Avacta Group has confirmed that its COVID-19 lateral flow antigen test successfully detects new variants of the coronavirus. As well as detecting the original strain of COVID-19, tests involving spike proteins isolated from new strains showed that the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 also detected the B117 'Kent' and D614G variants.

The D614G variant emerged early in the pandemic and quickly became the dominant strain worldwide. The Kent variant has already become dominant in the UK and spread to over 50 countries, prompting assertions that it will become the dominant strain globally.

Avacta Group Chief Executive Dr. Alastair Smith said: “We are pleased to confirm that Avacta’s rapid antigen test detects the B117 strain, an important variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and one which is especially prevalent in the UK. We have also shown that our test detects the D614G variant, the current dominant global strain.”

“We will continue to monitor the performance of the Affimer reagents with future dominant variants as they become available to us. Since the Affimer reagents we use in Avacta’s range of SARS-CoV-2 tests do not bind in the region of the spike protein where the dominant mutations appear, we do not anticipate that the performance of the tests will be affected.”

“Now that we have developed a robust lateral flow test architecture, we can easily insert Affimer reagents that that can be very rapidly developed for new variants if necessary, and indeed in response to any other future pandemic virus.”

“Our next key milestone is full clinical validation and CE marking of our lateral flow antigen test which we anticipate will be around the end of this quarter and I look forward to updating the market when that milestone is achieved.”

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