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Archer Exploration to produce disease-detecting biosensor from graphene with leading German biotech

The company, which is spinning out its exploration assets, will draw on printable graphene components derived from its Campoona graphite deposit in South Australia.

Archer graphene in a device
Archer is focused on innovative technologies

Archer Exploration Limited (ASX:AXE) has progressed the human health side of its advanced materials business, signing a material transfer agreement (MTA) with a leading German biotechnology company.

The partners with work together to develop an electrochemical biosensor that uses printable graphene components in an effort to detect diseases.

 

These components have been produced as part of Archer’s collaboration agreement with University of Adelaide ARC Graphene Hub.

Archer reported today that its new binding, non-exclusive agreement with the German biotechnology company — which it called a “reputable vitro diagnostic medical device manufacturer” — would allow an in vitro diagnostics study between the partners for an infectious disease serology.

The German manufacturer, which has been operating for more than 40 years, and Archer plan to convert the MTA into a collaboration agreement in the “near term”.

Archer acknowledged it had not named the partner and employer of more than 110 staff and said this was to “avoid circumspection” due to the non-exclusive nature of the parties’ agreement.

The Sydney and South Australia-based company said ARC Graphene Hub would continue with its focus on biosensing componentry, a complementary effort.

READ: Archer Exploration highlights advanced materials business strategy amid exploration divestments

Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair reported today: “This represents the first opportunity for Archer to work collaboratively with a reputable European, customer-facing biotech company.

“In a short period of time, we have leveraged the positive outcomes of our collaboration agreement with the ARC Graphene Hub, to progress our strategy in the key focus area of human health.

“We are confident that we can rapidly progress our biosensor development towards markets that target the use of infectious disease detection”.

Next steps

Archer and its new German biotech partner will identify technical and commercial opportunities to meet biosensor technology gaps at low costs and with a variety of biosensing devices.

The partners will kick off their study and try a variety of products to diagnose viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal diseases while evaluating and optimising graphene inputs and the performance of graphene-ink biosensor components.

Graphene Hub will continue to play a role in contributing to the development of a functional electrochemical carbon-based biosensor.

Archer’s hub collaboration gives it access to infrastructure for preparing graphene-based materials such as ink and the expertise of people who work with these materials.

Markets and Markets has forecast the graphene inks and printed electronic device biotechnology market segment is set to grow to US$27 billion by 2022.

Transforming the company

Choucair told Proactive Investors’ Stocktube video channel today the biotechnology space was just one area of emerging opportunity the company would focus upon as the company shifted its business focus to advanced materials.

He said: “Archer’s in the unique position now to offer shareholders an opportunity to be exposed to really innovative technologies, like quantum computing, and the advanced materials that underpin them.”

IBIS World revealed last year the global biotechnology industry was worth US$328 billion.

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