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Avacta Group Says Rapid Antigen Test Detects COVID-19 Variants

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Updated: 19 May 2021

Avacta Group's (LON: AVCT) share price is up on Monday after the pharmaceutical company said its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test detects the dominant new coronavirus variants.

The two new dominant variants are known as the B117 and D614G strains.

The new virus variants are said to be more infectious and rapidly transmissible with the potential to become the dominant strains.


Early on in the pandemic, a variant referred to as D614G appeared, which rapidly became the dominant strain globally. The B117 variant, which was first found in Kent, is prevalent in the UK, has been found in more than 50 countries and, according to Professor Sharon Peacock from Public Health and Microbiology at Cambridge University, it is likely to become the next dominant strain globally.

Avacta said it has carried out analytical tests with the spike proteins isolated from both B117 and D614G and confirmed its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test detects both, along with the original 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,” commented Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group.

Avacta's share price has risen over 6.6% to 212p following the announcement.

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