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Avacta, Adeptrix Collaborate on Coronavirus Antigen Test

NEW YORK ─ Avacta on Friday announced it has entered a collaboration with Adeptrix to develop a high-throughput COVID-19 antigen test.

Avacta said the firms will develop and manufacture a test that combines its recently generated Affimer-based antigens that bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus with Adeptrix's bead-assisted mass spectrometry (BAMS) platform.

Avacta said it will receive a royalty on Adeptrix's sales of test kits, but financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Adeptrix’s BAMS platform combines sample enrichment to improve sensitivity with mass-spectrometry to improve specificity, Avacta said. Avacta’s recently developed Affimer reagents that bind the SARS-COV-2 spike protein will provide the capture and enrichment of the virus particle from the sample, which could be saliva, nasopharyngeal swabs, or serum.

"Mass spectrometry can enhance the diagnostic utility of immunoassays, as it is capable of monitoring both existing and emerging viral strains by accurately measuring the molecular components of the virus," Jeffrey Silva, director of product development at Beverly, Massachusetts-based Adeptrix, said in a statement.

The test will expand the testing capacity for COVID-19 infection in hospitals, Avacta said, by allowing hospitals around the world to utilize their existing installed base of mass spectrometers that are not currently used for COVID-19 testing. Hundreds of samples per day can be analyzed by a single technician using the BAMS platform, exceeding the capacity of a single PCR machine.

The companies aim to have a BAMS test ready for clinical validation, regulatory approval, and manufacturing in June, and are in discussions with manufacturing companies to rapidly deploy the test, Avacta said.

Wetherby, UK-based Avacta said earlier this month it has entered a collaboration with Cytiva to develop and manufacture a point-of-care rapid test to screen large populations for SARS-CoV-2.