YORK: Abingdon Health plc (AIM: ABDX), a leading international developer and manufacturer of high quality and effective rapid tests, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with leading diagnostic technology innovator Vatic Health Limited (“Vatic”), leading to a commercial agreement for the development and manufacture of a range of lateral flow tests (“LFTs”) in the area of infectious disease.
Initially Abingdon and Vatic will focus on the development of an innovative influenza LFT, utilising Vatic’s proprietary technology platform which identifies proteins via their surface biological mechanisms.
The technology has been proven in the development of Vatic’s KnowNowᵀᴹ test (Spike Test in USA), an easy-to-use saliva COVID-19 test which is the only test that identifies the virus by mimicking the surface of a human cell. This means the test only identifies “infectious” or “active” copies of the virus which are capable of cell entry and thereby infecting a human cell. Other tests, such as PCR and lateral flow antigen tests, can pick up harmless viral fragments with the potential for users to test positive once they are no longer infectious.
Furthermore, the unique detection mechanism of the KnowNowᵀᴹ Test has been purposefully designed to be more robust to mutation than traditional antigen tests, making it “future-proofed” for ongoing COVID-19 testing. This technology will be applied to the development of an influenza LFT and could have the same potential benefits in terms of accuracy and sensitivity in picking up only those that are infectious, differentiating it from other commercially available tests.
Following signing of the MoU, Abingdon and Vatic intend to enter into a longer-term commercial agreement, with both parties developing infectious disease LFTs, Abingdon exclusively manufacturing these LFTs and both parties collaborating on the commercialisation of these innovative new products.
According to Global Market Insights1 the infectious disease lateral flow testing market accounted for revenue of USD 2.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to show significant market growth from 2022 to 2028 owing to the rise in the prevalence and increased disease burden of infectious diseases.
Alex Sheppard, CEO of Vatic Health Limited, commented: “We are excited to be deepening our collaboration with Abingdon Health and we look forward to extending the use of our proprietary technology from COVID-19 into other areas of unmet need to further address inequalities of access to health information through self-tests.
“This partnership is an important step on our journey to helping more people get key insights into their health at home.”
Dr Mona K Omir, CTO of Vatic Health Limited, commented: “This partnership with Abingdon Health gives us the opportunity to scale our novel technology by applying it to a new platform with the aim of developing and manufacturing a mutation-proof influenza test. As an Oxford-based start-up, it’s exciting to be partnering with another British company committed to improving global health.”
Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon Health plc, commented: “We are delighted to be deepening our partnership with the Vatic Health team to deliver a range of next-generation infectious disease lateral flow self-tests, initially focusing on influenza.”
“We firmly believe the self-test lateral flow market is poised for significant growth as people embrace the use of cost-effective, easy-to-use lateral flow tests which empower them to manage their own health.”