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Innova Takes Minority Stake in UK Point-of-Care Diagnostics Firm Attomarker

NEW YORK — Innova Medical Group has taken a minority stake in UK-based point-of-care diagnostics firm Attomarker, the companies said on Thursday.

As part of the investment deal, Innova will also become a distributor of Attomarker's products. Additional terms of the arrangement, including the size of Innova's equity position, were not disclosed.

Attomarker was spun out of the University of Exeter to develop a handheld device that works with a smartphone to rapidly measure blood biomarkers for liver disease and food allergens, as well as C-reactive protein. The company also offers a CE-marked and UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency-approved test designed to detect immunoglobulin M, G, and A antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

"Attomarker's technology has the potential to change healthcare diagnosis and treatment with a portfolio of near-patient rapid diagnostics that would lead to more effective clinical intervention," Innova Chief Medical Officer Todd Malan said in a statement. "Most immediately, as protection from previous COVID infections and vaccinations decline and boosters continue to roll out, Attomarker's … COVID-19 Antibody Immunity Test will be a valuable tool for individuals to make science-based personalized healthcare decisions."

Earlier this year, Pasadena, California-based Innova's SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test received CE marking for self-testing. That test, however, had been previously flagged by the US Food and Drug Administration over performance concerns.

An Innova spokeswoman said this week that the firm has "worked diligently to complete a voluntary recall" of the "small amount" of tests that made it to the US market. As of Oct. 22, 2021, Innova has removed the product from the US and asked the FDA to close the recall.