Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) share price up on “global first” 30-second COVID-19 test

This micro-cap biotech has big news for ASX investors today.

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A female scientist sits at a microscope in a Universal Biosensors laboratory smiling while her colleague checks beakers of COVID-19 samples in the background.

Image source: Getty Images

The Universal Biosensors Inc (ASX: UBI) share price is in the green after the company announced a licensing deal to commercialise a new rapid COVID-19 test.

Shares in the biotech are swapping hands for 89 cents at the time of writing, up 0.57%. Shortly after the market open, the share price jumped to an intraday high thus far of 94 cents. This is 6.8% higher than yesterday’s close.

Let’s take a look at the news driving positive investor sentiment today.

What is impacting the Universal Biosensors share price?

Universal Biosensors informed ASX investors that it has signed a deal with IQ Science Limited. The deal will commercialise a new rapid COVID-19 test.

The SARS-CoV-2 N-protein detection test will use the company’s electrochemical strip and device technology.

Initial internal validation work found the COVID-19 test can detect the virus within just 30 seconds.

Universal Biosensors has been working with IQ Science founder Dr Shalen Kumar on the technology for 6 months.

The licensing agreement is globally exclusive. Commercialisation fees will be paid either after the test gains regulatory approval, or when the test generates $1 million in sales.

Universal Biosensors will manage funding for the project and gaining all the regulatory approvals required to commercialise the test. If the test is not taken to the market within the next 5 years, the licence will become non-exclusive.

Management comment

Commenting on the COVID-19 test agreement, Universal Biosensors CEO John Sharman said:

The deal with IQ Science is an important breakthrough for UBI since it will be the first time our platform will use aptamers as a detection technique.

Aptamers are a next generation biorecognition element which when combined with our existing technology platform should allow us to detect and measure a large number of targets.

Based on what we know is available in the world today, a COVID-19 Test offering an accurate result within 30 seconds of the patient sample will be the first of its kind globally.

Universal Biosensors share price snapshot

The Universal Biosensors share price has surged by roughly 106% in the past 12 months. For perspective, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is up by more than 11% over the same period.

The company has a market capitalisation of roughly $159 million based on its current share price.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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