Novacyt S.A. (LON:NCYT), the clinical diagnostics company, has been included in the Public Health England (PHE) national framework agreement.

The framework allows PHE and NHS hospitals to purchase Novacyt’s accredited products without the need for direct contract awards.

The announcement came as part of a trading update covering research & development (R&D) activities and a UK operational update.

Novacyt said it had expanded its PathFlow lateral flow test (LFT) portfolio with more coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.

It launched an LFT to detect SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies at the end of March and has two more LFTs in development that are scheduled to be launched later this year.

The PathFlow SARS-CoV-2 SMART IgG is a next-generation LFT to detect and differentiate between IgG antibodies. The test is expected to assist clinicians in understanding the impact of immunisation programmes, as well as the levels of immunity derived from infection by the virus. The company now expects to launch this test as a CE-IVD in the third quarter of this year.

The PathFlow SARS-CoV-2 Antigen is a professional and home use LFT for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens using non-invasive anterior nasal swab samples to provide a result in around 15 minutes.

Novacyt has been working with a partner to develop this test, which is able to detect the virus regardless of current known mutations. The company intends to launch the test as CE-IVD before the end of the current quarter and expects it to complement Novacyt’s established position in COVID-19 PCR testing.

As the market for COVID-19 testing continues to develop, the directors believe this product could add significant revenues for Novacyt.

“The continued development and expansion of our COVID-19 portfolio demonstrates Novacyt’s ability to match the rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 with real-time bioinformatics surveillance and accelerated product development. We remain committed to identifying patient needs and overcoming healthcare challenges today and in the years ahead as we continue to strengthen our position as a leading innovator in diagnostic testing,” said Graham Mullis, the chief executive officer of Novacyt.

Shares in Novacyt, pootling along at around 15p before the pandemic broke last year, were up 9.0% at 404p this morning.

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