing growth and development strategy,” said Jimmy Frangis, CEO at PDI. “Payments are such an integral part of creating a convenient, digital-first customer journey. We’re pleased to support a respected global brand like EG Group as they provide differentiated customer experiences at the pump and in the store.”

    About PDI

    Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI) helps convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers thrive through digital transformation and enterprise software that enables them to grow topline revenue, optimize operations and unify their business across the entire value chain. Over 1,500 customers in more than 200,000 locations worldwide count on our leading ERP, logistics, fuel pricing and marketing cloud solutions to provide insights that increase volume, margin and customer loyalty. PDI owns and operates the Fuel Rewards® loyalty program that is consistently ranked as a top-performing fuel savings program year after year. For more than 35 years, our comprehensive suite of solutions and unmatched expertise have helped customers of any size reimagine their enterprise and deliver exceptional customer experiences. For more information about PDI, visit www.pdisoftware.com.

    Contacts

    Cederick Johnson, PDI
    +1 254.410.7600 I cjohnson@pdisoftware.com

  • Ixaka (formerly Rexgenero) Launches as an Integrated Cell and Gene Therapy Company

     Additional financing from existing shareholders will accelerate proprietary multi-cell and targeted nanoparticle technologies

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ixaka Ltd, an integrated cell and gene therapy company focused on the natural power of the body to cure disease, launches today. The Company’s shareholders have funded the business with over £40 million in financing.

    Previously Rexgenero Ltd, a UK-based company pioneering the development of cell therapies to treat serious diseases such as cancer and chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI), the launch of Ixaka follows integration of its nanoparticle gene therapy business in France and a shareholder restructuring.

    The new business will continue to develop Ixaka’s proprietary technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies (MCTs) and targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutics. Ixaka’s technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by targeting curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative function.

    Joe Dupere, CEO of Ixaka, commented: “Ixaka’s broad offering of integrated cell and gene therapy capabilities, encompassing cell-based products and an innovative in vivo gene delivery platform, provides a strong foundation for our ambitions to become a leader in cell and gene therapies. Our focus is now on accelerating progress to help realise the potential for durable and curative cell and gene therapies. By exploring multiple therapies across oncology and cardiovascular, genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases, we are well positioned to bring life-changing treatments to multiple patient populations with critical unmet needs.”

    REX-001, Ixaka’s lead MCT product, is an autologous cell-based product in clinical development for the treatment of CLTI. REX-001 is currently being evaluated in the pivotal Phase III SALAMANDER clinical trial at multiple sites across Europe.

    Ixaka’s polymeric nanoparticle platform can be used to perform genetic modifications directly inside a patient’s body. The platform enables in vivo targeting and transduction of T cells, and is currently being applied to generate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies in vivo for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components will allow the technology to target a broad range of serious diseases, including cancers and genetic, neurological and autoimmune diseases.

    A total of $15.4 billion was raised in the first half of 2020 for the development of cell and gene therapies, with 1,078 regenerative medicine and advanced therapy clinical trials ongoing worldwide1.

    References

    1. https://alliancerm.org/sector-report/h1-2020-report/

    – ENDS –

    About Ixaka

    Ixaka is a cell and gene therapy company focused on using the natural powers of the body to cure disease.

    Ixaka’s proprietary technologies enhance the naturally therapeutic power of cells by increasing the presence of curative cells at the site of disease, or by directly modifying cells within the body to improve disease targeting and boost their restorative effect.

    Ixaka’s technologies – concentrated multi-cell therapies and nanoparticle therapeutics – demonstrate potential for the treatment of a broad range of serious diseases across oncology, cardiovascular, neurological and ocular diseases, and genetic disorders.

    Ixaka has offices in London, UK with R&D and manufacturing operations in Seville, Spain and Paris, France and additional manufacturing capability in Frankfurt, Germany.

