Technical transfer completed mid-December as planned
Sales of AffiDX® paused by Avacta following Omicron sensitivity analysis
York, U.K. 10 January 2022: Abingdon Health plc (AIM: ABDX), a leading international developer and manufacturer of high quality and effective rapid tests, provides the following update on Avacta Group plc’s (“Avacta”) AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test:
Completion of Technical Transfer
Abingdon confirms that it completed the technical transfer of the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test assay product as planned. Technical transfer is the process of taking a developed product and optimising all processes and elements for mass manufacture. The final technical transfer batches were shipped to Avacta in mid-December 2021 with the products adhering to defined specifications and passing all quality control procedures.
Sensitivity of AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test
Abingdon also notes the announcement from Avacta this morning in relation to their AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test, which highlights that the sensitivity of the test is reduced at lower viral loads when identifying the Omicron variant, compared to the test’s sensitivity with previous variants. The Company understands this is a characteristic reported for other lateral flow tests already on the market.
The Company notes that Avacta’s Affimer® reagent in the AffiDX® test detects the Omicron variant with the same sensitivity as the Delta variant, and that it is the performance of the antibody, which pairs with the Affimer® in the test, that has been affected by the additional Omicron mutations. The Company also notes that Avacta has independently taken the decision to pause sales of the AffiDX® antigen test whilst it replaces the antibody in the product to ensure that its performance with the Omicron variant matches the high performance with previous mutations.
Abingdon scientists will work with Avacta to accelerate the process of replacing the antibody in the current assay format, and complete the process of technology transfer with this new specification.
COVID-19 Antigen Testing Products
The Company has two projects in COVID-19 antigen testing. These two projects involve the scale-up and technical transfer to manufacture for the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test and for the Vatic KnowNow™ rapid antigen test developed by Vatic Health Limited which uses a saliva sample. The process of technical transfer for the Vatic KnowNow™ rapid antigen test remains on track with completion anticipated during calendar Q1 2022. According to Vatic the KnowNowᵀ test mimics the means through which the virus interacts with the surface of a human cell in order to detect it. As a result, they expect that it will continue to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus even in the face of further potential mutations in the future.
Abingdon also has a pipeline of other non-COVID-19 contract service opportunities that it will seek to bring through technical transfer and into manufacture in due course.
Abingdon Health plc
Chris Yates, Chief Executive Officer
Via Walbrook PR
Melanie Ross , Chief Financial Officer
Christopher Hand, Non-Executive Chairman
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