Archer is working on disease-detecting graphene ‘biosensors’; shares gain
Graphene player Archer Exploration has partnered with an unnamed leading German biotech company as it looks to tap into the global biosensor market, which is expected to grow to $US27 billion by 2021.
Archer (ASX:AXE) shares — which have traded between 5.7c and 19c over the past year — jumped 14 per cent to 10c on the news.
Scientists are finding more and more uses for the so-called “wonder material” graphene — electronics, sensors, aircraft, green tech solutions – possibly even wallpaper that can generate electricity, industrial robotics and sporting equipment.
Archer and its German biotech partner want to use graphene in an electrochemical biosensor capable of detecting diseases.
The German biotech is said to specialise in biosensors that can detect diseases in vitro (in other words in test tube experiments).
The printable graphene components are derived from Archer’s Campoona graphite deposit in South Australia, as part of the collaboration agreement between Archer and The University of Adelaide.
The deal is non-exclusive, but Archer hopes to move to an exclusive collaboration agreement “in the near term” — which is why it’s not naming the German company.
Archer chief Dr Mohammad Choucair said it was the first opportunity for Archer to work collaboratively with a reputable European, customer-facing biotech company.
“We are confident that we can rapidly progress our biosensor development towards markets that target the use of infectious disease detection,” he said.
Archer is not currently making any money, and held $2.75m in cash and cash equivalents at the end of June.
There are plenty of market opportunities for ASX-listed players like Archer Exploration (ASX:AXE), First Graphene (ASX:FGR), Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) and Hexagon Resources (ASX:HXG), which have all shown they can make graphene out of their graphite.