Anteotech (ASX:ADO) is focused on the market opportunity for rapid COVID-19 tests as the global economy reemerges from the pandemic.

In the company is backing its bullish view by announcing an expanded manufacturing capacity this morning, which it will build to meet “anticipated demand for the range of tests being developed for the EuGeni platform over the next three to five years”.

ADO will deploy some of the placement funds it raised in April ($12m at 26c/share) to do it, and expects to have in-house manufacturing of its EuGeni lateral flow strips by late this year or early next year.

ADO – vertical integration

Shares in ADO edged higher in morning trade to ~35c, down from its late-April highs but up more than 200pc since the start of the year.

Anteotech said the Brisbane-based manufacturing site will allow it to get products to market quicker, and take control of its supply chain as part of a “decentralised and diversified global manufacturing approach”.

The strategy will incorporate the manufacture of the lateral flow strips that contain the relevant antibodies, and the kit assembly which will include pre-filled buffer bottles.

The Brisbane site will facilitate the construction of an additional 12 million strips per year, ADO said.

The expanded manufacturing capability will complement ADO’s existing supply contract with Spanish company Operon for 20m lateral flow strips a year, which it announced earlier this month.

In terms of the strategic rationale for bringing production in-house, ADO highlighted that it would remove the time-consuming process required to transfer complex technical data to a third-party manufacturer.

“With no lengthy technology transfer required, AnteoTech will be able to bring new tests to the market quickly, or support Operon with additional manufacturing should demand exceed their ability to supply,” ADO said.

The lateral flow strips are also easy to transport, so with an expanded production facility ADO will also look to build a diverse range of assembly partners “as demand increases”.

“We are also excited about the prospect of leveraging new cassette assembly and packaging capability around the globe,” ADO CEO Derek Thompson said.

“We are moving swiftly to harness this opportunity to align with the expected increase in demand for EuGeni tests in the future.”

In other biotech news this morning

Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) had an update on its phase 1 clinical trial testing for safety of its chlorotoxin CAR T cell therapy in the treatment of glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Treatment of the first patient in the second dose cohort has now been completed, CHM said. The second cohort is being treated with higher dose levels, along with a dual-route of delivery for the drug treatment.

The test is being carried out in conjunction with California-based medical centre City of Hope.