- Achiko to develop dengue fever diagnostic test by applying its DNA aptamer technology platform. This is another promising application of the technology that Achiko is already successfully using to diagnose Covid-19.
- The dengue virus infects about 400 million people every year and is endemic to where 3.6 billion (40%) of the world’s population live.
- Achiko is developing a range of diagnostic tests for other pathogenic diseases applying DNA aptamer technology.
Zurich, 5 November 2021: Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR – Achiko AG (SWX: ACHI, ISIN CH0522213468) (“Achiko”, the “Company”) a global healthtech company currently developing technologies that seek to deliver rapid, affordable diagnostic testing for Covid-19 and a range of other pathogenic diseases announced today the development of a DNA aptamer-based dengue fever diagnostic test.
The Company previously received emergency use approval in Indonesia for its proprietary, low-cost rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test AptameXTM integrated into a digital platform, Teman SehatTM (“Health Buddy”), and has recently secured initial purchase orders. AptameX is based on aptamer technology, a synthetic (artificial) DNA that tightly binds to the spike protein (S1) on the virus’ surface, which is then targeted by the test. It is cost-effective and widely applicable to a vast range of healthcare and medical diagnostics. Achiko intends to offer an array of diagnostic tests based on single-stranded DNA aptamers and enable test kits to be produced with improved accuracy and offered at a low cost.
Dengue Fever Diagnostic
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection widespread throughout the tropics, particularly in the Americas, South East Asia and Western Pacific. There are four types of dengue, and while most conditions cause a mild flu-like illness, it can develop into severe dengue for which there is no treatment to date. According to WHO, dengue is endemic in over 100 countries and has slowly spread to new areas, including Europe, with an estimated 100-400 million infections worldwide each year. Of these, about 500,000 cases are life-threatening, with up to 25,000 deaths annually per the World Mosquito Program.
“The Company is gaining momentum in marketing its Covid-19 diagnostic. We are excited to initiate the development of our second diagnostic test with Teman Sehat as the foundation platform that will enhance the usability and service delivery of various diagnostic tests”, said Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko. “There are parallels in the diagnostics of dengue and Covid-19 where RT-PCR and antigen tests are used to confirm current and past infections. We can apply the same science in isolating a dengue-relevant target protein using DNA aptamer technology to offer another affordable, non-invasive dengue diagnostic.”
“Aptamers are known for their high affinity and specificity for their targets, making them a very effective diagnostic tool. Moreover, they cost only a fraction of what antibodies cost, which is an essential factor to consider in medical diagnostics. In recent decades, research and industry have focused primarily on antibodies which is now a USD 146 billion market. While aptamers have lagged behind antibodies, Achiko has seized this unique opportunity to be a market leader in aptamer diagnostics and we have additional promising diagnostic test products in the pipeline”, added Steven Goh.
As recently announced, Achiko expects to receive additional approval from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health later this month for its optimised second-generation AptameX Covid-19 diagnostic test kit with a simpler supply chain and streamlined test kit. An OEM manufacturer in Taiwan is in the process of being secured and the Company is working on additional formats to AptameX beyond the colourimetric assay approach.
The CE Mark registration for AptameX is underway, and the Company is working to have it completed in the next few months. Once received, the production model will be replicated in other countries, combining local suppliers for plastics and packaging and Taiwanese suppliers for reagent and UV-visible Spectrophotometers.
“This isn’t just another antigen based rapid test platform, this is new chemistry with encouraging new results and opens the door to a structural advantage over any other Covid-19 diagnostic tests”, said Steven Goh.
Digital platform Teman Sehat will be integrated with telehealth platforms in other markets, allowing the Company to offer its range of diagnostic tests to new markets seamlessly.
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.