Ovoca Gold to relaunch as drug company

By Geoff Percival

Dublin-based mining firm, Ovoca Gold, is to reinvent itself as a biopharmaceutical business, via the $6.2m (€5.3m) reverse takeover of Russian drug development company, IVIX.

Ovoca will seek shareholder approval for the deal at an EGM in Dublin on July 27, which is unlikely to be anything more than a formality, as the news boosted Ovoca’s share price by 30%.

A successful outcome would also result in Ovoca Gold changing its name to Ovoca Bio.

IVIX is currently developing a proprietary drug, under the name Libicore, for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction, which affects 40% of women.

Ovoca, which has been focused on Russian gold-mining assets since 2004, has been reviewing its strategy for some time and was, last year, linked with diversification into the oil-and-gas exploration sector.

In its latest annual report, published in May, Ovoca said it closed 2017 with available financial assets of $19m and was continuing to seek ways to utilise its liquidity. 

Chief executive, Kirill Golovanov, said the company could shift direction and change its business focus.

“The enlarged group’s goal is to become a leader in the development and commercialisation of novel product candidates for the treatment of female sexual dysfunctions,” Ovoca said yesterday.

Ovoca has been locked in a legal battle, seeking money owed to it by bankrupt Russian oil-and-gas firm, Taymura, for some time, but recently admitted the chance of a successful conclusion to the matter “looks poor”.

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