I-Tech receives largest supply order to date from Chugoku Marine Paints worth 57MSEK (approx 6MUSD)

I-Tech receives largest supply order to date from Chugoku Marine Paints worth 57MSEK (approx 6MUSD)

I-Tech AB (publ) (ticker: ITECH) has received a new order amounting to 57MSEK to supply its product Selektope® to Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP).

The supply order provides confirmation of increasing demand for I-Tech’s barnacle-repellent active agent Selektope® within the range of marine antifouling products offered by CMP. The Selektope® supplied to CMP will be used in all major key markets in the shipping industry targeting both new building and dry-docking demands. The order is expected to be delivered in 2020.

Since their launch in 2016, the uptake of CMP’s Selektope®-containing marine coatings for ocean going vessels – SEAFLO NEO CF PREMIUM and SEA GRANDPRIX 880HS PLUS – has increased considerably on a global scale.

Recently, CMP launched a new antifouling coating containing Selektope®. Developed for initial use in the Japanese domestic market by coastal vessels, SEA PREMIER 3000 PLUS is the eighth antifouling coating that contains Selektope® to join CMP’s portfolio of antifouling coating products.

“CMP has continuously increased the integration of Selektope® in to its products and found multiple successful combinations with their own technology. The results have, during several years, proven its high level of performance and we are very satisfied that the market acceptance has resulted in this record order received by I-Tech,” says Philip Chaabane, I-Tech CEO. 

Chugoku Marine Paints expands Selektope®-containing antifouling coating range

Chugoku Marine Paints expands Selektope®-containing antifouling coating range

A new antifouling coating containing the barnacle-repellent active agent Selektope® has been introduced to the market by Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP). SEA PREMIER 3000 PLUS is the eighth product developed by CMP that contains Selektope®, demonstrating the Japanese paint manufacturer’s growing commitment to the technology.

SEA PREMIER 3000 PLUS is a self-polishing coating based on silyl polymer technology. It delivers excellent slime and algal resistance with the combined power of Selektope® and cuprous oxide for superior hard fouling prevention. Developed initially for use in the Japanese domestic market by coastal vessels, SEA PREMIER 3000 PLUS is particularly suitable for vessels operating with a low activity rate or at low speed. The coating is also suitable for use in niche areas, such as sea chests and interior-grating-bow thruster tunnels.

“The increasing range of Selektope®-containing products introduced to the market by our largest customer further demonstrates our technology’s vital contribution to enhancing the performance and differentiation of antifouling coatings. Expanding the range of Selektope®-containing products in the world’s third largest market* for marine coatings will contribute to continued long-term growth for I-Tech,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO, I-Tech AB (PUBL).

*Report: Marine Coatings Market – Global Forecast to 2022, Markets and Markets – 2018.

I-Tech wins IPO of the Year 2018 award for share price development

I-Tech wins IPO of the Year 2018 award for share price development

On May 22, I-Tech AB was named as the winner of the SvD Börsplus IPO-guide IPO of the Year 2018 Award in the Share Price Development category for the small company class. I-Tech also took fourth place, out of a total of twenty companies, in the IPO of the Year Award in the Quality category for the small company class.

SvD Börsplus IPO guide, a service available for all investors with an instant overview of all relevant facts regarding upcoming IPOs, conduct a review of all Swedish IPOs during the year and award prizes for the best IPOs in different classes and categories. Each year, winners of the SvD Börsplus IPO-guide Awards are announced for companies and financial advisors in the Share Price Development and Quality categories. These two categories are divided into three classes of companies in the Billion-SEK companies, Small companies and Micro companies segments.

Share price development is measured from the date of the IPO and 12 months ahead or at the latest April 30, 2018. In the Quality class, companies are ranked firstly after the lowest number of ‘warning flags’ and secondly after share price development.

“We are very happy that the market has showed great confidence in us and that the share price has had such positive development. We are also proud of the high ranking in the Quality class,” says Magnus Henell, CFO, I-Tech.

Erik Penser Bank acted as the financial advisor during I-Tech’s  IPO process. They received the SvD Börsplus IPO-guide Best Financial Advisor award in the Quality category for the small company class for work, amongst others, conducted during I-Tech’s IPO.

I-Tech expands team with Technical Director appointment

I-Tech expands team with Technical Director appointment

I-Tech AB has appointed Dr. Markus Hoffmann to the role of Technical Director.