    For more information, please visit www.ixaka.com

    Connect with us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ixaka_Ltd; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ixaka-limited/

    About Ixaka’s multi-cell therapies

    Multi-cell therapies (MCT) are derived from natural tissue extracts which are selected for the most active cells, removing components (such as red blood cells and platelets) that potentially reduce the activity of therapeutic cells. Our first MCT is REX-001, which is currently in a multi-site Phase 3 clinical trial for chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI).

    Ixaka’s REX-001 MCT consists of a combination of progenitor cells and immune cells (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) which are selected and concentrated from a patient’s own bone marrow and administered directly to the site of occluded blood vessels in the lower leg. Locally administered REX-001 acts to regenerate blood vessels (through both direct and indirect paracrine mechanisms), modulate immune responses, improve blood flow, improve tissue oxygenation, and promote wound healing. These effects lead to a significant improvement in clinical outcomes and quality of life through complete ulcer healing and alleviation of chronic ischemic rest pain.

    About Ixaka’s in vivo gene delivery technology

    Ixaka’s targeted nanoparticle (TNP) therapeutic is a platform which enables therapeutic cells to be targeted and genetic modifications to be performed directly inside the body. The first application is in the generation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for haematological malignancies. Modifications of the components however allows the technology to target a broad range of therapeutic cells for the treatment of many serious diseases including cancers, genetic disorders, neurological, autoimmune and ocular diseases.

    The TNP in vivo gene delivery approach enables targeting of specific cells and expression of the gene of interest directly in the patient. The technology is also targeted and controllable offering potentially improved efficacy and safety. Generation of enhanced therapeutic cells through genetic modification inside the body also enables more standardized manufacturing which is less expensive as it does not require costly dedicated manufacturing sites needed to expand cells before use (as is required for ex vivo cell therapies).

    Contacts

    At Ixaka
    Joe Dupere, CEO

    +44 (0)20 3700 7480

    info@ixaka.com

    For media enquiries
    Instinctif Partners
    Tim Watson / Siobhan Sanford

    +44 7837 674 500 / + 44 7534 247 411

    ixaka@instinctif.com

  • Metrion Biosciences and LifeArc Further Extend Neuroscience-focused Ion Channel Drug Discovery Collaboration

    Ongoing collaboration extended for another 12 months and successfully progresses into late stage hit-to-lead optimisation phase

    CAMBRIDGE, England & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Metrion Biosciences Limited (Metrion), the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity, today announced a 12-month extension of their neuroscience drug discovery collaboration, as a result of the continued success of their ongoing agreement.

    The collaboration is focused on the discovery of novel selective small molecular modulators of a specific two-pore domain potassium ion channel target, identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis, and has now progressed into the hit-to-lead optimisation phase. Initially signed in January 2019, the collaboration agreement was extended for the first time in December 2019. Following the achievement of mutually agreed criteria LifeArc has now exercised the option to extend the programme for a further 12 months.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Metrion provides validated ion channel and electrophysiology-based assays and safety profiling services. LifeArc uses its expertise to identify novel modulators of CNS ion channel targets and all new chemical syntheses, with Metrion evaluating the pharmacological activities of LifeArc compounds using both automated electrophysiology and manual patch clamp technologies

    Dr Edward Stevens, Head of Drug Discovery, Metrion Biosciences, said: “The continued success of our collaboration with LifeArc is testament to the strength of both teams and the long standing and successful research relationship between our companies. The transition to lead optimisation for key chemical series, along with continuation of selected hit-to-lead activities, is very exciting, and I look forward to working together through 2021.”

    Dr Justin Bryans, Executive Director, Drug Discovery, LifeArc, commented: “We are delighted to continue our work with Metrion in the field of neuroscience, capitalising on our combined expertise and capabilities to develop potentially life-changing drugs.”

    ENDS

    Contacts

    Katie Odgaard

    Zyme Communications

    E-mail: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com
    Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

  • THB places the first risk with Global Health Risk Facility through Syndicate 1796

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#broking–THB, the specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today reveals it has placed the first risk with the newly launched Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF), a public-private collaboration developed by insurtech Parsyl to help protect and support the global distribution of critical health commodities including existing and newly-emerging vaccines.

