WETHERBY AND CAMBRIDGE, UK — September 30, 2020 — Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of innovative cancer therapies and diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, is pleased to announce that the BAMS™ assay to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been launched as a research kit by its partner Adeptrix (Beverly, MA, USA) and the assay has been presented by Bruker Scientific (Billerica, MA, USA), a leading mass spectrometer manufacturer, in a new application note.
The bead-assisted mass spectrometry (“BAMS”) assay uses the Affimer reagents specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus to capture the virus spike protein from the sample for rapid detection by mass spectrometry, using the installed base of these instruments in hospitals. Up to 1,000 samples per day can be analyzed by a single technician using BAMS, making BAMS a very attractive high throughput technique for COVID-19 diagnosis and research.
Adeptrix has launched a BAMS research assay kit incorporating Avacta’s Affimer reagents in order to make this powerful tool available to researchers globally to support the fight against the coronavirus. Work carried out in parallel by Bruker, a leading mass spectrometer manufacturer with a significant installed base of instruments in hospitals globally, to assess the performance of the assay has been published by Bruker in a detailed application note.
Avacta continues to work actively with the UK government’s CONDOR program to clinically evaluate the coronavirus BAMS assay in order to obtain regulatory approval for diagnostic use. Avacta and Adeptrix are in discussions with mass spectrometer manufacturers with a view to establishing commercial partnerships to market the research use and diagnostic products.
Commercial details are not being disclosed, but Avacta will receive a royalty on the SARS-CoV-2 BAMS research kit sales.
Alastair Smith, chief executive officer of Avacta Group, commented: “I am delighted that the Affimer-based BAMS assay developed with Adeptrix is now available for scientists to use in their research into the coronavirus. A research use assay is the first step in commercializing this powerful Affimer-based coronavirus research and diagnostic tool and the clinical evaluation of the assay in the UK to support CE marking for diagnostic use is a very high priority for Avacta.
I am also very pleased indeed that Bruker has published their application note, providing considerable detail about the performance of the SARS-CoV-2 BAMS assay, clearly demonstrating the potential of this Affimer-based coronavirus mass spectrometry test and another important validation of the Affimer platform.
I look forward to updating the market on the clinical evaluation of the BAMS assay and on commercial progress in due course.”