Covid-19 test maker reports transformative first half

Drug developer Avacta, which has launched a highly accurate Covid-19 test, has reported a "transformative" first half for both its diagnostics and therapeutics divisions.

The Wetherby-based group, which has said that its coronavirus test is the most sensitive lateral flow test available, said revenues rose 28 per cent to £2.3m in the six months to June 30.

The group made an operating loss of £11.3m after research and development costs. Increased R&D investment led to a reported loss of £10.2m. Avacta is still in its pre-profitable stage of development.

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Avacta said it has transformed its diagnostics division to become an ISO 13485 accredited in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) products business, and it has recorded the first sales of its high performance AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test.

Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group

It said the global profile of Avacta and its diagnostic reagents platform substantially increased over the period.

Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group, said: “It has been a period of very significant progress for the group and a transformative one for both the diagnostics and therapeutics divisions.

"The progress made during the reporting period has been extraordinary, as indeed it has been over the last 18 months, under very challenging circumstances for staff with regards to restrictions on working conditions and the effects of the pandemic on our lives outside work."

He said the progress that has been made is a reflection of the commitment and skills of "our exceptional staff".

“Significant value inflection points lie ahead of us with the potential to transform cancer therapy with the next generation of safer preCISION chemotherapies and Affimer immunotherapies, and with the opportunity to generate significant profitable revenues from the market leading AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test and future AffiDX in-vitro diagnostic products," he added.

“We are confident and excited about the immediate and long-term future for the group.”