Small Company Champion & Lemming Investors Research and Newsletter Updates

Showing posts with label DVRG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DVRG. Show all posts

Saturday, 28 November 2020

DeepVerge - Undignified Twitter Spat


It has been a while since I last commented on Integumen, or should I say, DeepVerge (DVRG) as the company is now called since it merged with Modern Water Plc last month. Regular readers may recall me bemoaning Modern Water investors getting the better part of the merger, so I had what any child would do, I sulked. However, I still have faith the enlarged group would appreciate value for shareholders if the business plans gained traction, and part of this strategy involved the needed to be consolidated the shares, a point I made to the CEO Gerard Brandon. 

At the time, I was also concerned about the overplay of the Covid-19 by the company's Tweets because as sure as night follows day, there will be a reconning for some companies. It could be Biblical because there is some real crap being pumped on nothing but hopes without financial visibility or margins for companies attempting to develop a product(s) for the treatment, testing, protection, etc. for Covid-19. My fear is that even good companies get caught up in the crossfire. 

Twitter Spat

Investors focus should rightly be on the news related to Interim analysis from University of Aberdeen Labskin study; instead, the noise is all centred around an undignified Twitter spat between Gerard Brandon and Tom Winnifrith. 

Look, I am sure most of Tom's subscribers will agree he can be abrasive, rude and crude, but I don't think anyone has the right to doubt his integrity. The conspiracy theorists will be out in force, suggesting Tom's hatchet job on DeepVerge is designed to allow his cronies in at a lower price. That is typical BBM talk with no regard for truth. I am not attempting to defend Tom, nor would he want me to, after all, he has had several pops at me in some of his updates. My point is investors need to take the heat out of this and not make it personal like any tipster, blogger, financial journalist, etc., etc. He calls some right, he calls some wrong. 

In my opinion (for what it is worth) Tom has been unfair in his comments about DeepVerge on Friday; not only were they crude, Tom appeared to suggest the company is just another company attempting to play the Covid-19 angle; thus sucker lemmings in. DeepVerge is not just a Covid-19 play. As well as the water/waste monitoring technology acquired from the merger with Modern Water, the enlarged group encompasses Labskin, that has the capability to laboratory-grown human skin designed to provides clinical product test services to a wide range of industries from; cosmetics, wound care, health care, personal care and pharmaceutical industries, some of which are working in collaboration.

RinoCloud has created a vertically integrated laboratory to a market platform where biotech to Fortune 100 companies provided with an end to end clinical microbiology test service to accommodate the development of new consumer products.

It is unfortunate Tom argues DeepVerger is another ''cash guzzling Covid-19 ramp'' and essentially calls the company a pile of shit while implying it will need a placing or use the £1.5m death spiral facility. An odd turn of phrase for such a small facility, but what do I know!

Usually, Tom is an admirer of CEO's that show great ability in turning companies around, like Gerard has since he took over old Integumen 2 years ago. At the time the company had almost £3m in debt with revenues of less than £300k. Tom ignores the considerable infrastructures put in place in Dublin and York, allowing for the expansion of the business. Sure, it has cost money to do this - a good way to guzzle the cash; it used to be called investing in the company. 

Tom also harps on about the £4m guidance. Tom should know DeepVerge cannot count revenues from Modern Water in the £4m guidance (given in January 2020) because Modern Water did not become part of the enlarged group until the 9th November 2020. ''The consolidated revenue of both Modern Water and DeepVerge will be well in excess of £4m this year.'' as explained to me by Gerard. That said, I guess Tom's point is; will DeepVerge generate any profit any time soon?

''DeepVerge has 500% uplift in share price in 2 years. Delivered 89% YTD and 85% 1 year uplift in the share price. £4m in organic growth this year £3m in H2 alone.'' This should demonstrate the direction the company is travelling. 

In my opinion, there is no need for Tom to be as abrasive as he is, but that is Tom all over. By the same standard, Gerard should not be calling Tom a troll. That feeds the angst investors will now feel. The best approached would have been for Gerard to request an interview and discuss the company. He may not have been given an audience, I suspect he would and a good opportunity to disarm Tom.

DeepVerge Can Do Better

Where I fully agree with Tom's views regarding both Vox and Turner Pope. To make my point to readers; I warned the CEO of my favourite company (Tom accuses me of Ramping) OptiBiotix Health. When I became aware the company was doing an investor presentation, I warned this would send the wrong signal to the market. It did, it was sold off yet again. Both Vox and Turner Pope are absolute pants known for pumps ahead of placings. Both OptiBiotix Health and DeepVerge need to distance themselves from both Vox and Turner Pope; It is not as though there are limited avenues. 

I know Vox hyped its own statistics to me once when I wrote a few articles for them and the readership figures I requested were nowhere near what my blog statics were, and you need to bear in mind the same articles published on my blog 48 hours after publication on Vox. I will not tell you the figure I was told the mailshot, SM campaign reach was; if true, the percentage transferred to traffic came as a shock to me but pleasing in a way.

