- Signed major deal with Pengurus Wilayah Nahdlatul Ulama DKI Jakarta, for the use of Covid-19 test AptameX in general assemblies and activities. Located primarily in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama is the world’s largest Islamic organization with over 90 million registered members in Indonesia.
- Reorganised and updated contracts with PT Indofarma Tbk, with an initial 1 million test kits to meet demand, and production planning for more than 5 million test kits a month within 6 months and more than 10 million test kits per month within 12 months.
- Expanded collaboration with PT Indofarma Tbk to include additional aptamer-based diagnostics for Dengue and other diseases with Teman Sehat and convert Teman Sehat to a diagnostics telehealth platform.
Zurich, 20 April 2022: Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR – Achiko AG (SIX: ACHI; OTCQB: ACHKF; ISIN CH0522213468) (“Achiko”, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Marketing and Sales agreement with Pengurus Wilayah Nahdlatul Ulama DKI Jakarta (“PWNU”), the Jakarta District of Nahdlatul Ulama (“NU”), the largest Islamic organisation in the world, located primarily in Indonesia, for the delivery of aptamer-based diagnostics, first to its Jakarta branch of over 4 million members, and on success, to the larger membership of over 90 million registered members.
PWNU intends to promote frequent testing to all of its members with this collaboration, contributing to the Indonesian Government’s efforts to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through its 3T (Testing, Tracing, Treatment) Covid-19 management program. This is in line with PWNU’s objectives to ensure the health and well-being of its members and aid in the economic recovery in the DKI Jakarta community.
“This collaboration is one of NU’s efforts to protect all members of society from the spread of Covid-19 and its variants. This rapid diagnostic test will not only be used by all our members in every general activity of the DKI Jakarta PWNU, but also in special activities. Moreover, because this diagnostic test kit is very affordable and convenient to use, it is hoped that it can help PWNU DKI Jakarta members carry out routine testing. Since the testing process does not insert any objects or liquids into the patient’s body, and can be confirmed based on saliva testing, this does not break the fast,” said Dr. KH. Samsul Ma’arif, MA, Chief Tanfidziyah PWNU DKI Jakarta.
With its population of over 270 million people including a middle class of over 100 million and 20 million indigenous people, cast over 6,000 islands, for Indonesia, Covid-19 presents unique challenges to the economy, health of the population and its healthcare sector. Given Covid-19’s rate of mutation and the rate at which the effect of vaccines and booster shots are waning, developing countries like Indonesia may never be able to ensure a continuous vaccination coverage of its entire population. Since many people cannot afford to stop working even for a few days, the approach of test and isolate is a strong disincentive to testing, and other models such as Test and Treat are needed.
Production and distribution
NU plays a special role in Indonesian life. It has over 90 million registered members and including their families, represents more than half of Indonesia’s 270 million population and operates over 6,000 schools and universities and several hundred hospitals and clinics. The Jakarta chapter alone has over 4 million registered members.
To support this community, Achiko and PT Indonesia Farma Medis’ joint venture company PT Achiko Medika Indonesia (“AMI”) has updated its contractual relationship with PT Indofarma Tbk (“Indofarma”) to include distribution and to commence the immediate production of 1 million test kits over the next few months. Sales will commence later this month, and Achiko expects to produce several million test kits per month in Indonesia after the initial implementation phase. Additionally, Achiko will be securing and developing tests for additional diseases starting with Dengue and looking to a range of other mass market diagnostics to add to the platform.
“We are excited to be providing our AptameX Covid-19 test kits to NU members and their families. The difference in chemistry, using synthetic DNA aptamers compared to antigen-based tests, allows us to offer a friendlier, more sensitive test at an even more affordable price,” said Achiko CEO Steven Goh. “Covid-19 has prompted a revolution in med tech both in telehealth and in diagnostics. Achiko is well positioned to build on its differentiated leading Covid-19 test to develop a wide range of similarly attractive tests for other applications and provide these tests on a cost-effective basis for the entire Indonesian population.”
“Indofarma, as the only one pharmaceutical BUMN in Indonesia, is very proud and fully supports the activities organized by PWNU DKI Jakarta and Achiko in order to meet the need for Covid-19 diagnostic test kits – AptameX for PWNU activities going forward,” said Mr. Arief Pramuhanto President Director, PT Indofarma, Tbk.
