Jan 26, 2022
Steven Goh is the CEO of Achiko which is developing a COVID-19 test based around using a DNA aptamer, a small strand of oligonucleotides, as an alternative to using an antigen. When saliva is placed in a colloidal solution and read by a spectrophotometer, smart software can then classify if the person is likely to be COVID positive or negative.
Steven elaborates, "The sum of it all is that we believe that we've got possibly one of the tests with the best value for the money. It looks like the cost per test at scale may only be tens of cents. The sensitivity at very low viral loads... And the customer experience is great. It starts with a minty mouthwash and spit in a tube and scan on a spectrophotometer, and hopefully, in a year with the generation three or four product, it'll end up being scanned on your phone."
"In the future, given the advantages that using aptamers give us, yes, we are looking at a polymorphic set of tests where we could actually be able to identify the full range of respiratory diseases and give you a classification. So, one test we'll be able to, in about a year from now, we hope we'll be able to tell if you've got bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, SARS, MERS, which variant of COVID. We believe that's technically possible, given the technology stack that we're using."
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