The Archer Materials Ltd (ASX: AXE) share price was charging ahead today following a technical progress update on the company’s biochip.
At market close, the Archer share price was 4.9% higher at $1.285.
Archer progresses biochip development
Investors were driving up the Archer share price today after the materials technology company announced a major breakthrough with its biochip technology.
In a release, Archer advises it has developed its first biochemical reactions for detecting nucleic acid sequences. This allows small droplets of biological samples to be processed and analysed using special sensor devices integrated within the biochip.
Nucleic acid markers are useful for monitoring a person’s health and determining if a disease is present. Commonly known techniques to analyse biological samples for nucleic acids include polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The techniques developed by Archer have special significance because COVID-19 is detected through PCR testing.
Last month, the company used advanced fabrication techniques to achieve features like hair-thin microfluidic channels. To put this in perspective, these channels are less than 20 micrometres in width (about 3x thinner than human hair).
The channels enable sample processing as well as transportation into smaller built-in sensors for analysing biochemical targets.
The latest development marks another milestone in Archer’s pursuit of commercialising its biochip technology.
Best-in-class capabilities in nanofabrication is a global competitive advantage in the multibillion-dollar point of care medical diagnostics industry. There are few companies developing and commercialising biochips because it’s difficult to achieve precision engineering at the nano scale.
What did Archer management say?
Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair commented:
This is a significant achievement, as the Company has now, with its in-house capability, developed the biochemical foundations to potentially allow for future operations and applications of Archer’s biochip in the detection of various diseases.
There are few examples of lab-on-a-chip technologies that detect nucleic acids without the need for PCR. Archer’s biochemical processes could potentially allow for on-chip detection of pathogens, with several practical advantages, including eliminating cold-logistics supply chain requirements and the need for PCR, if favourable.
About the Archer share price
The Archer share price has surged by 138% in the past 12 months. However, the company’s shares are still more than 50% off their all-time high of $3.08 reached in mid-August.
Based on valuation grounds, Archer presides a market capitalisation of $318 million, with 247 million shares on issue.