- After receiving product and registration approval from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health in August, Achiko is positioned to produce up to a million AptameX test kits in Q4 2021, and more if the supply chain allows.
- AptameX and Teman Sehat also well positioned in in the long term to profit greatly from expected frequent testing of large populations in the post Covid-19 world due to its superior differentiated chemistry and better and lower cost service delivery model.
- Achiko is expecting to receive additional approval for its optimised second generation AptameX test kit in November.
- Achiko is adapting a soft-drink production model for AptameX, with mass scale of key materials consolidated to Taiwan and plastics, assembly and distribution centralised in Indonesia. Upon CE mark approval, the production model will be replicated in other countries with a pathway to scale production to tens or possibly hundreds of millions of tests per month
Zurich, 20 October 2021: Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR – Achiko AG (SWX: ACHI, ISIN CH0522213468) (“Achiko”, the “Company”) provided an update on its production and capacity plans for AptameXTM, its proprietary, low-cost rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test that is integrated into its platform, Teman SehatTM (“Health Buddy”).
The Company, following product approval in August, is moving towards sales and production in the final quarter of 2021. Key materials are sourced from Taiwan including the aptamer and colloidal gold solution, referred to as reagent, and a succession of UV-visible Spectrophotometers (UVS). Plastics, dilutants and assembly will be centralised to Indonesia. As Achiko responds to demand from other countries, the current business model will be replicated with localised plastics and assembly whilst maintaining reagent production in Taiwan. The initial product utilises commodity plastics and will follow shortly after with an improved version using customised plastics.
As the Company expects to receive a CE mark shortly and gain market entry to other countries, a scalable and replicable production model is emerging. An application for approval of an optimised AptameX test kit was filed on 18th October and the Company expects to receive approval in November 2021.
“We recognise that the world is moving towards living with Covid-19, and to do that it requires infrastructure beyond mass vaccination and booster shots”, said Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko. “This applies especially to lower to middle income countries where vaccination rates continue to struggle to get to vaccination levels above fifty percent.”
“Mass testing solutions may be needed to secure key industries such as food, manufacturing, transport and healthcare among many others. Often, PCR testing isn’t a practical solution and many rapid tests aren’t sensitive enough. With differentiated chemistry to nearly all other rapid tests and outperforming them in both sensitivity and speed, a combination of AptameX and Teman Sehat may offer a better price and performance solution for the post Covid-19 world.”
Product and Production
The Company’s first-generation product is manufactured using commodity plastic components from China with automated pre-filling of its AptameX reagent in Singapore and with its local joint venture partner, PT Achiko Medika Indonesia. Final assembly is then handled in Indonesia by PT Indofarma TBK (Indofarma). For the first generation of production, the AptameX reagent is produced in Spain where production capacity is up to a possible 400 Litres per month and each test kit requires 360 µL in a commodity semi-micro cuvette. Plastics for the first 150,000 test kits are expected to arrive in Indonesia shortly.
The UVS reader is manufactured in Taiwan and may cost several hundred dollars (USD) per device. Each UVS may process a result in under a minute, and each device is expected to process around 1,000 tests per day. A batch of 60 UVS have just arrived in Indonesia and are currently being distributed. The choice of the current range of Spectrometers is on the basis of taking a conservative stance. The company expects the costs per UVS to fall substantially as it achieves scale.
The second-generation test kits use a simpler supply and manufacturing chain. The reagent and bespoke plastics for the cuvette are produced in Taiwan and collection tubes and packaging in Indonesia. With an optimised cuvette, the Company expects to use around 110ul per test kit, for a cost of under USD$0.12 per kit. Bespoke plastics and localised production are expected to be able to be manufactured for under USD$0.50 per test kit. This combination can be likened to the soft-drink model with key components such as the reagent and cuvettes manufactured and assembled in optimum locations, and mass market plastics and distribution implemented closer to the end customer.
The Company is currently sourcing plastic moulding and looking at initial production for this second-generation version to also commence in Q4 with up to 1 million kits being produced. Successful production may lead to scale. Manufacturing with robotics and supply for the reagent in Taiwan may ramp up to several hundred times the scale of the European manufacturer with substantially less costs. The localised plastics manufacturer in Indonesia is a former soft drink manufacturer. The sum of which is that production capacity may be in the order of tens or hundreds of millions of test kits per month, and with costs below USD$0.50 and falling to possibly under USD$0.30 with scale and further optimisations.
Service delivery involves distributing plastics and sampling into the field for collection and then localised UVS processing. Teman Sehat is the software platform that connects the two and handles billing and test certification. The combination of the two lowers the cost of testing with the exact cost subject to the pilot programs currently being conducted in Indonesia. The Company expects to be able to profitably deliver an unsubsidised test for as little as USD$2.50 per test or less.
The company has recently hired a head of sales and is building out a field sales and support team in Indonesia.
As the Company scales, the price of production is expected to come down even further. Achiko is in the process of completing a CE mark registration later this year with a view of sales in Europe and securing an OEM manufacturer in Taiwan for the second-generation format. With each additional country, the Company will start with centralised production out of Taiwan but move quickly to replicate the soft-drink model implemented in Indonesia.
“We’re excited about bringing the product finally to market”, added Steven Goh. “We’ve previously given a guidance that we intend to deliver assurance services to about 2% of the population or over 5m people. We remain confident that we can have that reach and more, and are slowed only by manufacturing constraints, financing and logistics. We’ll be rolling the services out as fast as possible and with the progress we’re making in CE marking, looking forward to replicating the business in other markets as we come into the new year.”
ABOUT ACHIKO AG
Achiko creates and develops new innovations in healthcare technology through its biotechnology division, AptameXTM, and its sister digital mobile health technology division, Teman SehatTM. The Company has created a unique healthtech capability that provides user-friendly diagnostic testing integrated with a digital passport solution for the management of Covid-19.
AptameX comprises of DNA aptamer-based technology that is cost-effective, chemically synthesised and widely applicable to the evolving diagnostic field of healthcare. Together with the digital mobile health app Teman Sehat, Achiko is developing potential technologies that seek to deliver rapid, affordable diagnostic testing for a range of pathogenic diseases and therapeutic indications. The AptameX technology is licensed from Regenacellx.sl and Achiko has exclusive commercialisation rights.
Headquartered in Zurich, Achiko has offices in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Seoul and Singapore.
Further information can be found at www.achiko.com.
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This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Achiko AG and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Achiko AG to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Achiko AG is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.