IBEX Technologies Inc. (IBT.V) manufactures and market enzymes for biomedical use internationally. Clients include manufacturers of medical devices, quality control labs and academic research institutions. IBT.V produces enzymes at its sites in Montréal, Quebec, and in North Liberty, Iowa, as well as, at a third party manufacturing facilities.
The company has two main product lines: High purity enzymes for in-vitro diagnostics and ELISA kits for osteoarthritis research. In addition, IBT.V also provides lyophilization services for disposable medical components, custom fermentation services, and has a few patents.
High purity enzymes
Heparinase I is reported by IBT.V as its most important enzyme - it is made through a proprietary process and is the only one approved for use in clinical diagnostics in North America and Europe. Heparinase I neutralize the effects of heparin.
Heparin is an anticoagulant, commonly referred to as "blood thinner", that prevents the formation of blood clots. It is used to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, arterial thrombo-embolism, as well as for treatment heart attacks and unstable angina.
Zion Research suggest that the Heparin market is expected to grow from $9.98B (2017) to $14.32B in 2023 (CAGR of 6.20%). Factors cited were the increasing prevalence of diseases that lead to the formation of clots and the slow rise in heparin supply were key to driving market growth. Moreover, lesser known capacities of heparin as an anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent can also fuel the growth.
Osteoarthritis ELISA kits
IBT.V's offering for osteoarthritis research are noteworthy. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease of the whole joint that leads to breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. As a result, the incidence of this condition is on the rise due to a aging population worldwide.
As life expectancy increase, this segment is also expected to grow in the next few years. Global Data forecasts an average CAGR of 8% up to 2026.
As of July 31st 2017, IBT.V had a cash reserve of $3.6M. The company has 24M shares and has insider ownership above 20% and is trading at a 52 week low. Reason for the current valuation relates to weaker year over year earnings (4.7M vs. 5.3M) resulting in a net loss of 0.095M for 2018. The reason cited for the decline in revenue ($0.5M) is related to a customer who aggressively purchased in 2017 and had excess inventory in 2018.
While the company issued guidance for the upcoming year (lower estimate), it also previously mentioned being involved in projects with some of its key customers which may positively impact revenues for 2019. Also, noted in the latest earning report is a comment about one of their recent initiatives:
The bacterial fermentation suite is currently operational, but no products produced in this facility are permitted to be sold until approved by Environment Canada. One such product has been approved,and we expect approval of the other products over the next few months.
Hence, in spite of the recent trend in the stock price, IBT.V could very well be promising.
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