YORK: Abingdon Health plc (AIM: ABDX) and Bimelix Ab announced a strategic collaboration to develop, manufacture and commercialise a Lyme disease lateral flow self-test (LFT).
Abingdon and Bimelix have been collaborating for over 12 months on the feasibility of developing a Lyme disease LFT self-test. Under the terms of the agreement, Abingdon and Bimelix will jointly complete the development of the Lyme disease test and scale-up to manufacture, and will also be jointly responsible for the commercialisation of the test.
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, caused by spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, is the most common tick-borne infection in Europe.
Currently, laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is mainly based on the patient’s medical history, clinical signs and symptoms, in combination with the detection of Borrelia-specific antibodies, where indirect enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the most widely used technique.
Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migraines. This rash occurs in approximately 60-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3-30 days.
A distinctive feature of the rash is that it gradually expands peripherally over a period of several days. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a course of antibiotics.
The global risk of Lyme disease is expected to increase in the coming years as tick habitats expand in response to environmental factors and climate change. Therefore, there is a large unmet need for a fast, effective Lyme disease self-test to enable quicker diagnosis and treatment.
Chris Yates, Chief Executive Officer of Abingdon Health, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Bimelix, a company at the forefront of research into the rapid diagnosis of Lyme disease. Undiagnosed Lyme disease can spread to other parts of your body for several months to years after infection, causing arthritis and nervous system problems. The early diagnosis and rapid treatment of Lyme disease will reduce these additional complications and improve patient outcomes.”
Mathias Grunér, Chief Executive Officer of Bimelix, commented: “To be able to partner with Abingdon Health, a leading company in development of rapid test systems, gives us an ideal opportunity to make years of research on Lyme disease diagnostics broadly available in a rapid test system of the highest quality. This will make early diagnosis of Lyme disease accessible globally and will be of great value to both patients and healthcare professionals.”