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Avacta Group Shares Spike On Covid Test Reports – Company Notes Press Speculation

Updated: 19 May 2021

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.

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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.

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