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MissionIR Blog

eXp World Holdings, Inc. (EXPI) Adds Boston’s Landmark Group to Agent-Owned Cloud Brokerage™

Earlier today, eXp World Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: EXPI) announced the addition of Sally and Stephen Koss, founders of the respected Landmark brand in Greater Boston, to its Agent-Owned Cloud Brokerage™ after more than three decades as franchisees under the RE/MAX (NYSE: RMAX) umbrella. Over the past 31 years, Sally and Stephen Koss have successfully developed one of the strongest real estate brands in Southern New England, operating a number of offices throughout the state of Massachusetts. Their decision to exit the RE/MAX system in favor of eXp Realty’s high-engagement, low overhead business model highlights the marketability of the company’s innovative agent-ownership model in the rapidly evolving real estate industry.

“With eXp we have access to ground-breaking real estate technology to better serve our agents and clients,” Sally Koss stated in today’s news release. “Most importantly though, we are able to thank our agents by providing them with the very same opportunities that we have — ownership as fellow shareholders able to build organizations within and across markets.”

In addition to offering equity incentives to its agents and brokers, eXp Realty has developed a comprehensive cloud environment designed to offer the systems, support, culture and community required for its agents and brokerage-owners to thrive despite the unpredictability of the economic landscape. This formula has proven extremely popular, with EXPI’s agent base surpassing 1,100 members in the first quarter of 2016, marking a 100 percent year-over-year increase. The company built on this success last week when it was named among the best places to work by both The Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and this recognition is catching the attention of some of the country’s most seasoned and successful real estate professionals.

“While there are other companies in the industry that are publicly held, the driving force behind eXp’s public company status is to give direct ownership to its agents and brokers,” continued Koss. “That’s a game-changer for us.”

Coming off a first quarter during which it achieved year-over-year revenue growth of 107 percent to more than $7.1 million, EXPI’s success in attracting top-level agents and brokers such as Sally and Stephen Koss sets the stage for additional financial growth. In line with this goal, the company is seeking to deliver a value proposition that outpaces anything the competition has to offer, effectively making it “irresponsible for an agent and broker to hang their license anywhere else,” according to Glenn Sanford, chairman and CEO of EXPI. eXp Realty’s Agent-Owned Cloud Brokerage™ currently includes more than 1,240 real estate professionals spanning 38 states and Alberta, Canada.

For more information, visit the company’s website at http://investors.exprealty.com

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OurPet’s Company’s (OPCO) Creative Destruction in the Pet Care Industry

In his seminal contribution to economic thought published in 1942 and titled Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter coined the term ‘creative destruction’ to describe the dynamic operation of the economy. This ‘industrial mutation… incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one’. Schumpeter saw this ‘industrial mutation’ or ‘creative destruction’ as being driven by innovation and, more importantly, by the entrepreneur. For Schumpeter, entrepreneurship was the application of innovation. It was the origination of superior organizational models, the development of more efficient methods of production and a wider range of products offering the consumer more satisfaction or, as economists are fond of saying, greater utility. No doubt the great man would have been happy with the creative destruction at OurPet’s Company (OTCQX: OPCO). OPCO is an innovative powerhouse with ‘over 160 patents, issued or pending’ and three-quarters of its revenues come from proprietary products.

OPCO’s story is, indeed, one of innovation. The company was founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Dr. Steve Tsengas because he saw how mired in the past the pet care industry was. He set out to destroy the old ways of thinking about pet care. And so, like the plot of many a good story, OPCO’s path of innovation is one of adventure and happy endings. The development of the Intelligent Pet Care™ line is one such chapter. The seed was planted at SuperZoo, The National Show for Pet Retailers, which was held July 21 – 23, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas when OurPets® Catty Whack® received the Best New Cat Product Showcase Award.

OurPets® Catty Whack® is an unpredictable game of hide and seek designed for cats of all ages. Cats love the electronic RealMouse® sound and the erratic movement of the feather keeps the cat guessing as it darts in and out at random. Catty Whack® sales ‘have started accelerating at the end of the year’.

The success of OurPets® Catty Whack® sparked anew the creative energy of OPCO’s designers and resulted in the development of the Intelligent Pet Care™ line. As Dr. Steve Tsengas explained in a recent MissionIR interview, the Intelligent Pet Care™ line of products is ‘the application of Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi to improve the connectivity between humans and pets’. Our pets cannot communicate with us in ways that we will understand. Nevertheless, we can infer a lot by collecting and analyzing data on their behavior.

