City round up: Stroke breakthrough at Genedrive; Character to double buybacks


AIM-listed medical testing business Genedrive has moved a stage further towards the commercialisation of its stroke test technology following successful completion of tests at Manchester Hospitals NHS Trust.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended that the Genedrive® CYP2C19-ID test should be used as the point-of-care  test of choice in certain stroke patients. 

Genedrive collaborates under the DEVOTE (Development and Validation of Technology for Time Critical Genomic Testing) programme, funded by Innovate UK, and led by Professor Bill Newman, Professor of Translational Genomic Medicine at The University of Manchester and honorary consultant at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

The project aims to develop collaborations between universities, industry and healthcare professionals to support the development and implementation of time critical genomic testing into the clinic faster, so patients benefit sooner.

Genedrive expects a final recommendation from NICE on 10 July 2024.

James Cheek, CEO of Genedrive, said: “The NHS has done significant work on both strokes and mini strokes, with campaigns for FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) and promoting changing lifestyles to prevent a stroke. This guidance is just the next step in stroke management, ensuring that if you have a stroke, specifically related to a disruption of the blood flow, that the medicine given has a positive effect.”

He added: “We feel there is growing momentum within the group’s POC pharmacogenetic testing strategy.”

Professor Bill Newman, said: “The DEVOTE Programme funded by Innovate UK has brought together academic, industry and clinical partners from across Manchester to deliver novel genomic diagnostics to make medicine prescription safer and more effective for patients. We have been delighted to work with Genedrive to develop their point of care test which will ensure that rapid results are available to reduce the risk of patients having further strokes.”


Character Group

Oldham-based toys group, Character, is to double its share buyback scheme, it announced this morning.

On February 6, 2024, it announced a £1m share buyback programme as part of its strategy to reduce the company’s share capital.

Since the start of the Share Buyback Programme, the company has repurchased for cancellation 365,770 Ordinary Shares in aggregate at a volume weighted average price of 264p per Ordinary Share for a total consideration of £964,059.49.

Character today announced that, further to the company’s announcement on February 6, the board has decided to increase the Share Buyback Programme by up to an additional £1m, to a maximum consideration of £2m.

As at April 2, 2024, Character’s total issued share capital consisted of 19,000,000 Ordinary Shares (excluding treasury shares) and 2,100,159 shares held in treasury. Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the company was 19,000,000.

The company has an unutilised capacity to buy back up to a further 2,524,230 Ordinary Shares under the authority granted at the Annual General Meeting on January 19, 2024.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...