Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cancer therapies and powerful diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms is pleased to announce that the AffiDX® antigen lateral flow test has been shown to detect the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in clinical samples.
The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, with more than 35 mutations of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, first appeared in South Africa a few weeks ago and was designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 26 November 2021. The UK has now reported over 3,000 cases of this more infectious variant of the virus.
The AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test has been evaluated at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid using a small number of actual patient samples confirmed to be Omicron variant positive. The results indicate that the AffiDX® antigen test detects the new Omicron variant in addition to all previously identified new variants of concern.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented:
“We are delighted to confirm that the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test detects the Omicron variant. As this variant is more infectious, it is important that it can be detected in individuals with higher viral loads using lateral flow tests so that its spread can be slowed down.
“We are progressing with our application to the CTDA in order to put the AffiDX® product on the market in the UK, as well as continuing to pursue commercial opportunities in Europe and further afield for the professional-use test. We also continue to work with our partners, Medusa 19 Healthcare, to obtain the CE mark for consumer self-testing for the product which is a critical next step in the commercialisation of the product.”