The Intelligent Pet Care™ product line includes the SmartLink™ Feeder, SmartLink™ Waterer and SmartScoop – Intelligent Litter Box, which allows pet parents to monitor their pet’s behavior through the IntelligentPetLink™ smartphone app, which can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app store. The IntelligentPetLink™ smartphone app monitors a variety of data from the various Intelligent Pet Care™ products, such as the frequency and duration of feeding, water drinking and waste elimination.

The SmartLink™ Feeder – Intelligent Pet Bowl fits well in households with many pets. Using the Bluetooth® technology it will detect when your pet, wearing a unique SmartLink™ Tag is near and will only open for that tag. This eliminates feeding confrontations between pets, protects diet-sensitive meals and prevents small children from getting to the pet’s food.

Another product in the line is the SmartLink™ Waterer – Intelligent Water Fountain, which, employing the Bluetooth® technology, will detect when your pet, wearing a unique SmartLink™ Tag that is paired with the waterer, is near. It will then dispense filtered water from the reservoir and so allow your pet to drink clean, running water.

The line includes the SmartScoop® – Intelligent Litter Box, which uses infrared technology to sense when your cat enters and exits the box and engages the scoop mechanism accordingly to clean the box.

Over its 20 years in the pet care industry (the OurPets® brand has been around since 1996), the company has been practicing Schumpeterian creative destruction. OurPet’s Company has been destroying the obsolescent and creating the future for pets and for pet parents.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ourpets.com

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OurPet’s Company (OPCO) Eyes Mounting International Market Share as Key Bottom-Line Driver

OurPet’s Company (OTCQX: OPCO) already dominates the cat wall at many retail locations, with superb offerings like its OurPets® Catty Whack®, featuring patented Electronic RealMouse® sound and an erratically moving feather wand, which darts in and out of holes in around the perimeter of this carpet scratching area-topped marvel. With an impressive and growing retail presence that spans majors like Petco and PetSmart, as well as numerous smaller retailers like Pet Supermarket, in addition to ecommerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) – further expansion into international markets could give this focused product design innovator real momentum. The same capacity to captivate western markets which OPCO has demonstrated already, with high-quality feeders and waste disposal systems, as well as toys that exercise an animal’s instincts and stimulate its senses, should easily help the company’s portfolio leap over cultural and language barriers in Asia. The warm reception OurPet’s Company has already received in Japan and South Korea is solid evidence of this.

Pet ownership is not only on the rise here in the states, but around the world as well. Globally, some 57 percent or more of the world’s consumers own pets, according to a recent GfK study (http://dtn.fm/0cKxR), with dogs the most popular choice at around 33 percent, and cats coming in second at around 23 percent. One place this rise is particularly evident is among the growing middle class in China, and across the rest of Asia as well. Beijing-based consultant firm Zhongjinqixin did a sweeping survey late last year which showed that there are over 100 million registered pets now in China (http://dtn.fm/gc4PE), with 62 percent of those pets being dogs, and a whopping 10 percent of the total number of all pets consolidated in Guangdong Province.

For a relatively small operator like OurPet’s Company – which has rapidly carved out a name for itself as a provider of ingeniously designed, high-quality toys, feeders and waste management solutions through its pet parent/prosumer brand OurPets®, as well as its mass market brand Pet Zone® – this international market could be a big opportunity. With 160 patents issued or pending and some three-quarters of its revenues stemming directly from the sale of proprietary products, OPCO is a success story waiting to pop on the global stage, and the international market could be one of the accelerants that gets this party really started. Bidding wars at home in the sector and a thriving consumer culture abroad that is leaning more and more toward increased pet ownership is a powerful one-two knockout punch for a little fighter like OPCO – which has the design talent and proven ability to resonate with end markets needed to take things to the next level abroad. With 62 percent of pets in China being dogs, the strong foundation in toys and feeders for dogs that OPCO has established will serve the company well as it reaches out further to this market in particular.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ourpets.com

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Exit to Europe this Summer with NextTrip from Monaker (MKGI)

Now that the majority of Brits have voted to leave the European Union, crossing the pond has just become a lot cheaper. The value of the pound sterling has fallen to its lowest level since the first half of 1985. Brexit has hit the British currency much harder than the Great Recession ever did. The euro has dived as well. So now, the grand continental European tour is open to many more. Summer in Europe never looked so good, and, for holiday makers, the choices of where to stay just multiplied with NextTrip from Monaker Group (OTCQB: MKGI).