In the newly-created senior position, Dr. Hoffmann will play a pivotal role in I-Tech’s commercial and development processes with the aim of accelerating and expanding current business within the global marine coatings industry. He will also be a key player in generating new revenue streams from the use of Selektope® in other application areas and sectors.

Dr. Hoffmann has joined I-Tech following great successes achieved over an eight-year period in the role of Subject Matter Expert Antifouling Coatings Research and Development at Hempel A/S. Previously, he served as R&D Department Manager of Hempel’s Antifouling Global Center of Excellence in Barcelona. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hoffmann held the post of Team Manager Central R&D at BASF. His academic qualifications include a PhD in organic chemistry from JMU of Würzburg, Germany and a post-doc position at Kyoto University, Japan.

With a proven track record of innovation in the management of processes from the creation of new antifouling technology ideas to the selection of fundamental and applied research and successful conversion to product development and launch, Dr. Hoffmann brings significant knowledge to his role at I-Tech from numerous areas of expertise. In addition, his well-established network throughout large parts of the value chain will expand I-Tech’s reach even further.

“I am very pleased that a key industry player such as Markus has joined I-Tech in the position of Technical Director,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO, I-Tech AB. “Markus’ experience in product management and antifouling coating development, coupled with his academic background in organic chemistry and well-anchored position in the industry, make him the perfect addition to our growing team of talent and entrepreneurship.”

Team Tankers International signs up more ships to using Selektope®-powered hull coatings

Team Tankers International signs up more ships to using Selektope®-powered hull coatings

Bermudan tanker owner and operator Team Tankers International has committed four additional ships to using the protection of the anti-barnacle active agent Selektope® following distinguished fouling prevention performance during a 40-month trial of an antifouling coating containing the technology on an MR tanker in their fleet.

The vertical sides of the46,067DWT chemical and products carrier Team Calypso were coated with Chugoku Marine Paints’ SEAFLO NEO CF-Premium antifouling coating that contains Selektope® during its five-year drydocking at the Sembcorp shipyard, Singapore in 2015.

During the last 40 months the MR tanker has been in active operation across a wide range of trade routes globally, often sailing in global biofouling hotspots with > 25oC (up to 32oC) water temperatures where the risk of biofouling is very high. The vessel has also spent several extended periods idling in these zones.

However, during the trial, barnacles failed to anchor themselves to the tanker’s hull thanks to the protection from Selektope® which activates the barnacle larvae’s octopamine receptor, keeping them in swimming mode and preventing them from attaching to the hull with non-fatal effect. 

A hull inspection conducted at month 35 in the tanker’s in-water-survey schedule established that Team Calypso’s hull was virtually barnacle free with no soft fouling coverage.

Independent third-party data analysis has also verified the fouling prevention performance of the Selektope®-powered hull coating. At month 40, total added resistance on Team Calypso’s hull and propeller due to fouling is exceptionally low, at 16%, compared to up to 30% expected for a reference ship of similar age, size and trading patterns. Of that 16% total, added resistance on the hull accounted for 10% whereas added resistance on the propeller accounted for the remaining 7%. The development of added resistance was calculated at a rate equivalent to 0.4% per month, compared to the expected rate of between 0.5% and 1.5%.

I-Tech AB CEO Philip Chaabane comments: “This tanker owner is reaping the fuel saving benefits associated with a Selektope®-powered antifouling coating. The independent data analysis coupled with the underwater hull inspection prove that Selektope® delivers strong protection from hard fouling, whatever the vessel’s activity or trading pattern.”

Team Tankers Performance & Environmental Manager Capt. Pär Brandholm comments: “Team Calypso has operated for over three years since last dry dock, and we can conclude that the fouling of the hull remains at a very low level and we hope the trend will continue being flat. We anticipate similar performance for our vessels Team Tapatio, Team Toccata, Team Tosca and Team Leader using the same hull coating containing Selektope®.”

Chugoku Marine Paints Sales Manager Northern Europe Peter Douma comments: “Chugoku Marine Paints is proud to offer an antifouling system containing Selektope® that delivers outstanding performance for a multitude of vessel types, docking intervals, trading patterns and activity. The effectiveness of our SEAFLO NEO CF-PREMIUM has been demonstrated by the results achieved on Team Calypso.”

With multiple major coatings suppliers now turning to this antifouling active agent to enhance the hard fouling prevention offered by their antifouling products, I-Tech AB is urging ship owners to check whether Selektope® is present in the antifouling systems being considered during their coating selection process.

