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Archer Materials makes progress towards graphene biosensors for disease detection

“We have rapidly advanced from raw material feedstock to prototypes of a portable battery-powered sensing device that can incorporate biological material,” says CEO.

Archer Materials Ltd - Archer Materials makes progress towards graphene biosensors for disease detection

Archer Materials Ltd (ASX:AXE) is making progress with its graphene-based biosensor technology with recent work spanning technology development, commercialisation and patent prosecution.

This work includes the development of portable hardware to interface with Archer’s biosensor technology with simplified sensor response.

Antigen inks tested

The company has also formulated and successfully tested inkjet-printable, water-based antigen inks that increase the types of diseases that could be detected.

Also, computational chemistry simulations are ongoing to efficiently predict detection mechanisms for specific diseases for greater device accuracy.

Shares have been as much as 15% higher to 69 cents intra-day and since the start of May have risen from 18 cents, reaching a high of 81.5 cents on May 26.

Rapid advancement

Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said: “There is no doubt that diseases have a devastating effect on economies and there is value in advancing disease diagnosis using simpler, more accurate biosensors.

“However, there are only a limited number of materials that can perform this [biosensing], and they require innovative development.

“We have rapidly advanced from raw material feedstock to prototypes of a portable battery-powered sensing device that can incorporate biological material.”

Progress in the company’s graphene-based biosensor technology development.

A number of achievements have been made recently that relate to the biosensing interface, data processing, and design and fabrication of materials electrodes critical to the biosensor technology function.

Prototypes developed

This has led to the design, testing and fabrication of early-stage portable battery-powered prototypes employing an electronic interface for biosensing, which circumvents the need for cumbersome instrumentation and allows for point of use application.

Archer has developed a set of new graphene materials that could be directly applied for enhanced biosensing and their processing into biocompatible inks in water-based solvents, eliminating the use of hazardous and non-biocompatible chemicals, increasing the scope of biomolecules that can be detected. Laboratory synthesis was complemented with computational chemistry to calculate and visualise these materials candidates at the atom-level for their suitability in biomolecular sensing.

Choucair said: “This early-stage work has the potential to allow much simpler and more effective sensing where early diagnosis of life-threatening diseases can lead to much improved outcomes.”

Commercialisation strategy

Archer is at an early stage of commercialising the graphene-based biotechnology and has engaged with independent technical and commercial advisors within Australia's biotechnology industry.

This has led to the development of a comprehensive strategic commercialisation roadmap, which remains commercial-in-confidence.

Independent research conducted by the advisors indicates that within the multi-billion-dollar biosensing industry, commercial transactions in the 5-year period between December 2019 related to diagnostics in development (ie not marketed):

  • The average acquisition value of disclosed terms exceeded US$100 million; and
  • Of the 100-plus partnerships and asset purchases, disclosures that were made indicated average transactions of US$20 million.

Value in the biosensor industry is primarily generated through the development of disruptive technology, strong portfolios of intellectual property, and access/ownership of technology infrastructure.

Patent progress

Archer maintains 100% ownership of a patent application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to protect and commercialise intellectual property associated to the graphene-based biosensor materials technology.

In this regard, the International Search Report and Opinion of the International Searching Authority has been received and is under review.

The PCT continues to progress and is in the International Phase in the patent granting procedure, which is the first of two main phases, the second being the National Phase.

Next steps

Archer’s commercial strategy involves applying the triple-helix business model for biotechnology innovation to develop printable graphene-based biosensor componentry and sublicence the associated intellectual property rights by:

  • Developing commercial prototype in-vitro diagnostic biosensing devices by assembling and testing proprietary graphene-based componentry capable of enabling rapid multi-disease detection and device integration;
  • Prosecuting strong patent applications in Australia, the US and EU and to protect the intellectual property rights to the biosensor technology; and
  • Establishing commercial partnerships with highly resourced organisations in the biotechnology industry with existing global distribution channels.

Quick facts: Archer Materials Ltd

Price: 0.47 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $105.67 m

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