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Brisbane firm's rapid COVID-19 test about to go to manufacture stage


Brisbane company Anteotech has “locked in’’ its design for a rapid and highly sensitive COVID-19 test and is now trying to put together global manufacturing deals ahead of clinical trials next month.


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The company said it has also found that its test, which had previously focused on nasal swabs, also worked using artificial mucus, which is said confirmed the sensitivity of its technology and meant a less invasive saliva test was possible.

“All design work required to declare a ‘design freeze’ –  the point at which the technical work and inputs are locked in – has now occurred in line with our development schedule and budget,’’ the company told the ASX today.

“We are planning to contract manufacture at multiple sites. In order to supply overseas markets we have signed a memorandum of understanding with Operon, in Spain, to allow detailed planning for manufacturing processes to be undertaken in line with regulatory approval requirements.’’

A manufacturing contract could be signed next year while the company is negotiating with Brisbane based Ellume to use its new Richlands facility for local manufacture.

It said the need for rapid and sensitive testing had not eased because of the advances in developing a vaccine.

It said if the vaccine prevents transmission or just protects against illness was unknown.

“If the latter, achieving herd immunity through immunisation becomes a difficult prospect,’’ the company said.

Chief executive Derek Thompson said only a few saliva tests had been developed and commercialised.

“The next phase is to validate our results in a clinical trial and we are now seeking trial sites and collaboration partners for this step,’’ he said.

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