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Avacta Collaborating With Bruker to Evaluate MALDI-Based SARS-CoV-2 Test

NEW YORK — Biotech firm Avacta said on Thursday that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Bruker to evaluate a MALDI mass spectrometry-based test for SARS-CoV-2 using the Avacta's Affirmer affinity reagents.

The companies will determine the test's suitability as an in vitro diagnostic for SARS-CoV-2 to be run on Bruker's MALDI-TOF instruments in the UK and Europe.

Wetherby, UK-based Avacta has developed the test with Beverly, Massachusetts-based proteomics firm Adeptrix, using that company's bead-assisted mass spectrometry (BAMS) technology. According to Avacta, a single technician using the BAMS-based SARS-CoV-2 assay can run up to 1,000 samples per day, which exceeds the capacity of many molecular tests.

Avacta has been working with clinical partners in the UK to refine the assay to fit in to typical clinical microbiology workflows.

"We will be working closely with Bruker on the clinical assessment of the BAMS assay on Bruker’s MALDI-TOF instruments," Avacta CEO Alastair Smith said in a statement. "Our objective is to work with Bruker and our clinical partners to deliver an effective and high-throughput assay protocol, that can be applied in the clinical setting, with the required sensitivity and specificity and CE/FDA approvals to provide a useful additional diagnostic tool in the fight against the coronavirus."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.