AnteoTech's (ASX: ADO) plans to bring a rapid COVID-19 test to the market have been given a significant shot in the arm through a $1.4 million Queensland Government grant, demonstrating Brisbane's strength as an emerging biotech hub in the fight against the pandemic.
AnteoTech's development of a rapid testing system for the virus follows the success of fellow Brisbane company Ellume which is already exporting its rapid-testing system to the US.
Both companies are in discussion on a potential manufacturing deal as Ellume produces tests in commercial quantities from its new manufacturing facility in Brisbane.
Ellume, which last month received US Food and Drug Administration approval for its tests, is planning to send 20 million to the COVID-ravaged country by the end of this year.
AnteoTech has developed two separate rapid tests using swab samples from the nose and throat to detect antigens in infected patients and blood samples to detect antibodies in recovered patients.
AnteoTech's high-sensitivity COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) is based on the company's proprietary binding technology that employs global advancements in assay detection systems for the early detection and isolation of infected patients.
Both the Ellume and AnteoTech tests deliver results in just 15 minutes.
AnteoTech is moving to the next phases of development to further lower the limit of detection, conduct clinical studies and gain regulatory approvals. This is expected to take six to nine months.
The company, which has limited production capacity at its Brisbane facility, is also preparing to outsource scaled manufacturing capacity using partners such as Ellume.
The latest developments in rapid-testing technology comes as the number of COVID-19 infections globally has topped 96 million and the number of deaths has exceeded two million.
AnteoTech CEO Derek Thomson describes the latest advances in the development of the rapid-test system as an important milestone for the company.
"We believe our competency and product is unique and can make a substantial difference in the global fight against the COVID-19 virus," he says.
"With the support of the Queensland Government, we hope not only to successfully deliver this project, but create valuable supply chains to ensure the success of future projects."
Steven Miles, the Queensland Minister for State Development, describes the support of AnteoTech as an important step to develop new locally based manufacturing capabilities.
"On product launch Anteotech will have built-capacity to produce a large volume of tests at its facility at Eight Mie Plains," Miles says.
"This project will generate more than $2 million in investment to the Queensland economy and firm up vital industry supply chains within six to 12 months."
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