The development of a DNA aptamer-based dengue fever diagnostic test has been disclosed by Achiko, a healthtech business that develops technology to provide rapid, affordable diagnostic testing for COVID-19 and other pathogenic diseases.
AptameX, a quick COVID-19 diagnostic test incorporated into a digital platform called Teman Sehat (“Health Buddy”), has already acquired emergency use approval in Indonesia, and the company has recently received initial purchase orders. AptameX is based on aptamer technology, which uses synthetic (made) DNA to bind to the virus’s spike protein (S1), which is subsequently targeted by the test.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is common in the tropics, especially in the Americas, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific.
There are four varieties of dengue, and while the majority of cases cause a mild flu-like sickness, severe dengue can develop, for which there is now no therapy. Dengue fever is widespread in over 100 countries, according to the World Health Organization, and has quietly spread to new areas, including Europe, with an estimated 100-400 million infections each year. According to the World Mosquito Program, roughly 500,000 of these cases are life-threatening, resulting in up to 25,000 deaths per year.
“The Company is gaining momentum in promoting its Covid-19 diagnosis,” stated Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko.
Later this month, Achiko plans to get additional permission from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health for its improved second-generation AptameX Covid-19 diagnostic test kit, which features a streamlined supply chain and test kit. Beyond the colourimetric assay approach, an OEM manufacturer in Taiwan is in the process of being secured, and the business is working on new formats for AptameX.
AptameX’s CE Mark registration is in the works, and the company expects to finish it in the next months. The production model will be reproduced in other countries once it is received, merging local plastics and packaging vendors with Taiwanese reagent suppliers.