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Avacta, BBI Solutions Partner to Manufacture Saliva-Based SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test

NEW YORK ─ Biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta said on Thursday that it has appointed BBI Solutions to manufacture a saliva-based rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test that Avacta is developing with Cytiva.

Wetherby, UK-based Avacta said the manufacturing agreement with BBI aims to accelerate the development and validation of a scaled-up manufacturing process with the potential to enable the production of millions of tests per month.

Avacta said it plans to begin clinical validation soon, using the first pilot batches generated as part of a technology transfer process.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Avacta, Cytiva, and BBI are conducting technology transfer processes for a prototype and related manufacturing procedures for the saliva-based rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test. Crumlin, UK-based BBI Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of raw materials and finished products for in vitro diagnostic testing, has manufacturing sites in five different countries, Avacta noted.

"We are actively continuing our discussions with other manufacturing partners to ensure that we have access to additional manufacturing capacity to address the global need for SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing, both now and in the next few years," Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta, said in a statement. He said the firm is expanding its protein production facilities to meet the expected demand for Affimer proteins for the COVID-19 tests and future diagnostic tests in the pipeline. 

In April, Avacta announced a collaboration with Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Cytiva, formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences and now part of Danaher, to develop and manufacture a point-of-care rapid test to screen large populations for SARS-CoV-2.