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RNS Number : 3127G

Deepverge PLC

29 March 2022

29 March 2022

DeepVerge PLC

("DeepVerge" or "the Company" or "the Group")

DeepVerge and Abingdon Health plc sign MoU for Commercial Agreement for Lateral Flow Tests in Modern Water Household Devices

Life Science Portfolio Enlarged with Wellness Range of Lateral Flow Tests

DeepVerge plc (AIM: DVRG), announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Abingdon Health plc ("Abingdon") leading to a Commercial Agreement for development and manufacture of a range of Lateral Flow Tests ("LFT") for the Modern Water, Labskin and Skin Trust Medical divisions of the Group.

Integrating LFT technology into a Modern Water hand held test device for households:

The LFT analogue devices detect dangerous pathogens and chemicals in household drinking and wastewater. This adds an extra layer of detection to the Modern Water range of equipment and services by incorporating a LFT into a hand held mobile unit. The results can be digitally scanned using a mobile App with the potential to incorporate Abingdon's proprietary AppDx (R) technology.

DeepVerge has distribution channels in more than 60 countries and this has the potential to play a key role in the identification of the source of localised hotspots of a range of pathogens in drinking and wastewater at household level. Authorities can be alerted through Modern Water's Live alert system to prevent the spread of the disease or contamination to the wider community.

Future developments for water testing that are complementary to the current Modern Water portfolio include the Pepper Mottle Mosaic Virus [i] as a potential marker for human faecal matter in water and the automated multiplexing project bringing in Influenza A [ii] , influenza B [iii] , Cryptosporidium iv etc. into the testing format on a hand-held device.

Extending Life Science Wellness testing:

In parallel with the current development of the Microtox(R) BT (breath test), new complementary lateral flow tests are to be added to the life science home test portfolio including hormone analysis (menopause and the skin changes during this time), stress levels (cortisol), vitamin D (possibly other vitamins linking into the supplement recommendations), and other health markers including diabetes, heart and liver function.

The MoU has been signed to enable the potential integration of the respective technologies of both DeepVerge and Abingdon technology platforms. DeepVerge and the Abingdon will enter into a longer-term Commercial Agreement, with Abingdon manufacturing and DeepVerge commercialising these exciting new products through its production, sales, marketing and distribution channel partners around the world.

MoU

The key terms of the MoU (non-binding) are as follows:

   -     signing of a commercial agreement anticipated by the end of April 2022; 

- End Products covering (i) transfer of some of the current Modern Water assays into LFT format; (ii) developments for water testing and (iii) wellness testing to complement the Skin Trust Club test portfolio;

- Abingdon shall grant to DeepVerge a non-exclusive, royalty bearing, non-assignable sub-licensable irrevocable, worldwide licence to use the Abingdon technology for the purpose of using the Materials as a component in the End Products only;

- The Company shall pay single digit percentage royalties to be agreed on Net Sales of the End Product.

Gerard Brandon CEO DeepVerge plc, commented:

"DeepVerge's business model is built on collaborating and cooperating with partners such as Abingdon Health who have technologies and large production capacity to deliver solutions to major societal problems such as water contamination and the identification of human biomarkers for a range of health conditions. Surveillance and testing of waterways for the presence of bacteria and viruses has gained worldwide recognition and this collaboration is yet another example of the diagnostics industry working together to rapidly bring effective solutions in the increasing global health risks."

Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon Health plc, commented:

"We are delighted to be working with the DeepVerge team to deliver a range of lateral flow tests that have been shown to have the ability to capture the SARS-CoV-2 virus and transform this technology into a household water and wastewater detection device for a range of dangerous pathogens. Our facilities in the UK have a large capacity and we are excited to be able to play a key role in the prevention of the spread of a range of diseases in the home."

What is a lateral flow immunoassay?

A lateral flow test, or immunoassay is a simple to use diagnostic device used to confirm the presence or absence of a target analyte, such as pathogens or biomarkers in humans or animals, or contaminants in water supplies, foodstuffs, or animal feeds. The most commonly known type of lateral flow rapid test strip is the pregnancy test or testing the presence of the COVID-19 virus.

 
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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

About Abingdon Health plc (www.abingdonhealth.com)

Abingdon Health is a world leading developer and manufacturer of high-quality rapid tests across all industry sectors, including healthcare and COVID-19. Abingdon is the partner of choice for a growing global customer base and takes projects from initial concept through to routine and large-scale manufacturing and has also developed and marketed its own labelled tests.

The Company offers product development, regulatory support, technology transfer and manufacturing services for customers looking to develop new assays or transfer existing laboratory-based assays to a lateral flow format. Abingdon Health aims to support the increase in need for rapid results across many industries and locations and produces lateral flow tests in areas such as infectious disease, clinical testing including companion diagnostics, animal health and environmental testing. Faster access to results allows for rapid decision making, targeted intervention and can support better outcomes. This ability has a significant role to play in improving life across the world. To support this aim Abingdon Health has also developed AppDx(R), a customisable image capturing technology that transforms a smartphone into a self-sufficient, standalone lateral-flow reader.

Founded in 2008, Abingdon Health is headquartered in York, England.

[i] 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

[ii] Influenza A 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.

[iii] 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

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