Sam is a trader and one of our lead stock analysts at AskTraders. After starting his career predominantly in the forex markets, Sam now focuses on gold and stocks with a preference for macroeconomic analysis.
Shares of Avacta Group (LON: AVCT) are trading higher on Monday after the company noted the recent press speculation about the UK Government take-up of its lateral flow SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test.
On Friday evening, a report in HuffPost UK said the Yorkshire biotech firm’s test is expected to be at the heart of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen live events, nightclubs, schools, and hospitality.
The report stated that Avacta’s test will replace the American devices currently in use as they provide faster results and boast a higher accuracy.
The hope is that the tests could be used in ‘Operation Moonshot’, which includes plans to open up theatres, cinemas and sports stadiums.
Avacta said its rapid antigen test showed ‘excellent performance’ in identifying patients with an infectious viral load, with 96.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity using anterior nasal swab samples from 30 COVID-19 positive patients and 26 negative individuals.
However, it said the report “incorrectly stated that a saliva-based rapid antigen test from Avacta had been evaluated at Porton Down.
“In fact, the evaluated test was the anterior nasal swab test that has subsequently generated the excellent initial clinical performance data outlined above. However, in its evaluation, Porton Down used artificial samples and did not use clinical samples.”
Avacta continues to be in dialogue with the UK Department of Health and Social Care, a potential customer, but will be focusing on prioritising the full clinical validation of its nasal swab-based SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test as a pre-requisite for CE marking and broad commercialisation.
Avacta’s share price is currently trading 9.29% above Friday’s close, priced at 200p.
Should you invest in Avacta Group shares? Avacta Group shares are traded on the AIM market of the London stock exchange (the alternative investment market) which is the sub market specifically for smaller companies. AIM stocks are attractive to investors as they have tax advantages and smaller companies have the potential to benefit from rapid growth. But are Avacta shares the best buy? Our stock market analysts regularly review the market and share their picks for high growth companies
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