Integumen PLC - Integumen COVID-19 MTA signed with Aptamer Group

RNS Number : 5744Q
Integumen PLC
22 June 2020

AIM share code: SKIN

22 June 2020


Integumen PLC


("Integumen" or "Company")


Integumen COVID-19 MTA signed with Aptamer Group Ltd


Collaboration targets wastewater identification of local COVID-19 hotspots


Integumen has signed a Material Transfer Agreement ("MTA") with the Aptamer Group Limited ("Aptamer Group") to develop and manufacture aptamers to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.  The aptamers have the potential to play a key role in the real-time identification of localised COVID-19 hotspots in wastewater, from which authorities can be alerted through Integumen's real-time alert system to prevent the spread of the disease to the wider community.


The MTA formalises Integumen's access to Aptamer Group's raw materials for coating aptamers on silicon wafer surfaces at nano-scale.  Integumen will provide the Aptamer Group with access to its UK Sand Hutton manufacturing facilities, which specialises in laboratory grown human skin equivalents specifically designed to host bacteria, virus and fungi.  A pilot batch of the aptamers will be tested on Integumen's SARS-CoV-2 model virus.  Once initial testing is complete in two months, validation on the real SARS-CoV-2 virus will be carried out at the containment level 3 ("CL3") laboratory in the University of Aberdeen.


Upon completion of the validation study, Integumen and the Aptamer Group will enter into a longer-term supply agreement, with Integumen manufacturing and commercialising real-time pathogenic virus and bacteria detection devices through its production, sales, marketing and distribution channel partners around the world.


Gerard Brandon CEO Integumen plc  commented:

"Integumen's business model is built on collaborating and cooperating with partners such as the Aptamer Group who have technologies that deliver solutions to major societal problems like COVID-19.  Surveillance and testing of waterways for the presence of bacteria and viruses has recently gained recognition as an important step in identification of COVID-191.  This collaboration is yet another example of the diagnostics industry working together to rapidly bring effective solutions in the fight against this global pandemic."


Dr Arron Tolley, CEO of Aptamer Group Ltd. commented: 

"We are delighted to be working with the Integumen team to transfer developments over the past few weeks by our team in delivering Aptamers that capture the SARS-CoV-2 virus into a real-time wastewater detection solution.  The World Health Authority provides guidance on the prevention of COVID19 via wastewater2and we are excited to be able to play a role in the prevention of the spread of the disease ."


1.   https://www.epa.gov/healthresearch/research-covid-19-environment

2.   https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/1275547/retrieve


The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.


Integumen plc

Gerard Brandon, CEO


+44 (0) 7340 055 648

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited

(Nominated Adviser)


Neil Baldwin/Andrew Emmott

+44 (0) 113 370 8974

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Limited (Broker)

Andy Thacker/Zoe Alexander

+44 (0) 20 3657 0050



About Integumen plc

Integumen is a scientific research and AI-as-a-Service company focused on production and analysis of bacteria, virus and toxins utilising artificial intelligent data analytics in regulatory technology, from scientifically proving the impact of skincare product claims on skin microbiome for top 10 global cosmetic company clients to remotely detecting water contamination in real-time.


About Aptamer Group (www.aptamergroup.com)

Aptamer Group Limited is a world-leading provider of bespoke nucleic acid aptamer selection and development services.  They have utilised their many years of experience, cutting edge approach and liquid handling platforms, to deliver aptamer based solutions for a wide variety of needs with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic customers; as well as academic and research institutions across the globe. (Source : Aptamer Group)


What is an aptamer?

Aptamers are synthetic molecules specifically created to bind to another (usually larger) molecule with a very high attraction to a given target. These short nucleic acid sequences (DNA or RNA), wrap around all or part of their target (in the case of small molecules) or fit snugly into clefts and gaps within the surface of much larger target molecules (for proteins, cells, tissues etc). This ability to fold into or around the complex surfaces of a target, means that it is possible to select aptamers against almost any given target, with  precision. 


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