DeepVerge plc (LON:DVRG) has hailed interim analysis from a University of Aberdeen research team that showed the company’s Labskin cloned human skin microbiome was able to host the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
This breakthrough means that real-world testing of anti-viral compounds can be carried out without human volunteers.
Scientists at Aberdeen have been using the DeepVerge innovation to assess transmissibility from surfaces to airways via the body’s largest organ.
From there they looked at which sanitisers killed the virus on the skin, the reduction of virulence, how long the virus lives on the skin and the ability of the virus to activate an immune response on the human living tissue.
The research will now be extended to investigate:
- Viability of the virus when transferred as full coronavirus particles from plastic and metal surfaces to the laboratory-grown human skin model and the potential risk for infection through the skin
- Ability of SARS-CoV-2 to activate innate immune response on the Labskin model
- Ability to reproduce on the skin and how long it remains viable – and therefore infectious
The work at Aberdeen is designed to supplant anecdotal or theoretical evidence with factual data that will determine how infectious skin is as people touch surfaces and each other, said DeepVerge chief executive Gerard Brandon.
“The body of research, protocols and methods created on Labskin, working with the real virus, offers confirmation and sets standards that allow for testing of our client’s anti-viral household, skin and health care products, so that consumers are given scientific evidence behind products claims to kill or address the risk of transmission of the virus,” he added in a statement.
“Labskin is now a proxy skin environment for deep research and testing, beyond Labskin laboratories, with our partners in the universities in Liverpool, UK, Genoa, Italy and Shanghai, China.
“The extended scientific community can monitor how long the virus remains viable on the skin and provide empirical proof of viral load over the length of time that the virus survives – to show how vulnerable and infectious a human can be in their daily interactions and activities.”