Abingdon Health Shares Fall as Avacta Says Antigen Test Is Less Sensitive to Low Viral Loads of Omicron

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by Anthony O’Goryinoff

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Shares of Abingdon Health plc fell on Monday after Avcta Group plc said the low viral load of the Omicron variant had reduced sensitivity of its Effdx antigen test.

Shares were down 5.50 pence, or 19%, at 23 pence at 0848 GMT.

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The UK-based diagnostics company said it has completed the technology transfer of the AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test assay product to the Avacta Group in mid-December.

Technology transfer refers to the process of taking a developed product and customizing all the processes and elements required for mass manufacturing, the company said.

Avakta said the sensitivity of the AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Lateral Flow Test was reduced at low viral loads when identifying the omicron variant of the coronavirus, compared to the test’s sensitivity with previous variants.

The company notes that Avacta’s Affimer reagent in the AffiDX test detects the Omicron variant with the same sensitivity as the delta version, and it is the performance of the antibody, which binds with Affimer in the test, that has been affected by the additional Omicron. Mutation,” Abingdon said.

Abingdon said it will work with Avacta to accelerate the process of converting antibodies to the current assay format, and complete the process of technology transfer with this new specification.

Anthony O. Write to Goriainoff at [email protected]

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