The AptameX advantage
By using DNA aptamers, AptameX has many advantages over PCR tests and rapid antigenic tests. PCR Testing whilst extremely sensitive is often demanding to use, expensive and slow. Antigenic approaches rely on scaling the production of Antigens and whilst cheaper and faster, have sensitivity limitations at lower viral loads where Covid-19 is known to transmit. In comparison, a DNA aptamer used in a rapid test format has advantages by cost, specificity, and the ability to scale as a result of its synthetic nature. Achiko has successfully managed to classify positive and negative cases with a comparable high PCR CT Value with cases as high as 33, a level where most current antigen-based test kits simply won’t read.
“We’ve been working on this with our local Partners for some time and it’s exciting to see this finally come to fruition”, said Steven Goh. “We expect to deliver 1m tests as early as within 3 months and our base case is to be delivering 5m tests monthly by 6 months and 10m tests monthly by 12 months respectively.”
“Costs per test are comparable to or substantially lower than antigenic approaches. In the case of Covid-19 testing, typical rapid tests are between USD$3.5 to USD$7 per test. The initial pricing for AptameX is at IDR49,000 (around USD$3.40) and on volume, lower. We think this represents great value for heightened sensitivity, and a more customer friendly test. Distribution costs are around 30%. Materials costs per test start around USD$0.50 per test but on scale may fall below USD$0.25 per test. We estimate costs per test by operations may range from USD$1 to under USD$0.50 depending on scale. After royalty fees to Achiko, net earnings are shared with our 50:50 JV partner. Actual costs may vary depending on market and business conditions.”
The commercial milestone immediately follows a trip by Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko AG, and Dr Michael Edel, the inventor of AptameX to Indonesia to review and streamline production arrangements and milestones achieved by the Company’s Indonesian team with contributions from the company’s partners in Indonesia, Taiwan, Spain and Switzerland. Advances in product operations from quality control tests in Taiwan and Indonesia confirm high level of analytical performance in production including selectivity tests showing that the test works with recent known Covid-19 variants.
The company is now looking to expand its commercial presence in Indonesia and is responding to demand in other countries. The Company expects to complete its CE Mark in the next few weeks.
ABOUT ACHIKO AG
Achiko AG (SIX: ACHI.SW; OTCQB: ACHKF; www.achiko.com) is developing disruptive diagnostic solutions that puts people first. The company’s lead product is a rapid, reliable Covid-19 test with a companion app offering a user-friendly digital health passport. The test and companion app were launched in Indonesia in mid-2021 and an application for CE Mark approval in Europe will be submitted in 2022.
Achiko creates and develops aptamer-based diagnostics through its biotechnology division, AptameXTM and companion health apps via its digital mobile health technology division, Teman SehatTM. The AptameX DNA aptamer tests can be rapidly chemically synthesised, are cost-effective and have wide potential across multiple disease diagnostics. Leveraging AptameX and Teman Sehat, Achiko aims to deliver fast, accurate and affordable diagnostic testing for a range of pathogenic diseases and therapeutic indications in the rapidly evolving healthcare diagnostics field.
Headquartered in Zurich, Achiko has offices in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Seoul and Singapore.
ABOUT NAHDLATUL ULAMA
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), founded in Indonesia in 1926, is the largest independent Islamic organization in the world, with an estimated 90 million members. The organization regularly extends financial assistance to the education and healthcare sectors and takes an active role in solving economic and social problems in the country.
NU, as one of the elements of the nation, upholds its duty to guard the existence of the Republic of Indonesia in various aspects of the life of the nation and state.
NU remains committed to be of service to Indonesians as it vows to find solutions to national problems. As part of the organization’s moral responsibility and its hope for the rise of a better Indonesia, NU helps provide justice and prosperity to the people while maintaining and advocating the traditions and teachings handed down by the founding scholars of NU.
For more information contact Nahdlatul Ulama DKI Jakarta Chapter (PWNU)
H. Emka Farah Mumtaz
T: +62 898 9330 307
PT Indofarma Tbk is the only one pharmaceutical BUMN in Indonesia that focused on the development and production of domestic medical devices that was founded in 1918 and in January 2020 became part of the BUMN Farmasi Holding together with Biofarma and Kimia Farma.
PT Indofarma TBK continues to support the Government of the Republic of Indonesia programs in the health sector and contribute to improving health status and a better quality of life by committing to provide medicines with guaranteed quality and affordable prices for the community. In addition, the Company also supports the efforts of the government of the Republic of Indonesia in accelerating the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic by providing pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as health services. To date, Indofarma has had 321 distribution licenses for medicinal products and medical devices with distribution coverage spread across 29 branches throughout Indonesia.
Further information can be found at https://indofarma.id.
Switzerland & Global
Farner Consulting Ltd.
T: +41 44 266 67 67
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.