With the one year anniversary of COVID lockdowns approaching in North America, everyone wants to know when life will return back to normal. A big component of such normalcy is participating in live events and travelling again—two activities heavily curtailed under the current dynamic. Enter FluroTech Ltd. (TSXV:TEST) (OTCMKTS:FLURF), which is attempting to commercialize an antigen testing solution rigorous enough to ensure the safe participation of mass gatherings.
FluroTech’s patented fluorescence spectroscopy technology uses a beam of light that excites the electrons in molecules of certain compounds and causes them to emit light. That light is directed towards a filter and onto a detector for measurement and identification of the molecule or changes in the molecule. By combining fluorescence spectroscopy with laboratory robotics automation and cloud computing, FluroTech has created a class leading high-throughput COVID antigen testing platform designed to screen and safely admit attendees to mass gathering events.
Although several competitors have created similar solutions, FluroTech’s advantage rests with speed and scale. The company’s FluroTest saliva-sample test can deliver highly accurate results to end user mobile devices in 5 minutes, while the platform can process thousands of tests per hour. With the right infrastructure in place, FluroTest is ideally suited for mass gathering applications, pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company plans to apply for such approval after they complete clinical trials, which are currently ongoing.
In positioning FluroTest as a solution for mass transportation and sporting events markets, the company has taken the position that individualized health testing will be the new standard requirement. According to CEO Bill Phelan:
“We know that from all statements made in the public from Moderna and the others in the vaccine space, testing will be required for years. If you think about as a consumer or somebody wanting to attend an event, they would see it the same way.”
Other prominent members of various Major League sports organizations share a similar vision.
Just last month, FluroTech recruited Boston Red Sox Vice President of IT, Brian Shield, to the company’s Advisory Board. In his press release statement, Mr. Shield all but acknowledged that reopening will not be returning to the old normal, commenting that the Red Sox have “moved from the position of using tools and tech to entertain and delight, to the absolute necessity of triaging priorities in order for industry to open and, in my case, return fans to the stands… Of course economics are involved, but we’re all craving and missing that social connection at work or at play. FluroTest can be an integral part of this societal solution.”
According to publicly released figures, billions of dollars of gate receipts annually are at stake. Based on data collection which considers the average ticket cost and attendance, multiplied by a full yearly schedule of games, the Big 4 sports leagues stands to lose:
MLB: $2,860,000,000 USD (2019)
NFL: $2,600,000,000 stadium revenue (ticket, concessions and merchandise)
NBA: $1,200,000,000 + $2 million for each playoff game
Keep in mind, actual operational and intangible losses are much higher when you consider the absence of concession, merchandise and advertising sales, as well declining overall ambience which has helped contribute to lower TV ratings. Far from simply being a killjoy in keeping fans away at the venue, it is also stifling user experience on all venues.
Tune into TDR’s full interview with CEO Bill Phelan, as he explains how FluroTech’s scalable FluroTest solution could get fans back into stadium seats in short order.