Why the Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) share price is shooting 36% higher today

The Universal Biosensors(ASX: UBI) share price is rocketing today after the company made two important announcements to the ASX.

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The Universal Biosensors, Inc. (ASX: UBI) share price is rocketing today, up 36%. The positive price movement after two company announcements: an agreement for cancer detection technology and an exclusive supply agreement.

At the time of writing, shares in the medical diagnostics company are trading at 65 cents each, after shooting up to a 52-week high of 85 cents near the open. By comparison, the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is 0.28% lower.

Let’s take a closer look at today’s announcements and how they might affect the Universal Biosensors share price.

Cancer detection technology

In its first statement to the ASX, the company declared it “has entered into an exclusive licence and supply agreement with Lubris BioPharma LLC…” to commercialise a biosensor test that can detect and monitor cancer.

Universal said the Tn biosensor was jointly developed by Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Wollongong using technology supplied by Lubris.

The agreement between Universal Biosensors and Lubris will be global, exclusive, and perpetual, and covers all intellectual property rights, commercialisation, development and manufacturing rights.

Universal Biosensors will own all new intellectual property. The biosensor has already been clinically tested on 1,000 patients.

Speaking on this announcement, Universal Biosensors CEO John Sharman said:

To be able to identify and measure, then monitor the rate of a healthy human cell becoming a cancer cell from a handheld point-of-care biosensor device is an exciting prospect for UBI.

…the blood testing market for the monitoring of cancer remission patients annually is estimated at $17 billion. It would be wonderful if this initiative could improve the lives of many of the 131 million cancer remission patients around the world.

He added:

The next step to develop a commercial product is to ensure the Tn biosensor can be reproduced on our manufacturing line and measured reliably using patients’ whole blood. Based on our initial feasibility we estimate this could take 3 years and cost between $5 – $7 million. UBI has $25 million of cash reserves and no debt.

Exclusive supply agreement

In its second statement that is shooting up the Universal Biosensors share price today, the company updated an exclusive, global supply agreement with Lubris.

Lubris will supply Universal Biosensors with an antifouling coating called Lubricin that, when applied to an electrochemical biosensor, can improve its detection power by 1 million times more. It can be used in many applications, including human health, veterinary science, wine testing, and environmental research.

According to Universal Biosensors, the supply agreement does not contain any specific minimum purchase requirements. However, if Universal Biosensors is unsuccessful in commercialising its product, the agreement will become non-exclusive.

Speaking on the supply agreement, Mr Sharman said:

The agreement for the supply of Lubricin for use on UBI’s electrochemical biosensor platform is a generational advancement for UBI’s technology.

Our strategy is to partner with companies that have developed biosensors in large markets which can be used on our hand-held platform technology. Our ambition is to develop a stable of revenue generating biosensor products capable of detecting analytes of interest in key industries,

Universal Biosensors share price snapshot

Including today massive increase, the Universal Biosensors share price has gained 261% over the past 12 months and is up 37% year-to-date. 

Universal Biosensors has a market capitalisation of $122.9 million.

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