Holista Colltech seeks strategic partners to accelerate global roll-out of hand sanitizer - MD

27 April 2020 - 07:18 am UTC

by Louise Weihart in Sydney

Holista Colltech, an Australian specialist food ingredient and wellness product developer, is actively seeking strategic partners to accelerate a global roll-out of its NatShield hand sanitizer, which has been found to be more than 99.99% effective against the feline coronavirus, MD Rajen Manicka said.

 

The feline coronavirus is recognized by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a surrogate of COVID-19, and hence products tested as effective against it are also deemed to be effective against COVID-19.

 

The Kuala Lumpur and Perth-based company announced these findings earlier this month (20 April) following specific COVID-19 testing by an unnamed UK-based biosafety lab. It was already selling its previously proven broad-spectrum alcoholic- and toxic chemical-free hand sanitizer, in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore and the US, and is now keen to increase sales in these markets as well as to enter new ones, including Europe, Australia, India, China, and Australia, where the product is currently in the process of being registered, Manicka said.

 

Holista Colltech is seeking strategic partners that can assist with market access like hygiene and healthcare companies, pharmacies, or healthcare product distributors, and is keen to explore joint ventures (JVs), where appropriate, the MD said, adding that the company welcomes approaches from advisors with potential partners.

 

The company would be flexible around ownership splits in any JVs, which could also facilitate additional funding to fast track market access and adoption, he added.

 

COVID-19 has enhanced growth and partnership options for the company, which has seen its market cap increase to AUD 51m (USD 33m) from AUD 16m a year ago, Manicka said. It is also talking to governments in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore for additional funding support from government grants, he noted.

 

Its challenge, rather than securing partners, is ensuring that it attracts “the right” partners that can help build a long-term brand to deal with not only COVID-19 but other contagious infectious diseases like the flu going forward, he said, noting that COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the importance of hygiene and hand sanitation generally.

 

Holista Colltech has raised AUD 6.5m since Feb 2020 via a Controlled Placement Agreement (CPA) with Acuity Capital, as announced. Manicka is still the company’s largest shareholder with some 30%, having diluted from about 33%.

 

In addition to securing strategic partners, capital raised will assist with regulatory approvals, further product development and testing, bringing complementary products like the company’s nasal sanitizing balm to market, and supporting expansion of other core products like food ingredients, Manicka said.

 

Holista Colltech, which researches, develops, manufactures and markets health-style products for the natural medicine space, has three main divisions, namely its dietary supplements and personal care, food ingredients, and ovine collagen divisions.

 

New Zealand antimicrobial product developer Zoono Group is another local player that has seen valuation surge following its announcement this March that its Z71 Microbe Shield surface sanitizer prevented cross-contamination and was 99.99% effective against COVID-19. Zoono's market cap is now at AUD 268m, rising from AUD 12m in January 2019. Paul Hyslop told this news service in March that the company had become a desirable takeover target after proving its product.