Achiko AG: Achiko Announces Provisional Patent Filing for Novel Low-Cost Saliva Covid-19 Test Kit

August 19, 2020 - 06:24
Achiko AG: Achiko Announces Provisional Patent Filing for Novel Low-Cost Saliva Covid-19 Test Kit

  • A provisional patent for the novel DNAaptamer and saliva Covid-19 test kit has been lodged
  • Codenamed "Gumnuts", the test isextremely low cost, convenient and easy to use, significantly cheaper thancurrent RNA and antigen-based test kits
  • A world-class international team of scientisthas been assembled for development and commercialisation
  • Clinical trials will commence shortly, witha view to commercial availability before the end of 2020.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - EQS Newswire - 19 August 2020 - Achiko AG (SIX:ACHI, ISIN CH0522213468) ispleased to announce progress with a non-intrusive and affordable novel Covid-19test kit, codenamed "Gumnuts". With the assistance from Australianintellectual property firm FB Rice (Melbourne), developer"RCX") has filed a provisional patent over the technology. Achikoholds the exclusive commercialisation rights in exchange for a royalty andtechnical advice.

The Company has assembled a world-class internationally recognised team forthe development and commercialisation of Gumnuts. The team is led by Dr MichaelJ. Edel (Chief Scientist) and Dr Thomas Pouplin, joined by Dr JittapornWattanaseree and Dr Joalin Lim. Additionally, a larger science andcommercialisation organisation that spans across Spain, Switzerland, Thailand,Singapore and Indonesia supports the team.

The planned Gumnuts kit is assembled around DNA aptamers and goldnanoparticles, combined with a saliva sample, and is proceeding to clinicaltrials shortly.

"After a significant number of years, projects and papers onnanoparticle bio-conjugation, we are now engaging studies onnanoparticle-aptamer bioconjugates for detection and actuation. What appeals inaptamers to us is their chemical robustness. This eases their industrialproduction while facilitating their use, as they offer longer shelf-life,tolerance to environmental changes and more stable performance in differentmedia", said Dr Victor Pentes, ICREA Research Professor, InstitucióCatalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, VHIR and ICN2, Barcelona.

The first of many diagnostics planned to use the technology, Gumnuts isdesigned to be affordable and convenient. It delivers results in minutes andthe testing experience is comparable to brushing one's teeth. Sold alone orcombined with Achiko's pandemic management platform Teman Sehat ("HealthBuddy"), the Company believes that the technology play a crucial role inresolving the world's problem with the pandemic.

Gumnuts has several differentiators and advantages over PCR, RT-PCR, LAMP,antigen and antibody test kits, all of which are currently being used globally.Current testing approaches may be constrained by reagents (supply chain, shelflife, etc.) or the required equipment (PCR/RT-PCR machines, trainedtechnicians, etc.). They are confined in practical use (e.g. time to results,invasiveness, etc.) and suffer from accuracy issues (e.g. antigen tests) orhigh cost due to their structure. In contrast, DNA aptamers are known to becomparatively stable and may have a shelf life of more than a year at roomtemperature. The prospective materials required by Gumnuts may cost less thanUSD 1.00, dropping to only be a few cents when mass-produced. This opens up arealm of possibility for embedding testing in day-to-day applications beyondthe approaches known to date.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact around the world. Torespond effectively, a precise and fast diagnosis is needed. The currenttesting technologies around PCR, antigen, and antibody test have problems suchas the high cost of PCR tests and the time it takes to deliver results.Antibody tests miss the infection cycle and there are design weaknesses andreliability problems with antigen testing," said Dr Abdullah Qayyum,Epidemiologist, Riau Hospital Supervisory Agency, Indonesia. "Low cost andeffective testing are key elements in responding to the pandemic. Research inalternative methods is needed now. We are excited to be involved in thisproject doing research and testing."

Clinical trials are set to begin shortly. If the trials prove successful,large-scale production of the test kit will begin with a view to commercialavailability before the end of 2020. Currently, the Company is selectingmanufacturers as well as distribution partners. It is also continuingdevelopment at a wider range of assay approaches for Covid-19.

"Our novel test kit is a comprehensive offering for government andindustry, seeking solutions to manage their economies, sporting events, travel,education, etc. We're excited about and encouraged by the progress withvaccines. However, the Company believes that testing will be an issue for manyyears to come," says Steven Goh, CEO and Director of Achiko. "Alongwith Teman Sehat, our suite of solutions may allow governments and businessesto move to a broader proactive testing approach covering nearly the entirepopulation."

Beyond the initial application of DNA aptamers to the Covid-19 pandemic andan array of assay formats (electronic, lateral, etc.), the Company is lookingtowards diagnostics for dengue, tuberculosis, cancer biomarkers and numerousother pathogens and believes that in combination with Teman Sehat, thetechnology may form the foundation of a diagnostics-as-a-service and telehealthbusiness.

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-lookingstatements concerning Achiko AG and its business. Such statements involvecertain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which couldcause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements ofAchiko AG to be materially different from any future results, performance orachievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Achiko AGis providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake toupdate any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of newinformation, future events or otherwise.

About Achiko AG

Headquartered in Switzerland, with a global market focus, Achiko AG (ISINCH0522213468) is an entrepreneurial platform company, utilising the knowledgeand experience of its people and key technologies to enable transformation invarious industries.

Through innovations in technology and regulation along with the company'sunique operating footprint from Europe to Asia, Achiko seeks to transformmarkets and bring unique value to its customers, people, and shareholders.Achiko's core platform consists of user registration and payment services whichare accessible to application developers. A messaging service and othercommunity based social features are being launched in late 2020. Achikosupports innovations in healthcare through its Teman Sehat ("Health Buddy")ecosystem, a novel testing technology being developed with, aswell as consumer payments and finance and games and entertainment.

For any inquiries regarding Teman Sehat or Gumnuts, please contact

Further information about Achiko AG can be found at

Further information about the Teman Sehat ecosystem can be found at

Further information about can be found at

For further Information about the research and development team:

- Dr Michael J. Edel, chief scientist ( )

- Dr Jittaporn Wattanaseree (

- Dr Thomas Pouplin (

- Dr Joalin Lim, (

- Prof. Dr Víctor F. Puntes, (

- Dr Abdullah Qayyum (