Avacta Group, Cambridge, UK, is collaborating with Adeptrix, Beverly, Mass, to develop and manufacture a high-throughput covid-19 antigen test using Adeptrix’s proprietary bead-assisted mass spectrometry (BAMS) platform.
The BAMS platform combines enrichment of the sample to improve sensitivity with the power of mass spectrometry to improve specificity. Using BAMS, a single technician can analyze hundreds of samples per day, surpassing the throughput of a single-use PCR-based instrument.
The antigen test will enable hospitals around the world to utilize their existing installed base of mass spectrometers, which are not currently used for covid-19 testing, thus contributing significantly to the increase in global testing capacity. Avacta’s recently developed affimer reagents that bind the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein will be used to provide the capture and enrichment of the virus particle from patient samples, which may be nasopharyngeal swabs, saliva, or serum.
The companies are aiming to have a BAMS test ready for clinical validation, regulatory approval, and manufacturing in June. Adeptrix and Avacta are already in discussion with large-scale manufacturing partners to rapidly deploy the test.