NextTrip is a booking engine that provides ‘multiple booking platforms, all combined into one easy to use experience’. It was launched in February 2016 as a portal through which Monaker’s online assets, such as Always On Vacation and Maupintour, can be accessed. Using NextTrip, the sojourner can find and book hotel rooms, home rentals, resorts, cruises, flights and car rentals. NextTrip is the first booking solution to include conventional lodging, alternative lodging, and unused timeshare and resort inventory, all in one place. This technology allows consumers to search and book from the timeshare inventory in real-time without any timeshare solicitations.

Always On Vacation, acquired in October 2015, provides a rich resource of alternative lodging. In operation since 2006, the subsidiary came with its 65,000 properties in 120 countries and over 6 million monthly visitors. Now for that summer sabbatical there is a choice of 21,004 properties in the land of Hamlet or 6,533 lovely locations where the Sound of Music has filled the air. Adventure in Croatia after picking one of the 23,577 listed lodgings or visit Italy and stay in one of the 28,754 properties available there.

Another Monaker subsidiary, Maupintour, ‘helps plan highly customized private tours – anywhere around the globe’. Through Maupintour you can do China, riding a Dragon Boat across Kunming Lake in Beijing’s Summer Palace, or visit the Acropolis at Athens and the ancient home of the international games at Olympia. Alternatively, you can cruise along the Nile and see where the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun was found. You can also experience summer at Christmas with the many Southern hemisphere tours. For 14 days, you can frolic through Argentina and Chile, or you can climb around Peru for eight days. You can even try to spot a hobbit as you discover New Zealand for 10 days.

Monaker is growing rapidly. Its latest annual report shows that travel and commission revenues for the year ended February 29, 2016, reached $544,658, which represented a 66.3 percent increase over the previous year’s figure of $327,492. The company and its subsidiaries have been amassing vacation home inventory in efforts to operate the world’s largest online marketplace for the alternative lodging rental industry. Alternative lodging rentals (ALRs) are whole unit vacation homes or timeshare resort units that are fully furnished, privately-owned residential properties, including homes, condominiums, villas and cabins, that property owners and managers rent to the public on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis. The company also aims to become the largest vacation rental platform in the world with auxiliary services so travelers can purchase vacations through one site, NextTrip.com, and to provide the most qualified inquiries and bookings to property owners and managers.

For more information, visit www.monakergroup.com

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International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) Neural Stem Cell Therapy – Ethical, Effective, and Homegrown

A news story out this week (http://dtn.fm/SW1v5) in the MIT Technology Review recounts the lamentable tale of a man (Jim Gass) who used to be chief legal counsel for storied electrical manufacturer Sylvania – for whom a desperate search to treat his stroke with stem cells abroad invariably led to disastrous medical tourism results. Based on a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, the MIT Tech Rev article’s analysis further explains that the Gass case may have occurred in part due to Google parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG; GOOGL), as the search engine’s paid ad returns to user queries about stem cell therapies seem partly responsible for steering people into the hands of shady clinics abroad.

I don’t know what that tells commercial investors about how midcap and microcap biotech innovators are overlooked, but it tells me everything I need to know about the future of the stem cell sector, because the next decade is primed to witness unprecedented change due to emergent technologies.

This single case with Gass, where a man sought fetal tissue injections in countries like Argentina, China and Mexico, because he did not have access to domestic treatment options, paints a bold and cautionary tale about medical tourism. But it also tells a story about market potential and the huge sums of capital seeking therapy, that is currently trapped, like a spring that is ready to bounce, charged with breakout momentum. Think about Gass: the poor guy just wanted to offset the impact of his stroke and ended up with a tumor made of someone else’s tissue in his spine. Now, the former chief legal counsel for Sylvania is no schlub mind you, so this could happen to any consumer put in a similarly desperate situation. And Gass reportedly spent over $300,000 in the aggregate seeking treatments.

