Xphyto’s disposable saliva test with sample-to-results in less than 15 minutes is turning heads
“May you live in interesting times” is widely reported as being a curse of ancient Chinese origin but it is neither Chinese nor ancient, being recent and western. The phrase was introduced in the 20th century in the form “interesting age”, not “interesting times” and appears that way in the opening remarks made by Frederic R. Coudert at the Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 1939.
For companies such as XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY | OTCQB: XPHYF), these are indeed interesting times. Founded in late 2017, the company became publicly listed on the CSE in August 2019. The company has a 100% owned Canadian subsidiary (Xphyto Laboratories Inc.) which is developing a testing, manufacturing and research business and is working closely with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. In Germany, the company has two wholly-owned subsidiaries for product development and drug delivery platforms and a commercial partnership for low-cost rapid screening tests.
Why are these interesting times? The main business focus remains “incubating the next generation drug delivery, diagnostic, and phytotherapeutic investment opportunities: precision transdermal and oral dissolvable drug dosage forms; rapid, low-cost, point-of-care infectious disease screening tools; and standardized and clinically validated plant-based active pharmaceutical ingredients focused on European markets.” Specifically, the company has a strong focus in European cannabis-related products.
The company had a strong share price prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic due to this line of products, but application of related technology has focussed the market’s attention. The company first initiated an infectious diseases program in February 2020 which was directly transferable to developing a low-cost, “real time” oral pathogen screening platform for COVID-19 in March 2020. By July, the company had confirmed successful function of its proprietary COVID-19 RNA probes and its universal coronavirus RNA probes in prototype lateral flow assay testing. Visual confirmation of test results was observed in five to seven minutes.
The urgent need for accurate coronavirus testing has seen Xphyto’s team continue to press forward with the objective of a commercial launch of two certified products in the European Union in Q1-2021. The company is developing two saliva-based tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (“RT-PCR”) kit saliva test system is to be employed in a laboratory setting using minimal equipment with sample-to-results in less than 25 minutes. Their second product, a rapid test system, is a low cost, self-administered, disposable saliva test with sample-to-results in less than 15 minutes.
Accurate testing is so necessary. The benefit of the saliva-based system is to overcome the common occurrence of false positive or false negative testing results that regularly occur with the dreaded nasal swab and throat swab sampling systems. The sooner the better!
On a serious note, in addition to the lateral-flow and PCR COVID-19 testing, the company also has a peptide-based oral biosensor system for the rapid detection of bacterial and viral pathogens: influenza A, H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (avian flu), scarlet fever, stomatitis, periimplantitis and periodontitis. While the near-term focus on coronavirus detection is imperative, these both of these “product lines” should have future revenue potential once the pandemic has passed, because the coronavirus is not going away – additionally, there are a lot of other nasty things to test for out there.
It is important to highlight that while the coronavirus detection is creating the near-term interest in the company’s share price, they continue to forge ahead on their stated business focus. The expertise associated with German-based product development and thin-film delivery technology can be further utilized as the company is now advancing work into the psychedelic drug arena.
A research agreement with a leading German university has been reached for the exclusive development of a proprietary biotechnology process for the industrial manufacture of psilocybin as a certified active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The company has also expanded its exclusive development agreement with the University of Alberta (Dr. Raimar Löbenberg) to incorporate a number of psychedelic compounds, pre-cursor molecules and metabolites, including but not limited to psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, MDMA and DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine, in case you’re wondering).
“We see a lot of potential therapeutic value in psychedelic compounds for their ability to positively influence neural networks through growth and reorganization,” said Dr. Löbenberg. “Our initial focus is to develop standardized drug formulations with precise, predictable and efficient API delivery for clinical study and therapeutic use.”
Yep, I’m not the first to say it, but the party drugs of our youth are going mainstream as therapeutics….who knew!
With near-term catalysts from rapid coronavirus testing kits looming, the share price likely has a definite upside bias. But longer term, the company is building a growth business in the testing and plant-based active pharmaceutical industry.
Or as we all know, come for the buzz, stay for the party!
Frederick Kozak is a Professional Engineer with extensive oil and gas, and international business experience and has more than 25 years involved in capital markets ... <Read more about Frederick Kozak>