NEW JERSEY – An additional $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to officials.

The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before, it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”

An additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program; $15 million will go to support renters through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact on many vulnerable New Jersey families and keeping a roof over their heads is our top priority,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The additional support we are providing will extend relief to tenants so they can focus their limited resources on staying safe and secure.”

The remaining $5 million will be used to provide relief for New Jersey residents facing food insecurity. These funds will build off of the $20 million announced in July that the Department of Agriculture (NJDA) used to support Emergency Feeding Organizations, which have been supporting food banks, food pantries, hunger relief centers, and soup kitchens that provide food to those in need.

Shares of Workhorse Group  (WKHS) – Get Report rose Monday after the electric delivery truck maker announced it will sell $200 million of four-year, 4% senior secured convertible notes to two unnamed institutional lenders.

The proceeds will be used to increase and accelerate production volume, advance new products to market, replace previous higher cost financings, and support current working capital and other general corporate purposes, the company said in a statement Monday.

Workhorse shares traded at $27.22, up 1.68%, in premarket trading. The stock has soared 781% this year through Friday as investors have rushed into electric vehicle stocks.

Workhorse also has forged an agreement with the unnamed holder of its existing 4.5% convertible notes to exchange the $70 million outstanding principal for shares of the company’s common stock. After this transaction, Workhorse will have more than $270 million in cash available.

As for the notes being purchased, they will initially be convertible into common stock by the holders at $36.14 a share, a 35% over Friday’s closing price. The interest rate may be reduced to 2.75% under certain conditions. Workhorse has the option to make interest payments in cash or stock.

The company expects that the note sale and the note exchange will occur on or about Wednesday.

“With this financing in place, we can more quickly advance our production efforts heading into 2021 by increasing our supply chain component volumes, hiring more manufacturing employees and automating certain sub-assembly processes,” Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said.

“We can also accelerate our production timeline for new, high-demand customer products, including a refrigeration truck for grocery applications as well as a purpose-built class 2 delivery van,” Hughes added.

HONG KONG (Reuters) – An extremely rare, vivid purple-pink diamond mined in Russia is expected to fetch up to $38 million when it goes under the hammer on Nov. 11, the auction house Sotheby’s said on Monday.



Model poses with "The Spirit of the Rose" during a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong


© Reuters/TYRONE SIU
Model poses with “The Spirit of the Rose” during a Sotheby’s preview in Hong Kong



The Spirit of the Rose is seen on display during a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong


© Reuters/TYRONE SIU
The Spirit of the Rose is seen on display during a Sotheby’s preview in Hong Kong

The oval gem, which is named after a Russian ballet ‘The Spirit of the Rose’, is the largest of its kind to be offered at auction. The trend for coloured stones has increased as an asset class by the super rich in recent years.



a close up of a hand: Model poses with "The Spirit of the Rose" during a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong


© Reuters/TYRONE SIU
Model poses with “The Spirit of the Rose” during a Sotheby’s preview in Hong Kong

Mined by Russian diamond producer Alrosa, the 14.83-carat diamond was cut from the largest pink crystal ever found in Russia, Sotheby’s said.

“The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size. Only one percent of all pink diamonds are larger than 10-carats,” said Gary Schuler, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery division.

Naturally coloured diamonds occur because they posses a particular lattice structure that refracts light to produce coloured, rather than white, stones.

Pink diamonds are both rare and aesthetically highly prized by collectors, analysts say.



a piece of cake on a plate: The Spirit of the Rose is seen on display during a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong


© Reuters/TYRONE SIU
The Spirit of the Rose is seen on display during a Sotheby’s preview in Hong Kong

The gem is being shown in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei before being auctioned in Geneva on Nov. 11.

(Reporting by Yoyo Chow and Farah Master; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Source Article

Quick Take

Praxis Precision Medicines (PRAX) has filed to raise $126 million in an IPO of its common stock, according to an S-1 registration statement.

The firm is developing drug treatment candidates for central nervous system disorders.

PRAX has produced intriguing early efficacy results for its lead candidate and the IPO, while not cheap, is worth consideration.

Company & Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Praxis was founded to advance a pipeline of treatments for both broad psychiatric-related and rare diseases of the central nervous system having to do with neuronal imbalances.

Management is headed by president and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Marcio Souza, who has been with the firm since April 2020 and was previously Chief Operating Officer at PTC Therapeutics.

Below is a brief overview video of symptoms of major depressive disorder:

Source: Psych Hub Education

The company’s lead candidate, PRAX-114, is being developed to treat major depressive disorder as both a monotherapy and adjunctive therapy for both acute and maintenance settings.

The drug is in Phase 2a clinical trials in Australia and in early results the firm ‘observed marked improvements in depression scores in MDD patients within two weeks of treatment.’

Below is the current status of the company’s drug development pipeline:

Source: Company S-1 Filing

Investors in the firm have invested at least $118 million and include Blackstone, Novo Holdings, Vida Ventures and Eventide.

Market & Competition

According to a 2020 market research report by ResearchAndMarkets, the 7MM market size for treatments for major depressive disorder was $9.3 billion in 2017.

The United States accounts for the largest market size of the seven major markets (U.S., EU5 and Japan)

There were an estimated 34 million cases of major depressive disorder in 2017 in the seven major markets.

Major competitive vendors that provide or are developing treatments include:

  • Sage Therapeutics

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Oxford Finance LLC (“Oxford”), a specialty finance firm that provides senior debt to healthcare services and life sciences companies worldwide, today announced the closing of a $55 million senior credit facility and revolving line of credit to SpendMend (or “the Company”), a portfolio company of Sheridan Capital Partners.

The proceeds were used to refinance existing debt, fund the acquisition of Turnkey Pharmacy Solutions (“Turnkey”) and Elevate340B (“Elevate”), and provide ongoing working capital. Oxford Finance is the sole lead arranger and administrative agent in this transaction.

Established in 1993, SpendMend is the leading outsourced provider of cost cycle management services and tech-enabled solutions to the healthcare market. A majority of the nation’s top healthcare systems partner with SpendMend to improve patient care through innovative cost-savings solutions.

“SpendMend is a recognized leader in cost cycle management,” said Tracy S. Maziek, head of healthcare services at Oxford Finance. “The Company provides tangible value and bottom-line impact to a complex industry operating on thin margins. The continued growth of these businesses, in spite of the global impacts of COVID, strengthened our conviction and validated the compelling value propositions of these businesses. Oxford is happy to be working with the Sheridan team once again and to now be supporting SpendMend.”

“The acquisition of Turnkey and Elevate broadens our suite of offerings providing compliance, optimization and growth services for the complex and critical 340B programs at health systems,” stated Dan Geehoed, CEO of SpendMend. “Oxford provided a flexible financing solution to support this acquisition and will be a valuable partner to support our continued growth.”

“Oxford was able to deliver a compelling proposal on an expedited timeline and with a high degree of certainty,” added Nick Rowland, principal at Sheridan Capital Partners. “We are pleased