Let’s face the facts. We have been dragging our feet on stem cell technologies for far too long despite the massive bluesky therapeutic potential (especially when we bring personalized medicine vectors into the equation), so in many ways we created the problem. Only in recent years has the FDA begun to change its stance, and so we are late to the game on this one. While due in part to justifiable ethical concerns, the resulting sluggishness of our biotech sector has only been exacerbated by the FDA’s foot-dragging. However, with homegrown companies like revolutionary California-based biotech developer, International Stem Cell Corp. (OTCQB: ISCO), effectively in-play as the FDA continues to loosen its grip, this cautionary tale about Gass could soon go the way of the dinosaur.

The FDA cleared ISCO’s proprietary human parthenogenetic stem cell line for investigational clinical use back in 2014, and the company subsequently made significant headway across its continuously evolving therapeutic pipeline, where two of the current major vectors are Parkinson’s disease and ischemic stroke (the most prevalent type). In fact, the company just announced the results of its 12-month pre-clinical safety and efficacy primate study of its proprietary and readily expandable ISC-hpNSC® (human parthenogenetic stem cells-derived neural stem cells) platform, as being published in the well-respected and peer-reviewed journal, Cell Transplantation.

This publication marks the end of preclinical work for ISCO’s Parkinson’s disease program and confidence is now high at the company, with clinical trial approval of ISC-hpNSC® for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease secured, and Phase 1 clinical trial enrollment underway in Australia. Patients with moderate to severe Parkinson’s are cleared by the Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee and ISCO’s groundbreaking study is being conducted at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. Great news, especially when one considers the results of a new landmark Mayo Clinic study (http://dtn.fm/3E6wT) published in JAMA Neurology, which shows a big uptick in Parkinson’s rates from 1976 to 2005, a trend whose forward projections look brutal, even in a best case scenario.

Given the extant evidence thus far showing that ISC-hpNSC improved Parkinson’s disease symptoms markedly in subjects, where dopaminergic neuron mass increased significantly, even as dopamine concentrations rose amid clear neurotrophic support from the therapy – the potential for the company’s neural stem cells in stroke demands a second look as well. It should come as no shock, even to lay investors, that the same kind of injectable ISC-hpNSC therapy able to address Parkinson’s disease can be used to also treat stroke. However, the actual data the company has put together to date on the efficacy of such treatment paints a far more compelling picture.

Being that the standard of care currently involves attempting to dissolve the blood clot within the first few hours after the initial event, followed up by only marginally effective and often extremely challenging rehabilitation work aimed at returning as much cognitive and functional capacity as possible to the patient – the advent of an actual stem cell-based therapy could change the stroke market completely. The National Stroke Association indicates that stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and that it is a leading cause of adult disability, alongside other neurological diseases/disorders such as Parkinson’s. According to a new Persistence Market Research report, North America continues to be the largest market by far for stroke diagnostics and therapeutics, with Asia set to experience high levels of growth in the next few years. This outlook jogs well with Transparency Market Research’s most recent publication on the sector, which projects a market worth $1.9 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of around 6.3 percent.

Pre-clinical data suggests that ISCO’s neural stem cell therapy approach not only addresses but can actually reverse the functional deficits associated with a stroke. What’s more, rather than needing to be applied within hours, the therapeutic benefits from such neural stem cell therapy can be accessed days, or even weeks after the stroke has occurred.

The advent of ISCO’s neural stem cell therapy would be a complete and total paradigm shift in the healthcare market when it comes to treating stroke, and the company is right here in our own backyard. Throw away your medical tourism passport America, and double down on ISCO.

For more information, visit www.internationalstemcell.com

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Monaker Group, Inc. (MKGI) Files Form 10K for Fiscal Year 2016

Earlier today, Monaker Group, Inc. (OTCQB: MKGI) announced the filing of its Form 10K for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016. In addition to reporting a 66.3 percent year-over-year increase in travel and commission revenue, the form highlighted the ongoing business evolution of Monaker Group. In late 2015, the company implemented a strategy designed to accelerate its travel sales through Maupintour, and the early results from these efforts paint a promising picture for shareholders. Within the first months of 2016, Monaker surpassed its revenues for the entirety of 2015, and a dramatically strengthened balance sheet, which includes current liabilities of just $3.03 million (as compared to the $12.1 million reported the previous year), positions the company to build on this start throughout the balance of this year.

