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Integumen partnerships fire up early to assist amid 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: 1.65 GBX

AIM:SKIN
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £17.74 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.

In May, the firm announced the roll-out of a Labskin AI product designed 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's doing 

In March, Integumen and its partner Modern Water Plc (LON:MWG) began production of the latter’s monitoring bacteria reagent six weeks ahead of schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two companies announced a three-year deal on March 18 for Integumen to manufacture and provide logistical support for Modern Water’s monitoring reagent consumables, which is expected to be worth a headline £3.12mln.

Integumen said the enlargement of its laboratories has begun with the ordering of new equipment, while the bacteria manufactured by Modern Water 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.

As previously announced, Integumen also said that it will be investing £250,000 to rapidly expand its laboratories in York to 6,000 square feet to accelerate production of the bacteria reagent and maintain growth of its own Labskin product.

In a brief update to trading in Janaury, Integumen said its turnover had grown to £1.004mln in the financial year from £274,000 previously, driven by demand for its Labskin and LabskinAI services. The impressive growth was registered in spite of a six-week delay in opening its new York laboratories.

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.”

What the boss says: chief executive Gerry Brandon

“We are now able to bring water contamination detection bacteria faster to the frontline environmental inspection teams, in crisis countries, where there is currently insufficient supply".

"Integumen is in a strong position to provide the support for Modern Water and all their customers across the world through delivery of integrated engineering, scientific and real-time data analytical solutions in order to address this major societal and global problem in healthcare and the environment."

 

Video 

 

Inflexion points

  • Full results from Rawtest reservoir trial
  • Sales start to accrue from Modern Water collaboration
  • Labskin sales gain momentum

 

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