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Integumen clinches partnerships to tackle coronavirus pandemic

Snapshot

  • Lead product is Labskin, a laboratory-grown skin which allows to skip animal testing 
  • A database and an AI version are being developed as well
  • Has begun production of monitoring bacteria reagent
woman touching her skin

Quick facts: Integumen

Price: 2.85 GBX

AIM:SKIN
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £30.74 m
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What it does

Integumen PLC's (LON:SKIN) backbone of the company is a product called Labskin, a laboratory-grown skin that is used by cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies to see how their latest products will react with human skin.

Labskin gives scientists a much better idea of how their cream or gel or make-up will react in the real world.

Not only does it make animal testing redundant, the added accuracy it gives researchers reduces R&D costs by helping to improve success rates.

Other activities

It owns STOER, a premium skincare range for men and also has a 9.35% stake in Cellulac, which produces biodegradable plastic ingredients and natural oils.

Growth drivers

With the help of artificial intelligence firm Rinocloud, which it bought in April, Integumen is building Labskin-on-a-chip, which will record every treatment tested on the platform and store its effects in a database.

That will give every dermatology clinic with a computer the ability to take a swab of a patient’s own skin bacteria, place it on the Labskin platform, run it against the database, and advise what the best course of treatment might be.

Then there’s Labskin AI, a digital extension to the lab-grown skin to clone the skin of volunteers in clinical trials.

The company said the new test would cut the number of volunteers required for trials by 50%, reducing recruitment times and project management costs.

 

How it is doing 

Revenue for the current year is expected to be £4mln, a four-fold growth from the £1mln posted in 2019.

The firm has clinched a series of partnerships to take its part in tackling the pandemic.

Most recently, it teamed up with Avacta PLC (LON:AVCT) to use the latter’s technology to pick up the tell-tale signs of the respiratory infection in wastewater.

The plan is to integrate the system into the Microtox water contamination systems developed by Modern Water PLC (LON:MWG).

Integumen and Modern Water partnered in March for Integumen to manufacture and provide logistical support for Modern Water’s monitoring reagent consumables.

The product will be used to identify contamination in wastewater outlets from residential, hospital and municipal sewage treatment outflows that may contribute to the current public health crisis.

Similarly, Integumen has signed an agreement with Aptamer Group to develop and manufacture a kit to detect the virus in wastewater with aptamers, which are synthetic molecules specifically created to bind to another, usually larger, molecule.

Integumen believes aptamers have the potential to play a key role in the real-time identification of localised coronavirus hotspots in wastewater, helping curb the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the University of Aberdeen signed to use Labskin’s cloned human skin coated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus to test anti-viral skin and dental products that might mitigate the transmission risk.

 

What the boss says: chief executive Gerry Brandon

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Avacta, adding their highly specific and robust Affimer reagent to our real-time alert arsenal of pathogen capture devices of the COVID-19 virus in sewage."

"The global pandemic has highlighted wastewater as an early warning hotspot detection opportunity and the inclusion of Affimer reagents with our sensors adds an already established method of capturing the virus to an already established pathogen alert system."

 

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What the broker says: Turner Pope

“Given the anticipated need for such safety equipment, this first-mover advantage derived from combination of proprietary technologies could potentially create a transformative future opportunity."

“Notwithstanding this, the addition of value and opportunity through the Group’s [Integumen’s] AI division is already opening other options to develop data analytic tools/facilities for Modern Water monitoring equipment, with the potential to include ‘bolt-on’ services in anticipation of new longer-term national requirements and scope to secure higher client revenues."

“This, together with ongoing expansion of Rinocloud’s high margin data and AI services, Labskin’s analytical/monitoring technologies and the extended customer reach being offered through ecowaterOS’s multi-continental consortium, highlights the scale of opportunities being presented to Integumen in its underserved global markets.”

 

Inflexion points

  • Sales start to accrue from Modern Water collaboration
  • Partnerships with Avacta, Aptamer continue to develop
  • Labskin sales gain momentum
  • Revenue grows four-fold

 

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