Deepverge PLC (DVRG.L) Grant supports DeepVerge Centre of Excellence

Government of Ireland supports DeepVerge Centre of Excellence with €750k grant in a €1.8m project to accelerate mass production of a range of Microtox®PD instruments

Collaborations with Aptamer Group and Microsaic Systems target multiple infectious diseases and contaminants of emerging concern as part of project extension

DeepVerge (LSE:DVRG.L), announces that the Irish Government, through its state investment agency Enterprise Ireland[i], has awarded the Company a grant of €0.75 million (£0.63m) subject to contract, as part funding of a €1.8m project to accelerate design, assembly and mass production of a range of infectious disease and pathogen detection instruments, creating new instruments (as opposed to retrofits) capable of being mass produced in different sizes .

DeepVerge has been gearing up in Cork in 2021 to meet existing demand by retrofitting its optofluidic technology to established Modern Water equipment. This government supported development programme is a key part of the acceleration process to move quickly to mass producible instruments for automated monitoring of COVID19 and other pathogens in wastewater treatment plants as well as smaller units for hospitals, schools, offices and buildings.

As part of the R&D expansion, the diagnostic division of the Company in York, UK, has formed a deeper collaboration relationship with the Aptamer Group, York, UK for the development of a range of Optimers[ii] to bind other viruses beyond SARS-CoV-2 that include, but are not limited to, PMMoV[iii], Influenza A[iv], Influenza B[v], and Polio[vi] in wastewater, and E.coli[vii] in drinking water.

In addition, Modern Water will demonstrate Forever Chemical detection and identification in real-time with integrated Microsaic Systems plc miniaturised mass-spectrometry units.

These are being installed in York and Cork and are being added to existing field trials with DeepVerge’s partners and customers in the US, UK, China and India to illustrate the technology’s capability to monitor and detect pollutants doing untold damage to human and environmental health. Forever Chemicals are becoming increasingly subject to the new wave of worldwide regulation with the US and EU already putting steps in place to limit damage from these man-made chemicals.

Gerard Brandon CEO of DeepVerge plc commented:

“After extensive due diligence undertaken by Enterprise Ireland, we have secured their financial and global network support to accelerate mass production design to meet the demand of not just the industrial scale COVID19 pandemic response equipment but to reduce the size and lower the cost of early warning disease monitoring equipment as part of the Digital Health Revolution.

Getting to mass produced instruments of different sizes and costs is a key priority of our business to fulfil this worldwide need and we have invested heavily and will continue to invest to create a new generation of instruments that the market demands. The financial support and global network access from the Irish Government and deeper partnerships such as with the Aptamer Group and Microsaic and others allows this rapid and focused progress immediately. It also endorses our original objective in the RNS[viii] of 6 May 2021 of setting up a worldwide ‘Centre of Excellence’ to develop collaborative solutions for monitoring human and environmental health through our wastewater systems.”

Dr Aaron Tolly, CEO of Aptamer Group commented:

We are really pleased to enable DeepVerge’s increased testing capabilities for a broader range of viral targets in both wastewater and drinking water with our Optimer platform. The Microtox PD system has shown great results across trials for real time monitoring of COVID 19, and we are excited to move to the next phase with this partnership to develop new Optimer binders for integration into these multiplexed testing systems.

Glenn Tracey CEO of Microsaic Systems commented :

We are pleased with progress over the last 10 months working with Modern Water and in particular of being part of the growing centre of excellence between York and Fermoy. The work will shortly bear fruit with our micro-engineered mass-spec[ix] equipment being installed in field trials for eight forever chemicals (PFAS) in US, UK, China and India. These initial 8 detections give us data and proof points that suggest our tech can relentlessly expand to detect hundreds, if not thousands, of other bad actors that make up the family of Forever Chemicals and Contaminants of Emerging Concern in our waterways”

DeepVerge has seen demand for its retrofitted COVID19 detection equipment grow this year as Governments around the world come to terms with their population’s health needing to be monitored in real-time to identify and prevent community disease outbreaks. Microtox® PD’s unique pandemic response surveillance technology has proven robust in field trials where retrofitted Microtox® instruments have shown the potential of cost effective mass surveillance.

