Under the terms of the collaboration, LSTM will carry out the clinical validation of the Avacta COVID-19 antigen rapid saliva test in their category 3 laboratories on patient samples. In addition to working with the UK government’s CONDOR program to provide Avacta with access to patient samples in the UK, the partnership with LSTM also provides the opportunity to access patient samples in Africa and South America. The higher prevalence of the disease in those regions means that samples for prospective clinical validation studies are more readily available which, if necessary, could be used to speed up the validation process.
LSTM is currently evaluating the performance of prototype lateral flow tests provided by Cytiva alongside Avacta’s ELISA laboratory test using SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus samples, as a precursor to full clinical validation studies.
“I am delighted to have established this collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. It is an important partnership which provides Avacta with access to patient samples both in the UK and abroad, where the incidence of the disease is currently much higher, to ensure prompt access to a sufficient number of samples for clinical validation,” commented Dr. Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group. “We have been working with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for some time to define the target performance specifications of the saliva-based rapid test and their insight has been tremendously helpful in this regard.”
Dr Lisa Baldwin, business development manager, LSTM added, “The partnership between Avacta and LSTM exemplifies the role of the LSTM in translational work to advance products to market and we are pleased to be working with Avacta on this coronavirus antigen test.”