BATM commences delivery of new COVID-19 tests
18 May 2021
BATM Advanced Communications Limited
("BATM" or "the Group")
BATM commences delivery of saliva-based RT-PCR and new rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests
Italian Olympic Committee to use BATM's saliva COVID-19 test for Tokyo Olympics
BATM (LSE: BVC; TASE: BVC), a leading provider of real-time technologies for networking solutions and medical laboratory systems, announces that it has commenced delivery of two new diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and that the Italian Olympic Committee intends to use the Group's saliva-based RT-PCR test for the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan.
Saliva-based RT-PCR test
Further to the Group's announcement of 11 March 2021, BATM is pleased to confirm that it has commenced supplying its test that uses self-collected saliva samples to diagnose COVID-19 using the RT-PCR technique.
The initial customers are public health authorities in Italy that are using the tests in schools and elderly care homes where there is a particular benefit for having a non-invasive sample collection method without compromising diagnostic accuracy. The provision of the tests is due to be expanded to several other groups as production increases. The test is also due to be used by the Italian Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games that are scheduled to commence in Japan in July. This follows the Italian Olympic Committee selecting two labs to provide testing for the tournament, one of which uses only the Group's antigen RT-PCR kits for COVID-19 testing, including the latest saliva-based test.
The test involves the individual spitting into a collector tube rather than deep swabbing via the nose (nasopharyngeal swab) or back of the throat (oropharyngeal swab). It is based on the Group's antigen RT-PCR kit that has five (4+1) gene discovery capability, which enables detection even with a very low viral load and has 100% accuracy for specificity and sensitivity. The test can be administered without the need for trained healthcare workers in full body personal protective equipment, offering advantages in terms of speed of sample collection as well as lab processing and being more cost effective than the RT-PCR process for standard swab-based tests.
The Group is producing the test at its Adaltis facility in Rome, Italy, which continues to increase manufacturing output. More information can be found here.
Rapid lateral flow test
BATM is also pleased to announce the commercial launch of the RAPiDgen® SARS-CoV-2 Ag test, which is an easy-to-use rapid test that gives results in 8-15 minutes. The test detects SARS-CoV-2 antigens, using the lateral flow method, in samples collected with a nasal (nostril) swab.
The test consists of a small self-contained device and a nasal swab: after collecting a nasal secretion sample, the swab is placed into an opening in the device, swirled and then the cap clicked to a different direction. This compares with commonly available rapid tests that require the individual to prepare the test by pouring a buffer liquid into an extraction tube and, after swirling the swabbed sample in the extraction tube, dropping liquid onto a test strip. The RAPiDgen® SARS-CoV-2 Ag has undergone validation testing by hospitals in Israel and Europe where it has demonstrated sensitivity in excess of 95%.
The test has been developed by the Group's Adaltis subsidiary and Gamidor Diagnostics ("Gamidor"). Gamidor is part of the Gamida for Life B.V. group that is also a partner in the Group's Ador Diagnostics associate company. The rapid test is being marketed under the Adaltis brand and sold under a revenue-share agreement with Gamidor. Production has commenced at Gamidor's facility in Israel with initial deliveries being to public health authorities. Negotiations are also underway to establish another production line for this test in Europe.
Dr Zvi Marom, CEO of BATM, said:
"I am delighted with the performance of our diagnostic tests - both commercially and medically. Our COVID-19 tests have demonstrable advantages compared with others available in the market in terms of accuracy, ease-of-use and cost effectiveness.
"With the rollout of our saliva-based and rapid diagnostic kits, we now offer a full range of tests that can provide a comprehensive solution for tackling the pandemic. We continue to receive strong demand for our COVID-19 tests - and, in particular, we are honoured that the Italian Olympic Committee will be using our saliva tests to support Italy's Olympic journey.
"At the same time, we expect this technology enabling precise diagnoses using saliva samples to be applied to diseases beyond COVID-19. It would be particularly beneficial for tests used to quickly differentiate between illnesses to provide an accurate diagnosis, such as our multi-pathogen respiratory test. We are also continuing to work with our academic and business partners to develop other innovative diagnostic solutions that we believe are at the forefront of the battle against infectious disease.
"We are very proud of what we have achieved and very excited about what's still to come, and we look forward to updating the market in due course."
BATM Advanced Communications
Dr Zvi Marom, Chief Executive Officer
+972 9866 2525
Moti Nagar, Chief Financial Officer
Mark Percy, Anita Ghanekar, James Thomas (Corporate Advisory)
Henry Willcocks (Corporate Broking)
+44 20 7408 4050
Harry Chathli, Claire Norbury
+44 20 7618 9100