AIM-listed chemistry company Cronin Group, which has a research relationship with the University of Glasgow, announced a 2017 loss of of £1.46 million after tax and said it plans to change its name to DeepMatter Group “to better represent the mission and values of the company.”
Cronin Group is focused on “the discovery, development and manufacture of small molecules and nano-materials utilizing innovative proprietary chemistry developed at Glasgow University and enabled through the application of 3D printing and related technologies.”
Cronin had cash and short term deposits at December 31, 2017, of £3.26 million and net assets of £8.11 million.
The group said it has grown to 20 full-time employees, excluding directors, and has further intensified development of its DigitalGlassware technology platform.
Cronin executive chairman Mark Warne said: “The last year has seen the group make exciting progress towards deploying its DigitalGlassware technology platform, comprising an easy-to-use software interface and a unique, low footprint sensor array, which will allow an individual to access reproducible chemistry via internet protocols.
“The group has identified a number of leading companies and institutions involved in the field of chemistry, to participate in its Pioneer Programme.
“Moving forward, we keenly anticipate beta stage deployment with these key innovators and early adopters, in preparation for addressing broader adoption among the target user groups, building credibility, awareness and understanding of the DigitalGlassware platform.”
In his chairman’s statement, Warned added: “Big Data will enhance productivity in all areas of chemistry, a multi-billion-dollar market and discipline that impacts nearly all elements of human life.
“The last year has seen the group make exciting progress towards deploying its DigitalGlassware technology platform.
“The platform will increase access to, and the quality of, data associated with making a chemical.
“The resulting data insights subjected to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning methodologies will allow chemicals to be discovered, made and remade more productively.
“Ultimately, the group envisages a capability for autonomous digital synthesis …
“The group acquired OpenIOlabs Limited (OIOL), a company based in Cambridge, with assets for integrating equipment in a laboratory, a capability the group had always intended to include in its DigitalGlassware platform.
“Currently, the integration of OIOL into the Group is well under way, with measures to deploy the prioritised assets and realise cost synergies initiated.
“As of the date of this report, the group now employs 20 personnel, including chemistry specialists, software and hardware engineers with operations in Cambridge and Glasgow.
“The group continues its research relationship with the team at Glasgow University, which is led by Cronin Group’s scientific founder, Professor Lee Cronin …
“The group believes only high fidelity data will truly enable making better chemical molecules, faster and more effectively.
“It has been stated that a large gap currently exists in chemical data reporting standards, rendering much of the currently available data unusable by algorithmic analyses.
“It has been widely reported that researchers think that science faces a reproducibility crisis, with around half not having faith in the published literature in their field — chemists often reporting the most difficulty.
“DigitalGlassware overcomes challenges in chemical data reporting standards, enabling access to this chemistry data in real-time to a broad community of users, including industrial and academic chemists, students, scientists from non-chemistry disciplines, scientific publishers and funding and professional advocacy bodies.
“Since the year end, the group has entered into memoranda of understanding with two leading international life science reagent and chemicals manufacturers to join the company’s Pioneer Programme, evaluating DigitalGlassware.
“One is a US headquartered business, with laboratory operations worldwide and the other, a UK based subsidiary of a NASDAQ listed company.
“The purpose of the programme is to beta trial the group’s technology with the full range of target users, allowing the group to observe its performance in different operating environments and locations worldwide.
“These observations will contribute towards technical and commercial optimisation, prior to wider dissemination to target users.
“The Pioneer companies will also assess the performance of the DigitalGlassware platform, specifically to understand how it can help improve the outcomes of chemical processes, including precision and reproducibility, with a view to how the platform can help in discovering/enabling new and improved chemistry.”