I-Tech AB crowned winner of the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co Companipris 2018

I-Tech AB crowned winner of the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co Companipris 2018

I-Tech AB has been awarded this year’s Göteborg & Co Companipris for great entrepreneurship and innovation demonstrated in developing and achieving the establishment of the unique antifouling active agent Selektope® in the marine coatings industry.

The prize will be awarded by the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co and the Chairman of the Municipal Board, Axel Josefson, on April 2 in connection with the Börssällskapet meeting.

I-Tech was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from a research project conducted by the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers. Added into marine paints during the manufacturing process, Selektope prohibits the attachment of barnacles to a ship’s hull by keeping the exposed barnacle larvae in swimming mode due to the activation of the larvae’s octopamine receptor. It is unique in its application in ship biofouling protection as it is the only antifouling substance that has a deterrent effect on barnacles.  

“This year’s winner is a company that has shown great entrepreneurship and innovation. Through their ground-breaking research, they have changed the marine paint industry and are now at the forefront of development. I-Tech has a unique and sustainable product that is world-leading,” says Christian Westerberg, project manager at Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co.

“In a city with many exciting and promising companies, we feel great humility to stand as the winner of the Göteborg Companipris. I-Tech, born from local academic research and largely backed up by local financiers, is in the midst of a global expansion in the Gothenburg significant marine sector. We share the honor with everyone who has participated in our almost 20-year journey,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO of I-Tech.

https://via.tt.se/pressmeddelande/de-vinner-goteborgs-companipris-2018?publisherId=2567142&releaseId=3251825

Facts about the Göteborgs Companipris:

– The Business & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co annually distributes the Göteborgs Companipris to successful companies that are run and developed in the Gothenburg region.

– The prize consists of 25,000 sek and a silver statue.

– Since the Companipris was founded in 1994, the prize has been received to approximately 60 companies.

Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co is a platform for collaboration between business, organizations, municipalities and academia that works to strengthen and develop Gothenburg’s competitive and attractive power. Through initiatives and projects, the Enterprise Group stimulates long-term competence provision and inclusion in order to contribute to an attractive, vibrant and sustainable metropolitan area.

Number of ships sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings set to double in 2019

Number of ships sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings set to double in 2019

The largest ever single volume order received for the barnacle-repelling antifouling ingredient Selektope® coupled with strong commercial developments in late 2018 will see the number of ships using Selektope®-containing antifouling coatings more than double in 2019.

Placed by one of the industry’s leading marine coating manufacturers Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP) in December 2018, this follow up order fulfils CMP’s previous minimum commitments contained in supply agreements signed in early 2018 ahead of time. The order will be delivered during 2019 for use in CMP’s range of existing coating products containing Selektope® that target both new building and dry-docking demands.

Selektope® is an organic, non-metal compound that works to prevent barnacle fouling by temporarily activating the swimming behavior of barnacle cyprid larvae, making it impossible for them to settle on the hull. The unique antifouling ingredient is characterized by its first-of-its-kind bio-repellent mode of action which has a non-fatal effect on the target organism. It offers paint manufacturers an alternative active agent for antifouling coatings that demonstrates high efficacy at extremely low concentrations, is ultra-low leaching and can deliver superior static performance against hard fouling.

Hundreds of ships have been coated with antifouling paints containing Selektope® since the launch of the technology into the marine market.

“Positive indications of the superior antifouling performance of antifouling coatings including Selektope® on a wide range of ship types is driving the demand for our technology in the market. Performance results continue to demonstrate that Selektope®-powered coatings can save fuel, cut emissions and reduce the risk of transferring invasive aquatic species; for all these reasons, confidence is increasing in our technology as a very attractive investment,” says Philip Chaabane, I-Tech CEO.

In addition to the antifouling coating products offered by CMP, ship owners can also purchase antifouling paints containing Selektope® from other global paint manufacturers.

Selektope Success in 2018: A Review of the Year

Selektope Success in 2018: A Review of the Year

A statement from I-Tech CEO Philip Chaabane:

“As we sail into 2019 I look back at the series of monumental milestones achieved by I-Tech in 2018 and am energised for a prosperous year ahead. 2018 was a big year for I-Tech. We reached the highest highs as a company this year and celebrated the greatest commercial successes for our product, the antifouling ingredient Selektope®.

