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Avacta Launches High Performance Affimer-Based SARS-CoV-2 ELISA Laboratory Test

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Sep 2020
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Image: Avacta Launches High Performance Affimer-Based SARS-CoV-2 ELISA Laboratory Test  (Photo courtesy of Avacta Group plc).
Image: Avacta Launches High Performance Affimer-Based SARS-CoV-2 ELISA Laboratory Test (Photo courtesy of Avacta Group plc).
Avacta Group plc (Wetherby, England), the developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents, has launched an ELISA laboratory test for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to support global research efforts into the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Avacta has developed the high performance ELISA laboratory test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in-house. The Affimer-based ELISA test is capable of detecting the coronavirus spike protein in laboratory samples down to very low concentrations. An evaluation of the ELISA carried out using SARS-CoV-2 virus samples shows that it can detect as little as a few thousand virus infectious units per millilitre of sample. This is typical of the levels found in infectious COVID-19 patients’ saliva whether they are symptomatic or not. Highly infectious COVID-19 patients can have many thousands or millions of times more spike protein in their saliva than this.

The Affimer-based ELISA test is also highly specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus with no cross-reactivity against other closely related coronavirus spike proteins. Avacta will make the ELISA test available as a kit so that researchers globally can use it in their own laboratories to support research into the coronavirus. Avacta plans to supply the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein ELISA reagent kit directly and is also in active discussions with potential OEM partners and distributors globally.

“I am delighted with the outstanding performance of the Affimer-based ELISA test developed in-house by Avacta and that we will shortly make this powerful laboratory research tool available to support global research efforts to study the virus and develop ways to combat the pandemic,” said Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group. “Avacta remains focused on the much larger opportunity of the saliva-based coronavirus antigen rapid test that we are developing with Cytiva and which is now in the process of technology transfer to our manufacturing partners. The excellent analytical performance of the ELISA test is very encouraging with regards to the anticipated clinical performance of the rapid test and I look forward to starting the clinical validation with the first pilot batch of rapid tests as soon as possible.”

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