Avacta shares jump following Covid lateral flow test results



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By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – Shares in Avacta Group PLC (LON:) were closing in on all-time highs on Tuesday after the company received first data for its Covid rapid antigen test from ongoing clinical studies in the UK and Europe. The data showed “excellent” performance in identifying patients with an infections viral load an no false positive results.

The initial evaluation tested 30 positive samples with Ct values (cycle threshold) of 26 and below and of those 20, the lateral flow test identified 29 correctly as positive, indicating a clinical sensitivity of 96.7% for samples with a Ct value below 26. A recent report from the Liverpool Covid SMART Pilot study suggested that individuals had a significant chance of infecting their contacts if they had a viral load measure by Ct value of approximately 25 or lower.

False Positives

26 negative samples were tested with the lateral flow device and the test correctly identified all 26 as negative, giving a clinical specificity of 100%. As a result of this, the company will now progress to a full clinical validation with a larger number of patient samples to CE mark the test for professional use. The aim is to bring the test to market in Europe by the end of Q1 2021.

“I am delighted with the performance of the test with clinical samples which is extremely encouraging,” Avacta Group CEO Dr Alastair Smith said in a statement. “These data from the first clinical studies will allow us to quickly progress with confidence into the full clinical validation of the test, manufactured at scale, at our clinical trial sites in the UK and the EU.”

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Omega Diagnostics

Another UK listed diagnostics company, Omega Diagnostics Group Plc (LON:), announced they have received data on performance for their AbC-19 rapid antibody test from the UK Rapid Test Consortium. The study, performed by scientists at Public Health England and the Universities of Warwick, Bristol and Cambridge, examined performance of four lateral flow tests and discovered that Omega’s AbC-19 showed accuracy of 97.3% in detecting neutralising antibodies to the spike protein of the Covid-19 virus.

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