    Working closely with Phil Mason, Managing Partner of Armfield, Harrison & Thomas, LLC (AHT), a US retail broker specialising in international aid and development organisations, THB was engaged to put in place insurance for the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM) a supply chain solutions provider internationally recognised for its role in saving lives through stronger public health supply chains. PFSCM procures and delivers over $300 million worth of medicines, diagnostics, and medical supplies to more than 80 low- and middle-income countries every year.

    THB brought PFSCM together with the GHRF – an alliance of insurance and technology partners providing comprehensive and data-driven cargo insurance and risk mitigation services for the storage and transit of life-saving medical supplies – including temperature-sensitive Covid-19 vaccines. The facility is anchored by the new Syndicate 1796 at Lloyd’s, led by Ascot as the managing agent and developed by Parsyl, which uses technology to affordably collect and analyse data across the entire supply chain to ensure medicines and vaccines remain safe and effective from the laboratory to use in the field.

    Phil Mason, Managing Partner of AHT explained: “Supply chain insurance and risk management is mission critical for PFSCM. I trusted the cargo team at THB to find the right solution. Parsyl’s blend of insurance and technology promises the efficiencies we are seeking. We’re excited to be part of the placement of the first policy in this new Syndicate.”

    Chris McGill, Head of Cargo at Ascot Group and Active Underwriter for Syndicate 1796 added: “This new Syndicate is a game-changer for healthcare in the developing world where, without the right data, insuring these vital products simply doesn’t happen. It’s been immensely satisfying to combine the expertise of colleagues throughout insurance and technology to establish this important operation.”

    Victoria Zak, Director of Insurance, Parsyl said: “We’re incredibly proud that PFSCM, a proven leader in supply chain innovation for international development, has chosen to obtain insurance coverage from the GHRF. It shows that the critical components of quality monitoring and data collection add incredible value to clients, insurers, and ultimately all recipients of vaccines around the world.

    Erin Seidner, CFO of PFSCM agreed: “We all know that 2021 will bring the additional challenge of distributing a new vaccine, adding to the pressures on supply chains, particularly cargo options for cold chain and frozen shipments. It’s reassuring to know that we now have this specialist insurance facility enabling us to continue our vital work with confidence.”

    Toby Kayll, MD of THB Marine, said: “We’re very proud to place the first risk on the Global Health Risk Facility via Syndicate 1796. This is such a great example of the insurance market working collaboratively and making use of technology to address an issue with real-time human impact.”

    ENDS

    Notes to editors:

    THB Group is a specialist (re)insurance and risk management group, having at its core a Lloyd’s broking business (Thompson Heath & Bond Limited), providing services to clients worldwide. THB was named Broker of the Year at the Insurance Insider Honours Awards 2019.

    THB is part of Amwins Group, Inc., a global specialty insurance distributor with some 5,400 employees across more than 100 office locations worldwide. AmWINS handles some $17billion in premium and is ranked the largest wholesale insurance broker in the U.S. by Business Insurance magazine. For further information on THB, please visit www.thbgroup.com.

    Amwins offers expertise across a diversified mix of property and casualty (P&C) and group benefits insurance products, and also provides value-added services to support these products, including product development, underwriting, premium and claims administration and actuarial services. For further information on Amwins, please visit www.amwins.com.

    PFSCM (Partnership for Supply Chain Management) specialises in prevention, diagnostic and treatment products for COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and child health. Since its inception in 2005, PFSCM has delivered $6.8 billion in health products in over 45,000 shipments to over 100 countries. For further information on PFSCM, please visit www.pfscm.org.

    Ascot Group is a Bermuda-domiciled specialty insurance and reinsurance business founded in 2001 with four operating divisions: Ascot Underwriting, the Managing Agency for Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd’s; Ascot Bermuda, which writes excess insurance and reinsurance as well as managing the Group’s alternative capital vehicles; Ascot U.S., a specialty insurance provider to middle market customers through retail and wholesale brokers in the United States, and; Ethos Specialty, a New York headquartered Managing General Underwriter (MGU) which provides underwriting and insurance services to third parties. Ascot Group is owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the largest pension plan in Canada with over C$400 billion in invested assets and representing the retirement contributions of over 20 million Canadians. CPPIB is rated ‘AAA’ by S&P and Moody’s. For further information on Ascot, please visit www.ascotgroup.com/lloyds.

