UnaCom Oil and Gas News

                                           15th October – 21st October

Monday 15th October
Australia's BHP raises stakes in Ecuador copper project
BHP, the world’s biggest miner, increased its share in in SolGold Plc, as it eyes SolGolds lucrative copper-gold project in Ecuador, competing against top shareholder Newcrest Mining. SolGold will issue 100 million shares to the company, raising its stake to 11.2% from 6.0%. BHP has promised to pay 45 pence per SolGold share, an 8% premium to the closing stocks on Monday. With current top shareholders Newcrest Mining having a 14.54% stake. This deal strengthens the strategic position of BHP in this copper project.

Tuesday 16th October
Oil prices fall amid higher US supply
Oil prices fell today after news of higher US oil production and increasing U.S Crude inventories however a fall in Iranian oil exports helped to offset the fall. Brent crude oil was down by 50 cents a barrel at $80.28 and US light crude was down by 50 cents at $71.28. Shale oil production continues unperturbed, with oil production from seven major U.S Shale basins it is expected to rise by 98,000 barrels per day to a record of 7.71million bpd. In the first two weeks of October, Iran exported 1.33 million bpd of crude. This was down from 1.6 million bpd during the same period in September. This is a sharp decrease from the 2.5 million bpd in April before Trump ordered the re-imposition of sanctions.

Friday 18th October
OPEC struggling to add barrels to the market, to fulfill pledged oil output boost
A recent internal document has shown that OPEC is struggling to add barrels to the market, after pledging in June to increase output. The document showed that although there was an increase in Saudi Arabia production it was offset by declines in Iran, Venezuela and Angola. A pledge was made in June after President Trump urged producers to increase their output to offset sanctions that are to take place in Iran and to dampen prices. Following the June agreement Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC and non-OPEC would pump roughly an extra 1 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia pumped most of the extra oil, raising output by 524,000 bpd in September compared to May. Iran cut production by 376,000 bpd in September versus May and has said OPEC and Saudi Arabia are not able to make up for a total loss of its exports. Production also fell in Venezuela and Angola by 189,000 bpd and 17,000 bpd in Angola respectively.



                                 UnaCom Pharma Product News
                                            15th October – 21st October

Monday 15th October 

Karuna Pharmaceuticals has started its Phase two trial of KarXT, a drug being developed for the treatment of Schizophrenia
Karuna Pharmaceuticals is an affiliate of UK Biotech firm PureTech Health. KarXT consists of xanomeline a receptor with proven efficacy in placebo-controlled human trials in Schizoprenia and Alzheimers disease and trospium chloride an FDA approved receptor antagonist that has been shown not to enter the central nervous system. In the first phase study, KarXT successfully demonstrated tolerability at a dose level exceeding those shown to be efficacious in previous studies of xanomeline alone. Data from this study supported the dosage selection to be used in the second trial, which has the aims of reproducing efficacy results previously observed in a schizophrenia trial with xanomeline monotherapy. If this treatment were to succeed in passing clinical trials Karunas chief executive Steve Paul said that the treatment “could be effective in treating not only positive symptoms but also the disabling negative and cognitive symptoms of the disease.”

Wednesday 17th October 

NHS greenlight Novartis skin care combo
The NHS has three months to ensure that Novartis skincare combination therapy dabrafenib/trametinib is available to skin cancer patients. NICE has recommended this combination for patients with stage III BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma, whose disease has spread to their lymph nodes or their lymph glands and who have had surgery to remove the tumour and associated lymph glands. This patient group have never had any other treatments with only surgery and radiotherapy available in certain cases. The aim of Novartis’ adjuvant therapy is to remove any residual cancer left behind to prevent recurrence. Clinical trials have shown that patients taking dabrafenib plus trametinib had higher rates of relapse-free survival (88% at 1 year, 67% at 2 years, and 58% at 3 years) compared with patients taking the placebo (56% at 1 year, 44% at 2 years, and 39% at 3 years). This provides a huge step forward for patients who have very few options left following surgery.

Friday 19th October 

NICE rejects Eli Lilly’s breast cancer drug Verzenios 
Eli Lilly’s cancer drug will not be funded by the NHS, after cost regulators released draft guidelines rejecting the drug. NICE states that Verzenios is just as effective as the current treatment being used, but when the patient access schemes are considered Verzenios is not as cost effective as the others being currently used. Verzenios was approved in Europe for the treatment of certain metastatic breast cancers earlier this month, based on data from the Phase 111 MONARCH 2 and 3 trials.
In MONARCH 2, Verzenios combined with AstraZeneca’s Faslodex, was found to considerably progression free survival compared to Faslodex on its own, with figures of 16.4 months versus 9.3 months respectively.

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