To view the company’s Form 10K, visit http://dtn.fm/A4uby

In addition to its growth through its Maupintour subsidiary, Monaker has made considerable progress in recent months toward the development of its next generation NextTrip travel platform. In February, the company introduced a beta of the new platform, and its management team has spent the last 10 weeks preparing the site for full commercial launch. Notably, Monaker has already secured an alternative lodging rental (ALR) inventory in excess of 1.1 million listings for the NextTrip platform, putting it on pace with established industry leaders such as HomeAway, which was recently acquired by Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), in terms of inventory.

“With the rapid increase in ALR inventory and the development of the next generation NextTrip.com platform, Monaker is in a stronger position to effectively compete and excel in the vast and lucrative alternative lodging market,” Bill Kerby, chairman and chief executive officer of Monaker, stated in today’s news release.

NextTrip will include integration of Monaker’s state-of-the-art booking engine, allowing consumers to comprehensively search vacation destinations for lodging products, as well as supplementary products such as flights, rental cars and tour activities. According to today’s update, the company’s innovative platform can also be integrated with channel partners in order to broaden distribution and accelerate financial growth.

Look for Monaker to build on its strong revenue growth in 2015 through the impending launch of its NextTrip booking platform. With roughly 53 percent of all travel now being booked through online travel agencies, according to a report by the University of Iowa (http://dtn.fm/4lgiD), and a strong U.S. dollar spurring increased overseas tourism, Monaker’s latest foray into the travel industry could be set for a favorable launch in the near term.

For more information, visit www.monakergroup.com

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Moxian, Inc. (MOXC) Providing Merchants with Tool Kits to Use on Customers through Social Media Marketing

Aside from the fact that the marketing world is growing quickly thanks to evolving technology, social media has become one of the most widely used sources for marketing products and services. According to Regalix, when marketers were asked where they would be increasing their spending in 2015, 54% said social media. Furthermore, the top three areas in which they would be increasing spending are social media advertising, social media marketing, and social media engagement. Not only this, but 62% of these people said they expect an increase in usage of social media, and 64% believe social media is a critical enabler of their products or services, according to Salesforce.

Moxian, Inc. (OTCQB: MOXC) provides promotional tools and marketing opportunities to merchants through social media. The company has two products: Moxian+ User and Moxian+ Business, both of which were made to enhance the relationship between consumer and merchant. To do this, Moxian runs targeted advertising campaigns and promotions according to a business’s needs. Moxian, Inc. does not just provide targeted marketing, but a combination of social media, entertainment (such as games), and business intelligence to generate valuable data for a range of companies.

Moxian+ User consists of a platform that has social networking, a redemption center and a game center. Users are able to earn a virtual currency to buy prizes from the Moxian mall. Moxian+ Business is built for merchants to set up a store and push promotions through a variety of tools. These applications allow Moxian to gather data from consumers as well as provide merchants with the opportunity to design and promote marketing campaigns. This allows businesses to learn about their customers.

Moxian, Inc.’s business model has allowed it to build a social media platform where both users and businesses can interact with one another and benefit from the services. Businesses are able to take advantage of intelligent data analytics, a range of business tools, a loyalty program, and advertising opportunities. Consumers can search for merchants close to them, play a variety of games to win virtual money, shop and spend their virtual money on prizes, and communicate with friends through the instant messenger tool.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Moxian.com

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Biostage, Inc. (BSTG) – Developing Personalized Approach to Organ Regeneration

Biostage, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTG) is pioneering radically new technologies for the development of bioengineered organ implants targeting cancer and other life-threatening diseases of the esophagus, bronchus, and trachea. Traditional treatment options for such diseases are limited, with significant risk of complications and negative effect on quality of life. The company’s Cellframe™ technology uses the patient’s own stem cells to seed onto a proprietary biocompatible scaffold designed to guide the regeneration of a biological structure matching the dimensions of the organ being regenerated. The resulting organ-specific “Cellspan” implants represent a unique personalized approach to organ regeneration.

Biostage has worked long to evolve their revolutionary Cellframe™ technology, which, in the company’s words, “combines the best attributes of a synthetic scaffold with tissue engineering and cell biology,” creating a platform representing “a complete re-engineering” of their earlier organ scaffold and cell technology. In May 2016, Biostage announced successful results from large-animal studies of their Cellspan Esophageal Implant, conducted in conjunction with Mayo Clinic, and the company is in the process of getting these results published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, an important step toward full recognition. The company plans to file an investigational new drug application (IND) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it expects to conduct human clinical trials in 2017. The goal of these clinical trials is to demonstrate the technology’s superior mortality rates, with reduced complications and improved quality of life for patients.

