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EQS-News: Achiko AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
Achiko AG looks back at pivotal year and reaffirms commitment to provide affordable and accurate Covid-19 testing solution
- 2021 was a pivotal year for Achiko, marked by seminal developments and approvals
- With AptameX(TM), Achiko launched an innovative DNA aptamer saliva-based rapid test for Covid-19 as an affordable and effective diagnostic for frequent mass testing
- Second-generation of AptameX received full approval in Indonesia for five years
- Focus on completing CE Mark and commercialization beyond Indonesia in 2022
- In 2022, Achiko looks to further the Company's growth, proceeding to AptameX trials in other countries, completing its CE Mark registration to bring AptameX to other parts of Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa (MENA), and eastern Europe
Zurich, 23 December 2021 - Achiko AG (SIX: ACHI; OTCQB: ACHKF; ISIN CH0522213468) ("Achiko", the "Company") looks back on a pivotal year. In the course of the last 12 months, the Company has created a unique healthtech ecosystem with its affordable, non-invasive Covid-19 rapid test AptameX(TM), integrated with Teman Sehat(TM) (Health Buddy), a digital passport solution that provides assurance services to communities enabling people to confidently go about their daily lives. The seminal launch of the ecosystem was made possible firstly by decisive internal development steps and the approval of the aptamer-based testing kit by the Indonesian authorities, followed by a rapid deployment on the ground as a fully functioning Covid-19 management system.
Achiko's growth continues with the full approval of the second-generation of AptameX in Indonesia for five years and the negotiations now underway for sale at scale in various countries, empowering the Company to remain committed to provide diagnostic testing and pandemic management solutions and services amidst the continued threat of Covid-19 and its variants not only in Indonesia, but globally.
"We believe the pandemic is likely to continue to surprise throughout 2022, as seen with Omicron and how this variant is affecting pandemic management efforts even in countries with high vaccination rates plus boosters," stated Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko. "The threat is clearly more evident in low- and middle-income countries, where vaccine inequality and vaccine hesitancy is greater."
Unlike other rapid testing formats which rely on an antigen responding to the N1 protein, AptameX uses a DNA aptamer, a synthetic strand of DNA, to respond to the non-mutating part of the S1 protein. Results received during in-vitro trials in Spain and Indonesia indicated a greater sensitivity even at low viral loads. At a high industry CT score of 28.3, AptameX delivered a sensitivity of 77%. As the Company has proceeded to commercialisation, subsequent work indicates that the sensitivity numbers improve against lower CT scores. Furthermore, as the system uses software to evaluate the results the additional data allows us to train the system and improve specificity. These results compare favourably to other rapid tests which, whilst often reporting high sensitivity and specificity numbers, are typically at CT values under 25. However, at the higher CT values around 28 where Covid-19 is known to spread, sensitivity often falls to around 10% or less.
As the year proceeded, the Company chose to focus development and commercialisation efforts in Indonesia due to the Company's existing investments in the country. In August, the Company successfully achieved emergency use approval and then for its second generation product, full product registration approval for five years by Indonesia's Ministry of Health.
Production has commenced and been streamlined to Taiwan and Indonesia with key precision materials and instrumentation made in Taiwan, and mass market assembly, plastics, and packaging in Indonesia. The Company envisages that the costs per test kit may be around USD$0.60 initially and fall substantially as the Company scales production. With sufficient notice, capacity in Taiwan may scale to up to several hundred million tests per month, and the local partners in Indonesia have similar experience with that level of scale within the country. When the Company replicates production to other countries, costs may change depending on local manufacturing, assembly, and distribution costs.
"Testing has a key role in getting us back to an old normal," said Goh. "However, PCR tests are often too expensive and slow for many use cases, and antigenic approaches may not be sensitive enough especially in critical cases such as manufacturing, tourism, and leisure, etc. To that end, AptameX is well positioned as an affordable, highly sensitive, and user-friendly alternative."
To finance the operations, the Company raised capital through the use of market based convertible notes from Negma Group Limited and Yorkville Capital Management LLC and moved to a placement with smart money investors in August 2022. To facilitate the capital issue, the Company has received share lending support from current strategic investors including Heracles Investment Group, PT Media Nusantra Citra TBK and Negma Group to facilitate additional fundraising. Further capital issues will require the Company to issue a prospectus in Q2 2022.
"In 2022, we're looking forward to consolidating gains we've made in 2021, enhancing the Board and Management, commercialisation of AptameX beyond Indonesia and adding other complementary aptamer diagnostic products and services," added Goh.
ABOUT ACHIKO AG
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.
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