Is AIM-listed microchip minnow Sondrel coming to a brain implant near you?
That’s the rumour that spread across the media this week, after the Daily Mail, quoting ‘a source with knowledge of the matter’, revealed that Sondrel played a key part in developing Tesla boss Elon Musk’s brain–computer interface Neuralink.
According to sources, Musk called on Sondrel to lend its highly specialised knowledge of bespoke microchip designs to Neuralink, which was successfully implanted into a patient’s brain for the first time last Sunday.
Sondrel wasn’t dragged into confirming or denying the report, though it did remind the market that it’s ‘one of only a few companies capable of designing and supplying higher-spec, complex chips built on the most advanced semiconductor technologies’.
‘The Group does not comment on the identity of customers,’ stated Sondrel. That said, Sondrel does have an ‘automotive Tier 1 supplier’ in its books.
Big link: The Daily Mail, quoting ‘a source with knowledge of the matter’, revealed that Sondrel played a key part in developing Elon Musk’s brain–computer interface Neuralink
Tesla? Elon Musk? Neuralink? Microchip? It’s market speculation bingo. No wonder Sondrel shares flew 160 per cent higher this week.
As for the wider junior market, the AIM All-Share Index closed the week half a percentage point lower at 750.8, underperforming against the FTSE 100’s 0.2 per cent drop.
Blue chips were weighed down by particularly poor performances from AstraZeneca, Persimmon and SSE.
It was another story across the pond- the S&P 500 hit new all-time highs, coming within a whisker of 5,000 for the first time ever. You won’t be surprised to hear that Magnificent 7 stocks Nvidia, Microsoft and Facebook parent Meta led the charge.
Back in London, Artemis Resources Ltd led the charge in the mining sector after identifying the presence of lithium-bearing spodumene mineralisation at its Marie Lithium Prospect in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Artemis’ share price rallied 77 per cent as a result.
Strategic Minerals plc also had a bumper week with a sizable contract win that could see revenues down in the current financial year.
The new client has signed up and is expected to take 5,000-7,000 tons of iron ore a year, the company said. Shares were up more than 28 per cent as a result.
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc was a top small-cap mover in the biotech space. The stock flew 28 per cent higher across the week on news that the company’s trials of myeloid leukaemia treatment HEMO-CAR-T can continue.
The US Food and Drug Administration gave the go-ahead for the trial to continue after issues identified in June had been successfully addressed.
In the same week that Viagra was discovered to potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in men, AIM-listed erectile dysfunction innovator Futura Medical plc enjoyed a 40 per cent lift to its market valuation following a trading update.
Investors hailed a pivotal year in Futura’s commercial journey, marking the successful launch of Eroxon, an over-the-counter treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), and the product’s approval in the US.
First launches of the product, a fast-acting gel, took place in the UK and Belgium, under a deal with Cooper Consumer Health, and exceeded expectations, capturing over 20 per cent market share in these regions within the first year.
In-game advertising company Bidstack Group plc had a bit of a mare after a £2.4million loan agreement with strategic investor Irdeto was thrown into doubt.
In a trading update, the group said it was ‘keen to continue to work with Irdeto as previously announced’, but the board ‘feels that it must also consider other funding alternatives’.
As a result, Bidstack has appointed restructuring advisers to look at all options for the future of the group, including a potential sale of the company’s assets. Shares were tossed 60 per cent lower.
Kinovo plc shares were knocked down 14 per cent after the specialist property services firm warned several delays meant the costs of its legacy projects had surged.
Bens Creek Group plc was cut down by a third after the group disclosed that chief executive Adam Wilson is to stand down from the role. Wilson said he’ll stay on until a suitable replacement is found.
The group also announced a new loan with major shareholder Avani to give it additional working capital.
Bens Creek’s West Virginia operations were hit by severe weather conditions earlier this year. While the mine is back in production, several trains scheduled to collect contracted coal sales were delayed, resulting in a substantial backlog of coal delivery since the start of the year.
Other AIM fallers included Hardide plc, down 25 per cent due to cash runway concerns, and Digital 9 Infrastructure plc, down a bruising 40 per cent after Icelandic regulators put the block on a planned spin-out pending a phase-II investigation.
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