Avacta shares up another 8% on new Covid deal

Shares of Wetherby-based cancer therapies and diagnostics company Avacta Group plc rose another 8% on Tuesday after it announced it entered into a global distribution agreement with ABCAM plc to sell Avacta’s recently developed SARS-CoV-2 research ELISA Affimer reagents.

Avacta Group shares have soared more than 900% in the past 12 months amid its work on Covid-19 tests to give it a current stock market value of around £600 million.

Avacta has developed Affimer reagents which can be used in a high performance ELISA laboratory test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with high sensitivity and excellent specificity for the spike protein of the original strain of the virus and other dominant variants such as B117 (‘Kent’ strain) and D614G,” said Avacta.

ABCAM is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality biological reagents and kits which are used in a wide range of fields including drug discovery, diagnostics and basic research.

“Under the worldwide, non-exclusive distribution agreement, ABCAM will enable the global research community to access Avacta’s SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Affimer research reagents through its on-line catalogue.

“This will allow scientists around the world to perform the ELISA test in their own laboratories and support the global fight against the pandemic.”

Avacta Group CEODr Alastair Smith said: “We are delighted that we have established a global route to market for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Affimer reagents through ABCAM’s dedicated global commercialisation infrastructure. 

As far as we are aware, our spike protein ELISA test is the most sensitive test of its kind and, in ABCAM, we have a world-leading partner capable of maximising the commercial potential of the Affimer reagents by making them globally available to scientists who are researching into the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

I look forward to further updating the market on progress across the group in due course.”