Monday 11 May 2020
Here is our summary of the day's hottest RNS alerts from across London's Alternative Investments Market (AIM).
Avacta Group Plc (AVCT.L)
Avacta Ships SARS-COV-2 Affimer Reagents
Avacta Group plc, the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, announced that today it is shipping Affimer reagents for COVID-19 antigen testing to its diagnostic test development partners.
The Group recently reported that it had generated multiple, highly specific Affimer reagents that bind the SARS-COV-2 viral antigen and do not cross-react with SARS, MERS and other closely related coronaviruses. These Affimer reagents will be used to develop a point-of-care saliva based COVID-19 antigen test strip by Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences) for CE marking in Europe and FDA approval in the United States.
The Affimer reagents have now been manufactured by Avacta in the quantities required for test development and are being sent to Cytiva today. The reagents are also being provided to Adeptrix with whom Avacta has announced that it will develop a COVID-19 laboratory test to run on hospital mass spectrometers using Adeptrix's proprietary BAMSTM assay platform.
The Affimer reagents have also now been studied further by Avacta and, importantly, this has shown that there are Affimer reagents that can work in pairs, both binding to the spike protein at the same time. This allows tests to be developed that detect both the intact virus particle and the detached spike proteins which become separated from the virus particle during the development of the COVID-19 disease, which may also be important in monitoring disease progression.
Cytiva and Avacta will now work to develop rapid test strips for the detached spike protein and for the intact virus particle, aiming to have prototype devices in a few weeks. Adeptrix will be working on a similar timescale to develop a prototype BAMS test. Both of these tests will indicate whether a person has the infection at that moment.
Avacta owns all the intellectual property relating to the SARS-COV-2 Affimer reagents and retains all commercial rights.
OptiBiotix Health (OPTI.L)
Exclusive distribution agreement with MAXCARE Inc
OptiBiotix Health plc, a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high
cholesterol, diabetes and skincare announced it has entered into a distribution agreement for SlimBiome® with MAXCARE Inc ("MAXCARE"). The agreement grants MAXCARE exclusive rights to commercialise OptiBiotix's SlimBiome® proprietary weight management technology in Taiwan.
MAXCARE ( https://www.maxcarecorp.com ) is a Taiwanese company based in Taipei founded in 2000 which specialises in clinically-supported, science based nutraceuticals, fruit and botanical extracts. MAXCARE's ingredients span a wide range of application areas with an existing distribution network and experience in commercialising weight management ingredients. Market exclusivity is linked to minimum sales targets being achieved.
MAXCARE is one of Taiwan's leading distributors for nutraceutical raw materials which offers a complete portfolio of products, technological development support and logistical services. Their distribution channels include TV shopping, chain pharmacies, drug stores and direct/multi-layer selling. They are well placed to educate customers on the benefits and functionalitySlimBiome® can provide and have a team of registered dieticians to support commercialisation.
This is another strategic step by OptiBiotix to commercilise its award-winning SlimBiome® technology into new markets. The commercial aim is to develop SlimBiome® as an innovative ingredient that can be added to multiple products in different application areas incorporating science backed functionality and additional value to everyday products.
Open Ophan Plc (ORPH.L)
New COVID-19 Antibody Testing Partnership
Quotient Limited and hVIVO Announce Partnership to Support Wide-Spread COVID-19 Antibody Testing in the UK
Open Orphan plc, the rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which has a focus on orphan drugs and is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, announced that Quotient has entered into an exclusive contract with hVIVO to support COVID-19 antibody testing in the UK.
The MosaiQ™ by Quotient system and MosaiQ COVID-19 Antibody Microarray will be used by hVIVO to screen for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (COVID-19). The MosaiQ COVID-19 Antibody Microarray was CE marked (certified to meet EU requirements) as of 01 May 2020 based on testing that demonstrated 100% sensitivity (ability to detect COVID-19 antibodies) and 99.8% specificity (ability to rule out the presence of COVID-19 antibodies) . The test is designed as a serological disease screen specific to COVID-19. It detects the IgG and IgM antibodies that humans develop when infected by SARS-CoV-2.
Quotient is a Nasdaq listed, commercial-stage diagnostics company delivering diagnostic solutions. MosaiQ is Quotient's proprietary multiplex microarray technology, offering the world's first fully automated, consolidated testing platform, allowing for multiple tests across different modalities.