    Parsyl is a supply chain data platform and cargo insurer for shippers of sensitive goods. Parsyl’s combined IoT and software solution helps shippers understand, mitigate and insure risks to goods as they move through the supply chain, both in transit and storage. Parsyl is an approved Coverholder with Lloyd’s of London. Syndicate 1796 was developed by Parsyl and serves as the anchor of the Global Health Risk Facility, the world’s dedicated risk facility for Covid-19 related transit and storage risks. It is the first public-private syndicate created to address a global health emergency in the history of Lloyd’s. The Syndicate has been given the number ‘1796’ in honour of the year physician Edward Jenner carried out his first experiments in what would become the smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine and the only disease the world has ever eradicated through vaccination. The GHRF is open to all brokers with eligible business. For more policy details visit www.parsyl.com/ghrf/.

    AHT, a Baldwin Risk Partner, is an insurance brokerage and consulting firm offering property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal and international services for a wide range of industries – boasting national recognition for its practices in areas including technology, manufacturing, government contracting and non-profits. AHT has been honoured with more than 60 industry awards, including being ranked one of the “100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business”, named one of the “Best Places to Work in Insurance” by Business Insurance, named to the “Top 25 Insurance Brokers and Agents” list by Washington Business Journal and a Washington Post “Top Workplace” for consecutive years. For further information on AHT, please visit www.ahtins.com.

    Contacts

    Julian Vereker

    THB Group

    +44 (0)20 7469 0100

    jvereker@thbgroup.com

  • Juniper Research: Mobile Roaming Subscribers to Reach 918 Million Globally by 2024; Recovering to Pre-pandemic Levels

    North American Market to Increase by 192% During Pandemic Recovery

    BASINGSTOKE, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#mobileroamingmarket–A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of international roaming subscribers dropped by 73% to 243 million globally in 2020; caused by travel restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. It predicts that mobile roaming subscriber numbers will take until 2024 to exceed 2019 levels; reaching 918 million by 2024, as the travel industry embarks on a prolonged recovery from the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

    For more insights on Mobile Roaming, download our free whitepaper: Mobile Roaming: The Journey to Recovery.

    North America to Lead Roaming Recovery

    The new research, Mobile Roaming: Emerging Opportunities, Regional Analysis & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, predicts that operators in North America will be amongst the first to recover from the impacts of the pandemic on the roaming market. It found that the region will account for 23% of global roaming revenue by 2025, as border restrictions are lifted and demand for travel returns to normal levels.

    The study also anticipates that North America’s recovery will be aided by the region’s early adoption of 5G services, with operators able to increase roaming revenue through the provision of advanced functionality to subscribers. In response, the research urges operators to focus on expanding 5G roaming agreements in 2021 to capitalise on this revenue growth in the future.

    Brexit Marks Uncertain Future for UK Roamers

    The research forecasts that the UK will account for 11% of mobile roaming subscribers in Europe by 2025, increasing from 8% in 2020; showing that the revenue opportunity for operators is growing. It found accordingly that UK-based operators are now facing pressure to form individual bilateral agreements with operators in Europe to guarantee continued inclusive roaming for UK subscribers.

    Research author Scarlett Woodford noted: ‘Any decisions by UK operators to reintroduce roaming changes would negatively affect customer satisfaction. Operators must approach changes to their roaming policies with caution, in order to avoid an increase in the number of silent roamers and accompanying lost revenue.’

    Whitepaper Download: https://www.juniperresearch.com/document-library/white-papers/mobile-roaming-the-journey-to-recovery

    Mobile Roaming market research: https://www.juniperresearch.com/researchstore/operators-providers/mobile-roaming-research-report

    Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

    Contacts

    For further details please contact:

    Sam Smith

    Press Relations

    T: +44(0)1256 830002

    E: sam.smith@juniperresearch.com