One of the biggest milestones was the listing of I-Tech shares on Nasdaq First North in May and the company becoming publicly held. We have also welcomed multiple new team members and made strategic acquisitions to strengthen our supply chain in order to upscale Selektope® production for anticipated future demand. 

As a company we continue to push the boundaries of innovation and we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. This year we deployed new packaging for Selektope® that changes the way that biocides are introduced during the paint manufacturing process. Our drop in, dust free expanded polystyrene dissolvable packaging allows paint manufacturers to add Selektope® to their paint in a completely sealed container, severely reducing safety risks – a game-changer for the industry.

Out on the high seas, over 300 ships are sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings and according to volumes of Selektope® on order from global paint manufacturers for delivery in 2019, the number of ships protected against hard fouling thanks to Selektope® is set to significantly increase next year.

We share details on our achievement highlights in the article below, but I also ask you to ‘watch this space!’ as 2019 will be another exciting year for Selektope® . For now, I’d like to wish all of our customers and ship owners reaping the benefits of Selektope® -powered antifouling coatings much prosperous commercial success in 2019.”

2018 has been a remarkable year for I-Tech AB. We kicked off a series of supply chain-strengthening actions early in the year, the first being the appointment an exclusive importer and agent in South Korea. This action was undertaken in response to high demand for Selektope® from shipyards in the region and many ship owners running the risk of extended idling in the biofouling hotspots around South Korean ship yards and ports.

In March, I-Tech AB announced the strategic acquisition of manufacturing process technology and IP, for the production of medetomidine (the chemical name for Selektope®), from Cambrex Corporation (NYSE: CBM). The transaction consolidated the supply chain and improved our industrial capabilities giving us a unique competitive situation to fuel future growth by supporting our plans to secure superior production capacity and to ensure commercially competitive prices for our customers and deliver high volume demands for Selektope®.

The first quarter of 2018 also yielded success in the application of Selektope® in silicone-epoxy coatings. Whereas silicone-epoxy systems (epoxies are commonly known as ‘hard coatings’) offer abrasion resistance and easy to clean properties, they still have limitations when exposed to sea water at static conditions. Therefore, it was of great importance to I-Tech to support paint manufacturers developing epoxy products that contain Selektope®. American paint specialist Wearlon®, part of Plastic Maritime Corp., and I-Tech conducted trials of a Wearlon® epoxy-silicone product containing Selektope® over a period of 19 months. A successful formulation was achieved and tests concluded that the addition of Selektope® to the Wearlon® epoxy-silicone coating resulted in significantly improved antifouling properties.

May 28 was the date of I-Tech AB’s first official day trading on Nasdaq First North following a previously completed share issue that was oversubscribed. Since listing on the Swedish Stock Exchange the I-Tech share price has increased from the subscription price of 20.5SEK per share to 60.00 SEK per share (at Midday 20/12/2018).

In the same month we became a member of the Clean Shipping Index (CSI) in support of their vision to encourage ‘clean ships sailing in healthy seas’. Through our membership, we have been encouraging environmentally responsible decisions around antifouling coating procurement to users of CSI’s holistic labelling system which ranks the environmental performance of ships. We have also been promoting the benefits of choosing less environmentally impactful antifoulings and educate CSI users on the impact of coating types, such as those containing Selektope®, on the ranking of ships under the labelling system.

In August, we unveiled a game changing packaging solution that challenges the status quo on how biocides are added during the paint manufacturing process. Our ‘drop-in, dust-free’ dissolvable expanded polystyrene (EPS) container packaging system allows paint manufacturers to add Selektope to paint in a sealed container allows for the dust free charging of 100% Selektope® powder material to a liquid paint batch, eliminating dust formation completely. The EPS container t fully dissolves almost instantaneously without leaving any traces in the coating system.

In November, we received very positive results from a tanker that had sailed past milestone in its dry dock schedule with hull inspections confirming a clean, barnacle-free hull resulting from the use of a Selektope®-containing antifouling paint. Team Calypso is a 46,067dwt chemical and products carrier owned and operated by Team Tankers International Ltd. During the past three years, the vessel was in active operation across a wide range of trade routes globally, with more than 50% of its operating time spent in areas of high biofouling with high sea temperatures. The tanker has also encountered several long idling periods of 25 days or more. An underwater hull inspection conducted at month 35 in the tanker’s drydock schedule established that Team Calypso’s hull is completely barnacle free with no soft fouling coverage. Independent third-party data analysis verified total added resistance on Team Calypso’s hull and propeller due to fouling was exceptionally low compared to that expected for an average ship of same age and days out of dry-dock: 12% against up to 30% expected total added resistance. Of that 12%, added resistance on the hull accounted for 8% whereas added resistance on the propeller accounts for 4%. The development rate registered at a low level of approximately 0.4% per month, compared to an expected rate of between 0.5% to 1.5%.

