The companies will develop an Affimer-based point-of-care rapid test to screen large populations to diagnose the novel coronavirus infection
Avacta Group has collaborated with Cytiva for the development of a rapid test to screen people infected with novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19.
Under the deal, the firms will develop and produce an Affimer-based point-of-care rapid test to screen large populations for the diagnosing of COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
Avacta said that it is already producing Affimer reagents, which identify the COVID-19 virus.
The test is being developed to diagnose the infection in minutes using a respiratory sample such as saliva
Avacta and Cytiva will focus on the development and manufacturing of a test that can diagnose the infection in minutes using a respiratory sample such as saliva.
Cytiva technology product specialist global lead Klaus Hochleitner said: “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.”
Avacta’s Affimer technology serves as an alternative to antibodies across a range of diagnostic applications. Affimer proteins are around ten times smaller compared to antibodies.
Affimer proteins can be developed between 12 weeks and 14 weeks applying standardised processes that only need sub-milligram quantities of antigen.
The proteins can be easily formatted for a wide range of applications using different complex samples.
Cytiva will run the diagnostic assay on its point-of-care test strip platform, while both firms aim to quickly complete analytical and clinical validation of the test.
Avacta will hold the intellectual property linked to the COVID-19 Affimer-reagents, and will also own all the commercial rights to future products.
Avacta Group CEO Dr Alastair Smith said: “I am delighted that we have established this collaboration with Cytiva to develop, manufacture and commercialise 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.”