Sixth Wave & Neocon to Collaborate on the
Development of SmartMask™ Virus Detection
Vancouver, British Columbia – (May 15, 2020) – Sixth Wave Innovations Inc. (CSE:SIXW) (OTC:ATURF) (FSE:AHUH) (“Sixth Wave”, “SIXW” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into non binding memorandum of understanding (the “MOU”) dated May 14, 2020 with Neocon International Inc. of Halifax, NS (“Neocon”) to design and produce a face mask which incorporates the Company’s patent-pending virus detection technology (“SmartMask™”) currently under development.
The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the Covid-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time
On April 3, 2020, Sixth Wave announced the filing of Patent Application Number 63000977 – The Use of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for the Rapid Detection of Emerging Viral Outbreaks, such as SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “Accelerated Detection Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Patent” or “AMIPs Patent”). SIXW filed a second application on April 17, 2020, covering a variety of practical devices designed to collect, among others, air, water and surface samples in various environments and deliver a rapid indication of the detected virus (the “AMIPs Device Patent”).
A potential application described in the AMIPs Device Patent is the incorporation of the AMIPs technology into an N95 Compliant, or other mask / respirator. The envisioned SmartMask™ could provide the standard protective capabilities of an N95 mask, with the added interactive capability to alert the user that a target virus has been detected in the exhaled breath of the user.
The proposed method of alerting the user is a color change in the embedded AMIPs media, to be included in the face mask design. Based on prior experience with colorimetric media (namely, the Company’s legacy Explosives Detection Polymer sold under the tradename “SAFE-T®”), Sixth Wave believes that AMIPs media can be designed to deliver a positive test result using variable color codes, including optional fluorescence, within minutes of exposure to the virus exhaled in the breath.
The capability of Molecular Imprinting technology to detect target molecules with a high degree of sensitivity (ability to detect minute traces of target substances) and accuracy (low false alarms and low false positives) is well established in the scientific literature. SIXW has an extensive history of developing the science in both inorganic and organic applications, including the detection of biogenic amines, cannabinoids, explosives and specialty metals applications.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, readers are cautioned that a SmartMask™ prototype including the AMIPs technology, has yet to be completed. Independent third party laboratories will be engaged for advanced testing at the appropriate time.
Neocon is a Tier One designer and manufacturer of automotive trim level components, serving multiple international companies such as Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and General Motors (see “About Neocon”, below). Neocon has extensive experience in material science, quality systems and high-speed manufacturing including in-line thermoforming, robotic assembly and ultra-sonic assembly and has retooled a portion of its factory to produce N95 compliant masks. The company has already produced several versions of an N95 mask which will serve as the foundation product for development of the SmartMask™ prototype under the proposed arrangement with SIXW. The existing Neocon N95 mask uses machined match-mold aluminum production molds with advanced thermoforming techniques as well as all-in-one assembly fixtures to produce a cost effective, high quality 3-ply mask suitable for high volume production.
“This collaboration between two Atlantic Canadian companies is a great example of how our local businesses can work together to potentially help in the fight against COVID-19,” said The Honourable Geoff Regan, Member of Parliament for Halifax West. “I’m excited by the prospect of products that can change colour in the presence of the virus, and products that can potentially allow event organizers to know instantly if a guest has the virus. This partnership with Neocon will assist Sixth Wave with bringing this important testing technology to market and I wish them the best of success.”
“We’re extremely pleased to be working with Neocon,” said Dr. Jonathan Gluckman, CEO and President of SIXW. “The combination of SIXW’s experienced scientific team with the award-winning and globally recognized product innovation and manufacturing team at Neocon represents excellent synergy. Neocon has repeatedly been recognized with Nova Scotia’s Exporter of the Year Award, and complements our experience engaging with international markets. Our proximity to Neocon is an additional advantage as a potential economic multiplier effect for the Halifax area, Nova Scotia, and Canada. We look forward to working together to design and manufacture the SmartMask™ and potentially other AMIPs products aimed at meeting the broader needs for testing to ensure people’s safety and return to work, school, and social activities.”
“Neocon has committed engineering and manufacturing resources to fight the pandemic, and has been developing the complete engineering design for N95 certified and as required non-certified face masks,” said Pat Ryan, President of Neocon. “This includes all cost effective and purpose appropriate materials as well as the high-speed manufacturing systems for producing and supplying to escalating market demand. The opportunity to now upgrade and transform that existing engineered product to “smart” status, with front-line remediation and response capabilities, is remarkable. I know that the team at SIXW shares our commitment to excellence, and we look forward to working together to respond to the challenges of ever-changing threat of novel viruses.”
Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, the Sixth Wave will provide overall management of the project and allow for the use of the AMIPs technology for the development of the SmartMask™. Neocon will contribute engineering, manufacturing and technical resources to develop prototype masks, provide quality assurance and quality control expertise in prototyping and design development, assist in material selection, and design the manufacturing processing systems for the masks. Neocon will also assist with obtaining certification from regulatory authorities including, but not limited to the FDA and Health Canada. The parties have agreed to negotiate a definitive agreement in good faith detailing the terms of the collaboration in more detail. A subsequent press release will detail the terms of the definitive agreement once it is finalized and executed.
SmartMask™ Proposed Design Advantages
The contemplated SmartMask™ prototype is intended to include a completely self-contained and non-invasive sampling device that can be used without training, electronics, or supplemental sampling equipment / reagents. Such a configuration would be an advantage over the current standard for virus detection, known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (“PCR”) tests. PCR technologies often require deep nasal or throat swab-sampling via skilled personnel, and subsequent lab sample preparation and testing with a separate electronic device at the location or a laboratory removed from the sample site. By contrast, SmartMask™ is envisioned as a practical device, compatible with extended daily use, with passive sampling capability and an easy-to-interpret results indicator such as color change.
The proposed SmartMask™ configuration under development would additionally offer a marked advantage over other types of Rapid Detection Test (“RDT”) technologies now in use for virus diagnostics. While conventional RDT’s are fundamentally easy to use and provide rapid on-site diagnostics, they retain the need for invasive swab or blood sampling by skilled personnel. They are most commonly designed to detect antibodies produced in response to infection rather than the actual virus. These antibodies are a “lagging indicator” of the presence of the virus and can take days to weeks to develop in the human immune system. Moreover they have limited use during the early asymptomatic period during which the virus incubates and can be unknowingly spread to others which is a particularly vexing hallmark of COVID-19. By contrast, SmartMask™ proposes to detect the active virus itself, thereby allowing the prospects for detection days to weeks earlier than conventional immunoassay-based RDT’s.
About Neocon International
Neocon International is an award-winning manufacturer with over 25 years in the automotive industry, servicing all major auto companies and noted as an innovative Tier One design and manufacturing house taking projects from concept to prototype through to validation, verification, production system analysis and volume manufacturing. Specific expertise is centered on best-in-class material selection, quality control of designs, quality assurance of processes and on-time delivery with capable high-speed manufacturing using shuttle, in-line and rotary thermoforming, pressure forming, match tool molding, blow molding, injection molding, electroplating, robotic trimming, die cutting, ultra-sonic and one step fixture assembly and fabrication. Neocon has numerous supply, R&D and selling partnerships throughout North America with its’ main headquarters located in the Burnside Business Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For more information, please visit www.neoconinc.com
About Sixth Wave
Sixth Wave is a development stage nanotechnology company with patented technologies that focus on extraction and detection of target substances at the molecular level using highly specialized molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). The Company is in the process of commercializing its Affinity™ cannabinoid purification system, as well as, IXOS®, a line of extraction polymers for the gold mining industry.
Sixth Wave can design, develop and commercialize MIP solutions across a broad spectrum of industries. The company is focused on nanotechnology architectures that are highly relevant for detection and separation of viruses, biogenic amines and other pathogens, for which the Company has products at various stages of development.
For more information about Sixth Wave, please visit: www.sixthwave.com
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jonathan Gluckman, Ph.D., President & CEO
For information, please contact the Company:
Phone: (801) 582-0559
This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements” including statements regarding the planned features of the AMIPs technology and the proposed SmartMaskTM technology. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future events or developments that the Company expects, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual events or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause the Company’s actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In particular, successful development and commercialization of the AMIPs technology are subject the risk that the AMIPs technology may not prove to be successful in detecting virus targets effectively or at all, uncertainty of medical product development, uncertainty of timing or availability of required regulatory approvals, lack of track record of developing products for medical applications and the need for additional capital to carry out product development activities. The value of any products ultimately developed could be negatively impacted if its patent application is not successful. The Company has not yet completed development of a prototype for the product that is subject of its patent application and has not yet applied for regulatory approval for the use of this product from any regulatory agency.