Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – July 7, 2020) – Therma Bright Inc. (TSXV: THRM) (“Therma” or the “Company”), a progressive medical device technology company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding letter of intent with Orpheus Medica Inc. (“Orpheus”) to partner in the development of a rapid saliva test for the detection of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) causing COVID-19. Therma will provide funding for the project in phases (“Phase” or “Phases”) as certain milestones are achieved and will provide medical device expertise to support accelerating the development of the rapid COVID-19 screening test to address the ongoing pandemic situation.
The initial Phase 1 participation by Therma will involve the issuance to Orpheus of 1,000,000 Therma common shares and 1,000,000 warrants exercisable at $0.05 per share with a 5-year expiry. The shares and warrants will be issued to Orpheus upon achieving certain milestones in the course of Phase 1, which is expected to be completed in the next 30 days. Should the parties decide to move forward, funding in the amount of $300,000 will be provided by Therma for Phase 2 and additional funding should the parties decide to move forward to Phase 3.
The project will integrate Orpheus’ novel biologics platform, coupled with third party rapid detection and portable device technology, to develop a reliable palm-sized test for screening of COVID-19 virus in saliva. Orpheus and its academic collaborators have already spent over $500,000 on the development of a series of novel biologic-based detection reagents that are protected by existing intellectual property and know-how.
The proposed COVID-19 rapid saliva test is intended to have unique features such as high sensitivity, accuracy and specificity while delivering results in less than 20 minutes. Orpheus has substantial experience developing rapid tests, including roadside THC drug screening kits for saliva and other biological samples. The design and development of the fundamental components of the proposed test has already begun, which will allow Therma and Orpheus to deliver a solution quickly to the Canadian and global market.
The parties’ arrangement is subject to completion of due diligence and successful negotiation of comprehensive terms and conditions of a definitive development project agreement. The parties’ arrangement, including the issuance of shares and warrants to Orpheus as described above, is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Dr. Saeid Babaei, Chairman & CEO of Orpheus Medica commented, “We are pleased and encouraged to enter into this partnership with Therma and our academic collaborators to fast track our unique saliva rapid test. This relationship further validates our ability to develop and commercialize novel screening and diagnostic biological molecules combined with our development partner’s medical device platforms and access to COVID-19 patient samples.”
Mr. Rob Fia, CEO of Therma Bright commented, “We are very pleased to have entered into this joint development arrangement with Orpheus Medica. The companies recognize the mutual business benefit that could be achieved through collaboration. More importantly, the test would make large scale screening and detection more readily accessible to more individuals worldwide. In addition to offering a reliable test that would be cheaper, less invasive and easier to use, it would also reduce the risk posed by routine COVID-19 testing to both patients and front-line medical professionals.”
As outlined in a press release on May 11, 2020, Therma continues to work towards producing personal protective equipment and is currently awaiting a response from government agencies for the grants and other funding Therma has applied for. Therma will report back to investors as information materializes.