A listed Aussie company battling the Coronavirus

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Feb 3, 2020, in Features

With the recent emergence in China of a new virulent strain of the Coronavirus, and the well-publicised impacts of that virus on human health, Zoono Group Limited (ASX:ZNO) has been inundated by public and shareholder enquiry concerning its products and their effectiveness in combatting the spread of the new virus.

The interest has been the catalyst for its shares rising 24% on Thursday to finish at 82 cents on $2.3 million stock traded.

The $142 million capped Zoono specialises in the development, manufacture and global distribution of a unique range of long-lasting and environmentally friendly antimicrobial solutions.

Zoono Group has developed, and owns, a wealth of intellectual property based around the ‘Zoono Molecule’ – a unique, antimicrobial technology that bonds to any surface and kills pathogens including bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and mould. It has proven efficacy and longevity, it does not leach and cannot diminish in strength.

The company believes it is well positioned to be part of the solution to both coronavirus and other new virus threats through its technology, particularly its longevity and killing methodology.

To put this into context, Zoono’s Z71 Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser was successfully tested in 2014 against bovine coronavirus (i.e. a surrogate recognised by the World Health Organisation for other members of the coronaviridae family, including the MERS virus (CoV-MERS)). Test results confirmed a 99.99% efficacy in five minutes.

Zoono’s Z71 Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser and GermFree24 Hand Sanitiser products were recently sent to a German laboratory for testing against the latest Chinese strain of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This strain of the coronavirus has not previously been available for testing.

Given the successful test results in 2014 and since, Zoono is confident that both products will have a level of efficacy against the current strain of the coronavirus similar to that achieved previously. Both contain the same active ingredient. Results from testing against the current coronavirus strain are expected in the next four to six weeks.

Operationally, once the impact of the new coronavirus emerged, Zoono made an immediate decision in early January to ramp up production of its key active ingredients and its Z71 Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser and GermFree24 Hand Sanitiser finished goods.

This decision has proved to be very prescient as this month has seen:

  • Product orders in excess of NZ$1M received in the last two weeks of January, predominantly from China and Hong Kong
  • Online consumer sales up significantly with a record day recently of $49,000 in one day
  • Forward orders and product inquiries increasingly strong, with particular interest from major companies in new distribution arrangements and the introduction of Zoono products into different vertical markets Zoono expects to be able to meet the increased demand for its products.

Find out what other Australian Stock Exchange Biotechs are doing to combat COVID-19

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