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Avacta coronavirus rapid test approaching ‘clinical validation’

Avacta test could allow nightclubs and theatres to reopen

Avacta Group, the medicinal drug company, has provided an update on its ongoing development of a rapid coronavirus test.

The announcement follows a report by the Huffington Post that the UK Government is seeking to use the SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test to assist in the government’s plan, known as Operation Moonshot, to open nightclubs, theatres and sporting arenas.

Avacta’s test provides a result within five to ten minutes, which could allow for Operation Moonshot to go ahead.

Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group, commented on the launch of the rapid test. Smith noted that Avacta’s tests are progressing towards full clinical validation, as well the company being able to meet commercial demands.  

“The significant progress achieved in both the Diagnostics and Therapeutics Divisions during 2020 has already enabled us to deliver major value inflection points during the first weeks of 2021,” Smith said.

“We are very excited by the commercial potential of our scalable, rapid coronavirus test. The recently announced clinical data strongly reflects the excellent analytical performance demonstrated in the lab and suggests that it may be, to date, the most sensitive S1 spike protein lateral flow test. We are now confidently proceeding into full clinical validation to support a CE Mark, with a potential commercial launch for professional use around the end of the first quarter of this year.”

“Despite unprecedented pressures on the Diagnostics Division, we now have in place the infrastructure to support the commercial launch of this test. Importantly, we are close to completing the establishment of a complex supply chain for the scalable manufacture of the test kits and we are making timely progress in instituting a quality management system to support the required ISO13485 accreditation for medical devices.”

Avacta Group’s share value rose on Wednesday by 3.75% to 184.67p just before lunchtime. This followed a spike on Monday to 210.85p as rumours intensified over the company’s role in testing the UK’s population in the coming months.

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