(Sharecast News) - Cancer therapies and diagnostics company Avacta announced on Monday that its 'AffiDX' SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test detected the dominant new variants of coronavirus, known as the B117 or 'Kent', variant, and the D614G variant, as well as the original strain.
The AIM-traded firm said the SARS-CoV-2 virus, like most viruses, mutates over time into slightly different variants.
Some of those variants had been recognised as being more infectious, and thus more rapidly transmissible, with the potential to become dominant strains.
Early on in the pandemic a variant referred to as D614G appeared, which rapidly became the dominant strain globally.
The B117 variant, which was first observed in Kent, was prevalent in the UK, had been found in more than 50 countries and, according to public health and microbiology professor Sharon Peacock at the University of Cambridge, was likely to become the next dominant strain globally.
Avacta said it had carried out analytical tests with the spike proteins isolated from both the B117 and D614G variants, and confirmed that its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test detected both of those variants, as well as the original strain.
"We are pleased to confirm that Avacta's rapid antigen test detects the B117 strain, an important variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and one which is especially prevalent in the UK," said chief executive officer Dr Alastair Smith.
"We have also shown that our test detects the D614G variant, the current dominant global strain.
"We will continue to monitor the performance of the Affimer reagents with future dominant variants as they become available to us."
Dr Smith said that, since the Affimer reagents the company uses in its range of SARS-CoV-2 tests did not bind in the region of the spike protein where the dominant mutations appear, the company did not anticipate that the performance of the tests would be affected.
"Now that we have developed a robust lateral flow test architecture, we can easily insert Affimer reagents that can be very rapidly developed for new variants if necessary, and indeed in response to any other future pandemic virus.
"Our next key milestone is full clinical validation and CE marking of our lateral flow antigen test which we anticipate will be around the end of this quarter and I look forward to updating the market when that milestone is achieved."
At 1048 GMT, shares in Avacta Group were up 7.21% at 213.35p.
(Sharecast News) - Diagnostics and cancer therapies developer Avacta Group has received notice of registration of its 'AffiDX' SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test in the European Union, allowing it to place the product on the market for professional use in all 27 countries of the EU.