Allow the company to do the talking by delivering on its corporate strategy. From time to time, most companies will have a detractor, worse, one with a following that pays for advice. Not because the subscribers are stupid, some are highly intelligent, but time may not be an asset they have in abundance.  Times like this should be seen as a gift if you have spare cash, and you are comfortable with the research already done. 

The last Friday sell-off is most likely due to some investors de-risking in case there is an escalation in negative rhetoric from TW. At the end of the day, it boils down to investors believe in the company, or not. I am speaking of the long term, not the short term noise around the company right now.  

Anyway, back to the RNS which needs no further comment from me.

Labskin demonstrates the ability to host SARS-CoV-2 virus on Labskin cloned human skin microbiome. Breakthrough results allow real-world testing of anti-viral compounds without human volunteers.

DeepVerge announces interim results from its Labskin partnership with University of Aberdeen following analysis of a study to investigate the behaviour of SARS-CoV-2 virus on Labskin's cloned human skin microbiome to enable testing of COVID-19 anti-viral and dental products.

Labskin scientists have successfully populated and maintained the SARS-CoV-2 virus on skin models creating a breakthrough environment that enables testing of household chemicals, anti-viral products, skin and health care products, and their effect on the human skin microbiome as well as their efficacy at killing the virus over long periods of time.

The DeepVerge study is designed to investigate:

-- The transmissibility from surfaces to airways via the skin by measuring its viability when recovered from the surface(s) to skin and skin to skin;

-- What sanitisers kill the virus on the skin (this is anecdotally assumed to be correct based on the World Health Organisation ("WHO") research on other bacteria, but not proven for Covid);

   --    The reduction of titre and/or virulence; 

-- The ability of the virus to activate innate immune response on the human living tissue (Labskin model); and

   --    How long the virus lives on skin. 

These results validate Labskin's ability to provide access to real-world clones of the human skin microbiome while removing the risk of transmission of the virus to human volunteers. For the first time, in safety, clients can test their products, ingredients, treatments and therapies on SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other dangerous viruses and pathogens in real-world environments.

DeepVerge has extended the investigation and will include:

-- Viability of the virus when transferred as full coronavirus particles from plastic and metal surfaces to the laboratory-grown human skin model and the potential risk for infection through the skin;

-- Ability of SARS-CoV-2 to activate innate immune response on the Labskin model; and
-- Ability to reproduce on the skin and how long it remains viable - and therefore infectious.

Gerard Brandon, CEO of DeepVerge plc, commented:

"Society has depended on anecdotal or theoretical evidence to determine how infectious skin is, as humans touch surfaces and each other. The work in Aberdeen provides factual data and empirical evidence of surface to skin and skin to skin transferability to provide quantifiable infection risks. The body of research, protocols and methods created on Labskin, working with the real virus, offers confirmation and sets standards that allow for testing of our client's anti-viral household, skin and health care products so that consumers are given scientific evidence behind products claims to kill or address the risk of transmission of the virus.

"Labskin is now a proxy skin environment for deep research and testing, beyond Labskin laboratories, with our partners in the universities in Liverpool, UK, Genoa, Italy and Shanghai, China. The extended scientific community can monitor how long the virus remains viable on the skin and provide empirical proof of viral load over the length of time that the virus survives - to show how vulnerable and infectious a human can be in their daily interactions and activities. "

Background details of the study

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 is presumed to be transmitted by close contact and respiratory droplets. However, other means of plausible indirect transmission have already been described via fomites (e.g., elevator buttons or restroom taps) [i] . A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine [ii] has confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 has longer stability on various surfaces than the previously known coronavirus SARS-CoV-1. This study has found that the current pandemic virus shows viable infective units after 3 hours in aerosol, up to 4 hours when deposited in copper surfaces, up to 24 hours in cardboard and up to 72 hours in plastic and stainless steel. Although the virus titre was greatly reduced, these findings clearly point toward additional sources of viral transmission that need to be assessed.

Advice from WHO and health agencies to avoid contagion stresses the need for handwashing using ethanol-based hand sanitisers. Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care Is Safer Care [iii] . While laboratory experiments show the virus can be killed successfully using a variety of sanitisers, there is little evidence available about the resilience of SARS-CoV-2 when tested on the living human skin microbiome.

About the skin model

Labskin is a unique full-thickness human skin model which was specifically developed for the study of the human skin microflora and the microbiota/host interactions [ [iv] , [v] ]. Its dryness and barrier function creates an ideal environment where an individual or multiple microbial species can thrive on forming a stable community. Labskin can be colonised with microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, and these can be infected with bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. The features of the Labskin models make it ideal for studying the transferability of viral particles from any sort of material to skin, for assessing the ability of the virus to remain infective while in the skin surface and to quantify the efficacy of soap washing and hand sanitisers in a realistic in vitro model.