In unlocking DNA aptamer technology, we have developed a non-invasive, saliva-based diagnostic test for the detection of Covid-19 with AptameX (formerly Project Gumnuts). The DNA aptamer technology is primed to recognise the spike protein of Covid-19 and spectrophotometry is used for analysis, delivering accurate reproducible results that are available within the hour.
Being synthetic, the use of DNA aptamers provides an accurate encoding with an active agent that is low-cost, durable and readily lends itself to mass production, all of which are critical and valuable advantages when compared to other testing methods (including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and rapid Antigen tests).
AptameX works in synergy with our mobile app Teman Sehat (Health Buddy), to deliver a mobile telehealth and digital passporting service, providing a way for populations to be tested on an everyday basis.
Initial trials have been completed in Spain and Indonesia, and we have partnered with research institutes to better understand the acceptance and practicality of undertaking mass testing within a segment of those populations. Initial testing using the lab protocol, indicates 91% sensitivity and 85% specificity, where the company expects that as this is put into a commercial format, these results will continue to improve. Next steps see the completion of regulatory approvals, getting the technology into test kits and moving them into the market in 2021.
Beyond Covid-19, the technology can be used to detect a range of human pathogens. Depending on the desired outcome, aptamers can be designed to distinguish among viral strains, detect different variants or have a pool of different aptamers that is specific to each variant. Aptamers can also be selected against chemicals, opening the field for the on-site testing of antibiotics detection and control of antibiotics resistance testing. There are many unrealised opportunities for DNA aptamer led diagnostic testing, and Achiko is positioned well to capitalise on them.AptameX is licensed with exclusive commercialisation rights from Regenacellx.sl.