New Canine Lymphoma Blood Test Launched Wed, 27th Nov 2013 10:01 RNS Number : 0531U Avacta Group PLC 27 November 2013
27 November 2013
Avacta Group plc
("Avacta" or the "Group")
New canine lymphoma blood test launched
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the global provider of proprietary diagnostic tools, consumables and reagents for human and animal healthcare announced at the recent London Vet Show that its new canine lymphoma blood test was now available to veterinary practices in the UK.
Lymphoma is one of the most common malignancies to affect dogs, accounting for approximately 20% of all canine tumours. It can be seen in any breed of dog with some breeds showing particularly high incidence, including Golden Retrievers, Boxers, German Shepherds and Terriers.
Avacta has completed the development of the new canine lymphoma blood test (cLBT) which is now being provided to vets through reference laboratory services in the UK under Avacta's SensiTest® brand. Avacta is now seeking commercial partners in global markets who will be supplied with testing kits and in due course the cLBT will also be offered on the in-clinic Sensipod testing platform.
The cLBT enables detection of lymphoma up to eight weeks prior to physical symptoms (swollen lymph nodes) becoming easily detectable by palpation. This simple blood test is more objective and sensitive than palpation, is able to differentiate clearly between benign and malignant lymphadenopathy, and is aimed at allowing veterinarians to diagnose and treat lymphoma patients earlier in the disease progression which should lead to better outcomes. The cLBT has also been shown in clinical trials to be effective in remission monitoring if used monthly following chemotherapy.
The cLBT is a simple procedure that requires serum from 2ml of whole blood. The test measures the level of c-reactive protein and haptoglobin using Avacta's proprietary tests, then combines the results with a unique and proprietary algorithm to provide accurate results to assist in the diagnosis of lymphoma that could not be achieved with the measurement of a single biomarker alone.
Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta Commented: "The London Vet Show 2013 brings together more veterinary professionals and exhibitors than any other event in the UK, making it the perfect platform for Avacta Animal Health to launch its latest innovation - the canine lymphoma blood test. This is the first of many new tests that will be made available to vets through our reference laboratory and test kits, and on our in-clinic analyser Sensipod® in the next year or so. I am particularly pleased that this approach of using multiple biomarkers that are combined with a multivariate algorithm, is proving to be a powerful generic approach which we are applying to other high value testing opportunities with good results."
I have no idea why there should be a rise in the sp, maybe it's the MMs just playing with it. This board is usually quiet because we are confident of the company's progress and await what we hope will be its inevitable northward journey. Sorry I can't be more specific but bigger fish frying elsewhere.
Affimer is the sort of word that gives Aim a bad name. Investors are unaccustomed to grappling with a dictionary when trying to understand a company’s business case. But Avacta, the animal health and biotechnology business, may be about to reward those who made the effort to understand. The company has three arms, but its affimers business may be the strongest. Affimers are an engineered alternative to antibodies based on a small protein scaffold. Antibodies are used to discover new drugs. But they have to be collected from animals, are expensive and unstable. Avacta this month signed its first licence deal with a biotech company, Blueberry Therapeutics, to use Affimers in the development of new therapies for the treatment of drug resistant bacterial infection. Alastair Smith, founder and chief executive, believes “we are on the cusp of something big. We are building momentum”. Matt Johnson, who joined as head of R&D in September, agrees. He left Adcam, a leading antibody provider, to join Avacta at its Wetherby base in West Yorkshire. The company was spun out of Leeds University. “He’s no fool,” says Mr Smith, the physicist founder. “He clearly believes there is an interesting opportunity.” The antibody market is worth $50bn annually. Avacta’s other arms are animal health – it makes machines that allow vets to run tests in their surgery that they would once have had to send to a lab – and analytics, which helps the biotech industry to test compounds at an early stage to see if they might be effective. Results announced last week were apparently underwhelming. Revenue fell from £3.13m to £2.7m while losses widened from £1.6m to £1.9m. However, the business can quickly scale up and has finally perfected is veterinary device. Numis, the in-house broker, marked up the shares. Mr Smith admits the journey has been “frustrating” for investors but they have stuck by him. Avacta raised £17.2m since 2006, with a £4.7m funding round just this year. IP Group, which specialises in university spinouts, still has 30 per cent. It is the kind of company Aim is there for and has used it well.
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