In 2003, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) became the first pandemic of the 21st century and exemplified the rapid rate at which a virus can spread internationally. Originating in China, SARS quickly spread to other Asian countries, in addition to confirmed cases outside of the continent, there were four cases in the UK, and a significant outbreak in Toronto, Canada (1-2).
Since then, several viral outbreaks have occurred globally, including the Zika epidemic, occurring in South and North America between 2015-2016, and the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic 2019-2020. In comparison to SARS (over 8,000 cases), and Zika (approximately 1.5 million cases), the current COVID-19 outbreak has over 4.9 million cases, with 248,297 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK alone at the time of writing (2-4). The rapid growth at which this virus has spread internationally exemplifies the urgent and increasing need for rapid development of readily available,
high-performing diagnostic tools, to support global efforts in controlling pandemics.
Avacta Group Plc (LON:AVCT) offers reagents and therapeutics based on Affimer technology for diagnostic and research applications in the United Kingdom. The company’s custom Affimer products are also used in drugs and biomarkers discovery in biotech research and development.