AIM-listed biotechnology firm Avacta Group (LON:AVCT) saw its shares drop by 3.16% to 139.45p (as of 14:50 BST) despite announcing that it had reached the prototype stage on a clinical diagnostic test for Coronavirus. The next step will be to run the test on the installed base of mass spectrometers in the US and UK to evaluate and optimise the assay before manufacturing, validation, and regulatory approval.
CEO Dr. Alastair Smith commented: “I am very pleased with the rapid progress made by our partners at Adeptrix and delighted that the Affimer reagents that we have developed to detect the SARS-COV-2 spike protein are working very well in the BAMS assay. This bodes well for all our COVID-19 antigen test development programmes.
We are now looking forward to testing the prototype BAMS assay with patient samples in the UK very soon, whilst Adeptrix does the same at a site in the US. This will keep us on track for launch of a product for professional use in the summer.
A COVID-19 BAMS assay could provide highly sensitive and specific testing for up to a thousand samples per day in the hospital setting using standard equipment that is available but not currently used for coronavirus testing thus contributing significantly to an increase in global testing capacity .
We continue to make very good progress with Cytiva on the saliva-based antigen test and I look forward to updating the market soon on both of these product developments as well as future additional partnerships“.