Policy & Regulation
Avacta Inks SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Clinical Collaboration
7 August 2020 - - UK-based biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT) has entered into a collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to clinically validate the rapid, saliva-based coronavirus antigen test that Avacta is developing with Cytiva, the company said.

LSTM has been at the forefront of research into infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases since 1898 and was the first institution in the world dedicated to research and teaching in tropical medicine. It has a research portfolio of around GBP 320m and projects and partnerships in more than 70 countries.

Under the terms of the collaboration, LSTM will carry out the clinical validation of the Avacta COVID-19 antigen rapid saliva test in their category 3 laboratories on patient samples.

In addition to working with the UK government's CONDOR programme to provide Avacta with access to patient samples in the UK, the partnership with LSTM also provides the opportunity to access patient samples in Africa and South America.

The higher prevalence of the disease in those regions means that samples for prospective clinical validation studies are more readily available which, if necessary, could be used to speed up the validation process.

Clinical validation is the process of evaluating the performance of a diagnostic test using real patient samples. Clinical validation generates the sensitivity and specificity performance parameters which are most often used to define the performance of a diagnostic test.

LSTM is currently evaluating the performance of prototype lateral flow tests provided by Cytiva alongside Avacta's ELISA laboratory test using SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus samples, as a precursor to full clinical validation studies.

The company has been working with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for some time to define the target performance specifications of the saliva-based rapid test and their insight has been tremendously helpful in this regard.