As we sailed towards the end of the year, our customer Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP) confirmed a supply order amounting to 36MSEK. The order represents the largest order of Selektope placed to-date and will be delivered during 2019. This follow-up order fulfils CMP’s previous minimum commitments ahead of time and reflects the increased demand of our barnacle-repellent active agent within the range of marine antifouling products offered by CMP. Since their launch in 2016, CMP’s Selektope®-containing marine coatings SeaFlo Neo CF Premium and SeaGrand Prix 880HS Plus alongside other Selektope®-containing antifoulings offered by other paint manufacturers have gained considerable uptake in the market as they are designed and proven to optimize hull performance over an extensive time in operation and offer superior static protection against hard fouling.

I-Tech also made two appointments to the team this year. Ba-Vu Nguyen assumed the role of Supply Chain and Logistics Manager and Monica Kettelhoit joined the team in the role of Office Manager.

All that is left to say is that, what a year it has been for I-Tech and Selektope® ! We look forward to 2019!

Selektope® inventors develop revolutionary dissolvable biocide packaging system

Selektope® inventors develop revolutionary dissolvable biocide packaging system

I-Tech AB has developed a new ‘drop-in, dust-free’ dissolvable packaging system to enhance the way the antifouling active agent Selektope® is added to marine coatings during the manufacturing process.

The expanded polystyrene (EPS) container, which can be added to paint without being opened, fully dissolves almost instantaneously without leaving any traces in the coating system. This innovative packaging therefore allows for the dust free charging of 100% Selektope® powder material to a liquid paint batch, eliminating dust formation completely. It also allows the paint manufacturer to make optimal use of available Selektope® and improves safety in the paint processing plant.

Each EPS container is supplied within a CurTec HDPE screw lid jar with locking mechanism making it durable with improved impact resistance for transport. The complete EPS container system can hold 300-800g of medetomidine (the chemical name for Selektope®) as a dry powder within a very low weight (18g) EPS container.

The formal launch of the EPS container follows extensive testing with the revolutionary packaging having been qualified for use during the manufacturing process without compromising paint performance.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH AB, comments: “This latest innovation from I-Tech supports our customers in the safe use of Selektope® and is a game-changer for the addition of biocides during the paint manufacturing process. In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. This latest invention supports the increasing uptake of this breakthrough technology in the market.”

Selektope® is the organic, non-metal compound whose efficiency in preventing barnacle fouling has enabled traditional marine coatings suppliers to develop products that deliver superior hard fouling protection, lower water resistance, decreased fuel consumption, and reduced maintenance costs. Characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching, the biocide repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior.

Join I-Tech AB at the SMM Hamburg exhibition between 4-7 September at stand A5.608.

I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

To satisfy increasing customer demand for antifouling coatings including Selektope® in the marine market, Swedish bio-technology innovator I-Tech AB plans to evaluate an advanced European manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates as its large-scale production partner in Europe.

Within an agreed timetable, I-Tech and its potential manufacturing partner aim to optimize and adapt I-Tech processes for production of Selektope® at scale at an existing plant. The development program is of strategic importance for I-Tech as it supports the company’s long-term aim to continuously strengthen the supply chain and maximize the delivery capability for Selektope®.

Having recently acquired the IPR and technical expertise to undertake the Selektope® synthesis, and appointed a new supply chain and logistics manager the new initiative aims to further strengthen the I-Tech supply chain, and improve the competitive edge in its key markets.

Selektope®, chemically known as medetomidine, is an organic, non-metal compound that is very efficient at preventing barnacle fouling when used in traditional marine coating systems. Characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching, the biocide repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior. Tests have shown that antifouling coatings containing Selektope® offer superior hard fouling protection, resulting in lower water resistance and decreased fuel consumption, in addition to reduced maintenance costs.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH AB, comments: “In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. As customer demand continues to increase, it is important for I-Tech to develop redundancy as well as competitive scale in its manufacturing capability. This evaluation program supports our long-term goals for Selektope® to prosper and meet increasing demand in key markets”

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