Avacta and Cytiva Collaborating on COVID-19 Rapid Point-of-care Test
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Avacta, the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, has announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Cytiva, formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences. The companies will develop and manufacture an Affimer-based point-of-care rapid test intended for screening of large populations to diagnose the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
The World Health Organisation recently highlighted the need for the development of rapid tests to quickly diagnose COVID-19 at point-of-care to assist in limiting and tracking infections. Existing tests are not suitable for screening large numbers of people for the infection as they are laboratory based and it can take up to several days to get the results.
Avacta is already generating Affimer reagents that detect the COVID-19 virus and together with Cytiva will develop and manufacture a test capable of diagnosing the infection in minutes using a respiratory sample such as saliva. Cytiva will transfer this diagnostic assay onto its proprietary point-of-care test strip platform and both companies will work together to complete analytical and clinical validation of the test as quickly as possible.
Avacta will own the intellectual property relating to the COVID-19 Affimer-reagents and will retain all the commercial rights to future products. Further commercial details have not been disclosed.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented: “I am delighted that we have established this collaboration with Cytiva to develop, manufacture and commercialize a rapid test for COVID-19 infection. Importantly the test will indicate if a person has the virus now, whether they are showing symptoms or not, and will do so in minutes, in-situ with no need for laboratory equipment.
Klaus Hochleitner, Global Lead, Technology Product Specialist at Cytiva, commented: “There is an urgent unmet need for rapid tests to screen large numbers of people for COVID-19. Affimers are tools that can be designed quickly and very specifically for specific epitopes. We will support Avacta with technology transfer and usability to ensure the test is ready at the earliest point for use in the field.”