Versarien’s graphene face mask meets highest European protection standard

Francesca Morgan
Vox Newswire
10:24, 9th February 2021

Versarien (VRS FOLLOW) said its latest graphene enhanced face mask has met the FFP3 standard, the highest standard under the European EN149 standard for filtering half face masks.

As previously outlined in its half-year results released last month, the advanced materials engineering group’s wholly owned Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Versarien Technology Company Limited, has been working with its partner on further developments of the masks.

Specifically, this has included the testing of a prototype second generation graphene enhanced face mask conducted in China at the Analytical and Testing Centre of Capital Regions which showed a 99.92% antiviral activity rate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

After testing several prototypes of the latest version of the mask, which is a non-valve mask, the Company said the product has now been certified as meeting the FFP3 standard, the highest standard granted under the European EN149 standard for filtering half face masks.

This process included testing the packaging, as well as the robustness of the material, its practical performance, total inward leakage, breathing resistance, clogging, compatibility with skin and the carbon dioxide content of the inhalation air, Versarien noted.

In order to meet the criteria to be certified as a FFP3 mask, the graphene enhanced face mask had to pass all the relevant tests, which included demonstrating less than 2% inward leakage and the filtering of at least 99% of particulate matter, the Company outlined.

The testing was carried out in China by SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services Co, a joint venture founded in 1991 between SGS Group, a world leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and China Standard Science and Technology Group.

Commenting on the certification, Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, stated that, “We are delighted that the latest version of our mask has passed the rigorous FFP3 testing process.

Whilst we currently have an FFP2 mask on sale that we believe compares very well with other masks available, being able to offer a non-valve FFP3 mask with anti-viral properties is a significant further step and we intend to bring these masks to the market as soon as possible."

Shares in Versarien have seen an over five-fold increase from 10p since the beginning of November 2020 to open 5.34% higher this morning at 49.67p following the news.

VRS price chart

Reasons to Follow VRS

Versarien is an advanced engineering materials group that leverages proprietary technology through innovative engineering solutions. The company holds eight subsidiaries which operate under two divisions, Graphene and Plastics and HardWare and Metallic Products.

Commercialisation of the ‘Wonder Material’

In 2019/20 Versarien entered into collaborations with global partners. The group completed a process required to achieve the award of a £5 million Innovate UK loan. It said its focus ‘is now very much on the monetisation of the graphene technologies’ in its portfolio.

The loan is for a project named G SCALE, (Graphene-Seat, Concrete, Arch, Leisure, Elastomer), covering a number of Versarien's existing collaborations, which is designed to enable Versarien to ‘significantly increase’ its manufacture of quality assured graphene.

Expanding Product Portfolio

In August 2020, the company launched its first graphene enhanced protective face mask, which utilises Polygrene, Versarien’s graphene enhanced polymer.  The mask is a filtering facepiece designed to protect against airborne bacteria and the spread of viral infection.

Versarien has also formed the Versarien Graphene Advisory Panel (VGap) to commercialise ‘the many opportunities’ of graphene.  This will focus on the dual agenda of scoping Versarien's current and future technologies, along with wider graphene related topics.

Anti-COVID-19 Applications 

In addition, last week Versarien released results of a preliminary study of modified graphene materials, which were shown to possess properties inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The report concluded that the preliminary test results show that these materials significantly inhibit viral infection and possess antiviral activity towards SARS-CoV-2. The company said the results obtained were ‘statistically highly significant with a p-value of less than 0.0001.’ 

The report concludes that the results show GNA22 and GNA24 to significantly inhibit viral infection and suggests that these materials possess antiviral activity towards SARS-CoV-2. 

“While we must stress that these results have been achieved under laboratory conditions, they do demonstrate that our hybrid graphene nanomaterials have the potential to provide protection from COVID-19,” said Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer of Versarien. 

International Expansion into China and South Korea

The company plans to use Beijing Versarien Technology Company Limited, its wholly owned Chinese foreign entity, to form the base for its expansion activities in China.  

Additionally, Company plans to establish operations in South Korea via its new subsidiary, which will be overseen initially by Versarien's Head of International Strategy and Government Relations, Matt Walker.

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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