The current production of the Microtox® PD suite will extend to deliver an ‘all in one’ detection solution on multiplex chips as well as existing the overall Microtox range across three levels of detection – Toxicity/Heavy metals, Pathogens and Forever Chemicals. Customers will choose detection for diseases/pollution that are most prevalent in their areas. In addition, with the ability to detect more than 2,700 pathogens built by Modern Water over an extensive history of 34 years, the Company has shown the ability to react quickly to existing threats and is putting resources and technology in place in readiness for the next, as yet unknown, threat.

Contacts

DeepVerge plc

Gerard Brandon, CEO

+44 (0) 7340 055 648

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

This announcement contains inside information as stipulated under the UK version of the market abuse regulation no 596/2014 which is part of English law by virtue of the European (withdrawal) act 2018, as amended. On publication of this announcement via a regulatory information service, this information is considered to be in the public domain.

About DeepVerge plc (www.deepverge.com)

DeepVerge is an environmental and life science group of companies that develops and applies AI and IoT technology to analytical instruments for the analysis and identification of bacteria, virus and toxins. Utilising artificial intelligent data analytics to scientifically prove the impact of skincare product claims on skin microbiome for most of the top 20 global cosmetic company clients and remotely detect and identify in real-time, dangerous pathogens in wastewater treatment plants, drinking water, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

[i] Enterprise Ireland is an Irish state economic development agency focused on helping Irish-based business deliver new export sales. The aim of Enterprise Ireland is to accelerate the development of Irish enterprises capable of achieving strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity and purchasing power. (https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/)

[ii] Optimer binders are aptamers that have been optimised according to the target, the desired end-use, and the best manufacturing profile. Aptamers are oligonucleotide molecules, selected from large libraries to bind a specific target.

[iii] Pepper mild mottle virus: In an article from the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, it was found that PMMoV could be a potential indicator of faecal pollution. Their results demonstrate that PMMoV is widespread and abundant in wastewater from the United States , suggesting the utility of this virus as an indicator of human faecal pollution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_mild_mottle_virus

[iv] Influenza A virus virus causes influenza in birds and some mammals and is the only species of the genus Alphainfluenzavirus of the virus family Orthomyxoviridae. Strains of all subtypes of influenza A virus have been isolated from wild birds, although disease is uncommon. Some isolates of influenza A virus cause severe disease both in domestic poultry and, rarely, in humans. Occasionally, viruses are transmitted from wild aquatic birds to domestic poultry, and this may cause an outbreak or give rise to human influenza pandemics.

[v] Influenza B virus is known only to infect humans and seals. This limited host range is apparently responsible for the lack of associated influenza pandemics in contrast with those caused by the morphologically similar influenza A virus as both mutate by both antigenic drift and reassortment

[vi] Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus and is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth.[1] It may also be spread by food or water containing human feces and less commonly from infected saliva.[1][3] Those who are infected may spread the disease for up to six weeks even if no symptoms are present.[1] The disease may be diagnosed by finding the virus in the feces or detecting antibodies against it in the blood. The disease occurs naturally only in humans

[vii] Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped, coliform bacterium of the genus Escherichia that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes (EPEC, ETEC etc.) can cause serious food poisoning in their hosts, and are occasionally responsible for food contamination incidents that prompt product recalls.

[viii] https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/DVRG/new-ai-centre-of-excellence-in-cork/14965354

[ix] Micro-engineered mass-spec is apatented chip-based mass spectrometry (MS)technology enables point-of-need detection at any stage in a user’s workflow. Designed for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, the powerful, compact MS systems and software deliver processing and manufacturing agility, as well as commercial productivity.


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