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Innova Medical Group Licenses Molecular Testing Tech From University of Birmingham

NEW YORK – Innova Medical Group said on Thursday that it has licensed a nucleic acid amplification technology from the University of Birmingham.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The technology, called Reverse Transcription-Free Exponential Amplification Reaction (RTF-EXPAR), provides molecular detection in as little as 10 minutes using an isothermal amplification chemistry paired with a chemistry to obviate the need for reverse transcription and reduces front-end processing time.

A COVID-19 test using the chemistry that was developed by researchers at Birmingham was deemed to be as sensitive as PCR tests and also faster than a lateral flow test, according to the firm. Thus, the RTF-EXPAR technology "hits a testing sweet spot," Robert Kasprzak, Innova's CEO, said in a statement.

The RTF-EXPAR testing platform is also being adapted for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants and for other viruses, such as human papillomavirus, and Innova is aiming to accelerate RTF-EXPAR's global rollout for widespread use by 2023.

Innova Medical Group claims to be the world's largest provider of lateral flow tests. The Pasadena, California-based wholly owned subsidiary of Pasaca Capital said it has delivered more than 1.5 billion lateral flow tests to customers worldwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the RTF-EXPAR licensing agreement underscoring its approach and commitment to innovate, the company said it aims to provide effective, high-quality diagnostic products at reasonable prices to more people around the world.

Innova received the CE mark for a lateral flow immunochromatographic SARS-CoV-2 self-test in March, as well as for a rapid antigen test in June. The firm also took a minority stake in UK-based point-of-care diagnostics firm Attomarker earlier this year.