The company’s stated values are based upon its management team’s belief that its proprietary Cellframe technology has the “opportunity to dramatically advance the field of regenerative medicine by improving the treatment options for patients with life-threatening conditions,” with an overall target of “breakthrough solutions for unmet medical needs.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Biostage, Jim McGorry, has over 30 years of leadership experience with a number of companies in the medical and biotech industries, in addition to carrying an MBA with a concentration in healthcare from Duke University, and a BS in Engineering from West Point. He also served as an officer in the United States Army for six years, including commanding a special operations Green Beret SCUBA detachment.

For more on Biostage, visit www.biostage.com

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Rhino Resource Partners LP (RHNO) Committed to Growing Diversified Natural Resources Safely and Responsibly

Rhino Resource Partners LP (OTCQB: RHNO) is a producer of natural resources, including sulfur steam coal, metallurgical coal, gas, and oil. RHNO’s vision is “To be a leading supplier of natural resources; ever improving through teamwork and innovation, always committed to excel in safety, productivity, environmental excellence and stakeholder value.” The company’s guiding principles are safety, leadership, and communication, and it wants to continue building a future within the natural resources sector by creating strong partnerships with its stakeholders to enhance long-term value.

Since 2003, Rhino Resource Partners LP has acquired a number of properties and reserves that have been developed with low risk at a good price. Through these acquisitions, the company has managed to increase its coal production while maintaining extremely high environmental and safety standards. These standards run throughout the company’s entire vision and have been established and re-evaluated regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date and functional.

RHNO’s first priority is the safety of its employees, which is why it provides regular awareness training to ensure the highest production standards are met. Aside from this, RHNO’s ethics consist of honesty and integrity. The company communicates openly with its employees and stakeholders about activities that are currently operating and those that are being planned. In addition, Rhino Resource Partners LP believes it operates with the highest environmental standards in mind. The company aims to exceed safety and environmental regulations put in place by state and federal law in all of its mining operations, both underground and on the surface.

Since 2015, RHNO’s average MSHA violations were half of the national average in the United States. The company believes that by minimizing its impact on the environment it will be able to be more efficient in its production and, in turn, keep its employees happy. RHNO has mining operations in Central and Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, and it has Western Bituminous operations in Utah and Colorado. It also has non-mining operations in Southeastern Ohio. Other natural resource assets include oil and gas in the Utica Shale region.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.rhinolp.com

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Biostage (BSTG) CEO Updates Shareholders

In a letter from Jim McGorry, CEO of Biostage, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTG), shareholders were updated on the company’s valuation and the outlook for the second half of 2016. Biostage is a Massachusetts-based developer of bioengineered organ implants for treating life-threatening diseases of the esophagus, bronchus, and trachea, including cancer.

McGorry explained that Biostage has made “tremendous progress” in developing the company’s breakthrough Cellframe™ technology for creating Cellspan™ organ implants using a patient’s own stem cells and a proprietary biocompatible scaffold. As a result, the company is now able to transition, over the remainder of 2016, toward the start of human clinical trials, the first step of which is the filing of an investigational new drug application (IND) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. McGorry explained how the company took the appropriate time to ensure its product’s safety and efficacy, while remaining on schedule for the planned filing by the end of 2016.

Biostage announced in May successful results from their large-animal studies of the Cellspan Esophageal Implant, conducted in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic. McGorry explained how the data obtained will form the basis for the company’s FDA application, seeking orphan designation for the product, and how Biostage is currently working on getting the results published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, which will “greatly support and validate” the company’s progress. He added that anticipated progress over the second half of the year is expected to present “potential value inflection moments for shareholders.”

McGorry explained that Biostage’s recent $5 million at-the-market offering was an important step in solidifying the company’s cash position and addressing any market concerns in this area. He concluded, “We now have the capital to get us through a number of milestones in 2016 including the filing of an IND, and we expect to move into human clinical trials in 2017,” adding, “we believe the company’s momentum, liquidity and value should substantially increase,” and that “by this time next year our esophageal implant will be in a human clinical trial”. Biostage plans to follow this first esophageal product candidate with additional products to address life-threatening conditions of the bronchus and trachea.

For more on Biostage, visit www.biostage.com

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