TT Electronics share price crashes after iAbra Virolens COVID-19 test woefully exposed

The TT Electronics (TTG) share price has come crashing down over the past few days after the iAbra Virolens COVID-19 test that it is manufacturing has been woefully exposed on a number of fronts.

A short while ago, a number of media outlets including the FT indicated that the iAbra Virolens had won business with Heathrow airport following a trial and also won business with big-name employers.

Omega Diagnostics partner Mologic was also involved in trials at Heathrow Airport but it appeared that a decision had been made with the boss of Heathrow giving the iAbra test a glowing reference, promising results in 20 seconds via a $20,000 computer.

TT Electronics soon followed this up with a rather bullish market announcement, saying it expects orders to come in for £280m from iAbra and its saliva-based test.

Since the news, the FT revisited the story and of key importance notes that:

  • There is no regulatory approval for the test
  • Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye was enthusiastic but had no hard data onto the accuracy of it. Scientists questioned the 99.8% sensitivity.
  • iAbra is just a four-man company
  • iAbra apologised if it ‘made a slight, slight miswording’ and referred to the surge in TTG’s share price as ‘chicken feed’ in a broader context
  • Bristol University’s involvement in assessing the test was exaggerated
  • TT Electronics claimed it was clear there are ‘milestones to pass on external and regulatory testing’. Although one would question the need to announce to the markets that they are expecting orders of £280m so swiftly after the initial reports…

For investors in other COVID-19 testing stocks such as Omega Diagnostics, Novacyt and Avacta, this is a positive development in that the airport testing market (and beyond) is far from solved with this unproven, unauthorised test which has done its reputation no favours with such questionable promotion or ‘ramping’.

TTG’s share price has now wiped out most of the unfounded gains in its share price falling from 267p to 200p per share.

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