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22 Feb 2021 | 08:54

Avacta clarifies reports on potential use of its Covid-19 test

(Sharecast News) - Avacta Group responded to some press speculation on take-up of its lateral flow SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test for Covid-19 by the UK government on Monday. The AIM-traded firm said its data showed "excellent performance" of the test in identifying patients with an infectious viral load, with 96.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity using anterior nasal swab samples from 30 Covid-19 positive patients and 26 negative individuals.

It said it was now progressing to a full clinical validation with a larger number of patient samples in order to obtain a CE-mark for the test for professional use, aiming to bring the test to market in Europe around the end of the first quarter.

"The press report this weekend incorrectly stated that a saliva-based rapid antigen test from Avacta had been evaluated at Porton Down," the company said in its statement.

"In fact, the evaluated test was the anterior nasal swab test that has subsequently generated the excellent initial clinical performance data outlined above.

"However, in its evaluation Porton Down used artificial samples and did not use clinical samples."

Avacta said it believed an accurate, rapid, "appropriately validated" antigen test would help to limit the spread of Covid-19, and support a "safe return" to normal life.

"In the UK, the Department of Health and Social Care is a potential customer and partner in the roll out of such a validated test.

"While Avacta continues to be in dialogue with the department, and with other organisations in the UK and abroad, with a view to future supply of its rapid antigen test, it is prioritising the full clinical validation of its nasal swab-based SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test as a prerequisite for CE marking and broad commercialisation."

Avacta said it would update the market through the appropriate channels as it reached significant commercial and technical milestones.

At 0837 GMT, shares in Avacta Group were up 14.45% at 209.45p.
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