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Aptamer Group and DeepVerge expand partnership for Optimer-enabled wastewater monitoring


Aptamer Group Ltd., the developer of Optimer® binders to enable innovation in the life science industry, is pleased to announce the expansion of its existing partnership with DeepVerge PLC. This will include the development of multiple new Optimer binders to support additional testing capabilities for DeepVerge’s Microtox® PD wastewater monitoring system.

In July 2020, Aptamer Group and DeepVerge entered into a collaboration to support the development of DeepVerge’s Microtox PD wastewater monitoring system for COVID-19, with the use of Aptamer Group’s Optimer binders for SARS-CoV-2. The integration of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-specific Optimer binders into Microtox PD enabled the detection and alert of the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater to identify hotspots of disease outbreak. Following DeepVerge’s initial analysis of the Optimer binders in the Microtox PD system and successful Phase 3 field trials, in parallel with binders from different suppliers, DeepVerge has now selected Aptamer Group as its preferred supplier and the companies have agreed to expand the partnership.

As part of this expansion, Aptamer Group will develop multiple new Optimer binders to viral targets beyond coronaviruses, with the next development phase including Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV), Escherichia coli, Influenza A, Influenza B and Polio, for incorporation into the Microtox PD system.  The expansion of the partnership includes an additional upfront payment of an undisclosed amount, with Optimer supply costs and double-digit royalties on any commercialised product.

The use of Optimer binders in Microtox PD allows for the highly sensitive and specific detection of viral particles within wastewater systems, providing ongoing, real-time water monitoring. The system can act as a long-term early-warning solution for the remote monitoring of disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19 in specific regions, and of water quality, through PMMoV. Optimer binders are oligonucleotide-based affinity ligands that offer highly specific and sensitive target detection in addition to a small size and robust performance, which makes them ideal for incorporation into environmental biosensing platforms, such as Microtox PD.

“We are delighted with this expansion of our agreement with DeepVerge, with whom we have developed a strong collaborative partnership. DeepVerge’s wastewater monitoring system is an innovative solution to help combat disease outbreaks through the early detection of hotspots. This broadened collaboration is a strong validation of our Optimer technology and its potential to deliver highly sensitive and robust binders for use across the spectrum of life sciences.”

Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group


 “We are excited to move to the next phase of development with the team at the Aptamer Group. They have demonstrated a robust platform contributing to the success of the Modern Water Microtox®PD pandemic response units with Optimer binding agents that allow detection and ease of identification of the target pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. We look forward to working together to expand on the success so far with plans for mass production of multiplex chipsets with a range of Optimer binders.”

Gerard Brandon, Chief Executive Officer of DeepVerge PLC

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