Collaboration to use aptamers in a device to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

Aptamer Group, developers of Aptamer reagents, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Material Transfer Agreement (“MTA”) with the Integumen. This recently established collaboration is to use  Aptamers in a device to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Once ready, the Aptamers will play a key part towards identifying localised COVID-19 hotspots in real-time, in wastewater and alerting authorities before the spread of the disease to the wider community.

Integumen is providing the Aptamer Group with access to one of its manufacturing facilities (which specialises in laboratory grown human skin equivalents specifically designed to host bacteria, virus and fungi), situated in Sand Hutton, North Yorkshire, England where the pilot device will be tested on the SARS-CoV-2 model virus. Once initial testing is complete, validation on the real SARS-CoV-2 virus will be carried out at the containment level 3 (“CL3”) laboratory in the University of Aberdeen.

The MTA formalises Integumen’s access to Aptamer Group’s raw materials for coating Aptamers on silicate wafer surfaces at nano-scale in order to detect the virus in wastewater using Integumen’s real-time alert system.

Once validated, Integumen and the Aptamer Group will enter into a longer-term supply agreement with Integumen manufacturing and commercialising real-time pathogenic virus and bacteria detection devices through its production, sales, marketing and distribution channel partners around the world.

Gerard Brandon CEO Integumen plc  commented:

“Integumen’s business model is built on collaborating and cooperating with partners such as the Aptamer Group who have technologies that deliver solutions to major societal problems like COVID-19. This is yet another example of  the diagnostics industry working in collaboration to  rapidly bring effective solutions in the fight against this global pandemic.”

Dr Arron Tolly, CEO of Aptamer Group Ltd. commented:

“We are delighted to be working with the Integumen team to transfer developments over the past few weeks by our team in delivering Aptamers that capture the SARS-CoV-2 virus into a real-time wastewater detection solution. The World Health Authority provides guidance on the prevention of COVID19 via wastewater and we are excited to be able to play a role in the prevention of the spread of the disease .“

The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.