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Avacta and Medusa19 Enter Into a Distribution Agreement For COVID-19 Antigen Test


Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Medusa19 Limited (Medusa19) for direct-to-consumer sales of a saliva-based rapid test for the COVID-19 antigen.

Avacta recently announced a partnership with Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences) to develop a saliva-based rapid antigen test to indicate whether a person has the COVID-19 infection which will be in the form of a simple test strip. The test is intended to give a result within minutes and for use by both healthcare professionals and consumers.

The Group has agreed an exclusive distribution agreement with Medusa19 for the supply of the COVID-19 rapid test direct to consumers globally, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. Medusa19 has been established by Richard Hughes and Mahmud Kamani, both founder shareholders of and shareholders of Avacta1, to build a global consumer self-testing business. Medusa19s initial focus will be on COVID-19 home testing and it is currently investing in global e-commerce, logistics and customer support infrastructure in preparation for Avactas COVID-19 test launch. Medusa19 will also have non-exclusive rights to supply the tests to businesses for workforce testing. The distribution agreement includes a profit-sharing arrangement.

The global demand for rapid antigen tests, which will be critical to lockdown exit strategies around the world in order to get healthy, non-contagious people back to work, could be many millions of tests per month. There will also be an ongoing need for several years for this type of testing as the disease recurs.

Avacta recently announced that it rapidly developed Affimer reagents that detect the SARS-COV-2 virus spike protein and it has now supplied those to Cytiva for test development. The Group is intending to establish further rapid test strip manufacturing partners in anticipation of a very high demand for the COVID-19 antigen test.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented:

I am delighted to have entered into this distribution agreement with Medusa19, which will provide a global route direct-to-consumer for Avactas rapid point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test. The potential size of this market, and the expected demand from businesses for workforce screening, is substantial.

The significant investment that Medusa19 is making in conjunction with the track records of the Medusa19 team, gives me great confidence in the rapid growth of direct-to-consumer sales of the Avacta COVID-19 test across the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. I expect the commercial impact of this partnership to be very significant to Avacta.

I am looking forward to working with the Medusa19 team on commercialising the COVID-19 rapid test and other consumer diagnostic tests that Avacta develops in the future, in line with the Groups Affimer diagnostics strategy.

Richard Hughes and Mahmud Kamani, Founders of Medusa19 commented:

We immediately recognised the global opportunity to distribute the simple and unique saliva-based COVID-19 rapid test being developed by Avacta based on their unique and powerful Affimer platform.

Medusa19 will enable end-to-end supply of these tests on a global basis subject to regulatory approval and manufacturing capacity which will be key. The enormous, world-wide demand for these tests requires a robust and scalable platform which we are in the process of creating. Hundreds of millions of tests are required and this demand will continue.

The test being created by Avacta and its partners is intended to enable an individual with the COVID-19 infection, whether they have symptoms or not, to be identified before antibodies have been generated by the body. Given this test will be saliva based, it could be used in airports, offices, factories and in the home environment, providing a result within minutes and with no requirement for medical supervision. It is potentially ground-breaking and a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19.

We look forward to working with Alastair and his team and to distributing other Avacta products as they become available in due course.

1. Clare Hughes (wife of Richard Hughes) and Umar Mahmud Kamani (son of Mahmud Kamani).

This announcement contains information which, prior to its disclosure, was considered inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 (MAR).

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Katie Odgaard

Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

[email protected]


Long-Term Damage Happening to Canada’s Airlines: CUPE


Monday’s financial update from Ottawa provided no support for Canada’s struggling airlines.

CUPE local 4070 represents 4,100 cabin crew members at WestJet and its affiliates. The union joined business, industry experts and others this week in sounding the alarm about the future of Canada’s airlines.

After months of inaction, Canada remains the only G7 country with no relief package for airlines,” said CUPE 4070 President Chris Rauenbusch.

“Our voices are raw from screaming about this issue: if the Liberals don’t do something immediately, Canada will be without airlines.” Rauenbusch said the Liberal approach of prioritizing regional service above all is the wrong approach. Rauenbusch said regional service thrives when airlines have thriving networks to connect to.

“Viewing regional service in isolation simply won’t work.”

Canadas airlines are losing market-share to well-supported carriers from around the world,” said Rauenbusch. “Over 100,000 Canadians employed by airlines are waiting for action, and we’re not seeing anything.

In a statement this week, the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) said, This lack of action does not reflect the economic importance of the sector to Canada’s overall recovery, nor the need to ensure Canada’s largest carriers can continue to compete internationally.

“If the Liberals keep ignoring the airline sector, we will never return to work,” said Rauenbusch. “And Canadians will travel on foreign carriers supported by foreign governments. This is not how we return our country to stability.

LA/meaa/COPE 458

Lou Arab

Communications Representative


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Protegrity Partners With Servian, Expanding Global Reach in Australia and New Zealand


Protegrity, the data-security solutions provider, has partnered with Servian, one of Australias leading IT consultancies, to deliver effective data protection to companies across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) that are implementing AI, analytics, customer engagement, and cloud solutions. A primary objective for Protegrity and Servian is securing data for companies using Snowflake, a cloud data platform provider and Protegrity partner. Snowflake has grown rapidly in the ANZ market and its partnership with Protegrity enables customers to deploy Protegrity’s data de-identification technology to protect any data housed in Snowflake’s managed cloud data warehouse. Servian and Protegrity will also work with joint customers to ensure compliance with evolving data privacy regulations and uphold the privacy of individuals while empowering companies to unlock the full potential of their data.

Protegritys data protection offerings are closely aligned with our mission to enable customers to use data and analytics to further establish their competitive advantage, said Tristan Sander, Partner at Servian. We look forward to working with Protegrity to deliver market-leading data security solutions to our customers.

Protegrity has witnessed a growing demand for data security solutions in ANZ as companies in the region have become increasingly mindful of how they manage their data and comply with GDPR and other codified expectations “ including the Australian Privacy Principles Act and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) “ to protect customer privacy. The prominent expansion of Snowflake in ANZ has also contributed to Protegritys visibility in the region. Protegrity for Snowflake provides the control businesses need to protect data in the cloud beyond encryption and data masking. With Protegrity’s format-preserving data protection, data and analytics professionals can perform analytics directly on de-identified data without having to unprotect or re-identify the data.

Weve seen an increasing demand from companies in the ANZ region who are implementing AI, analytics, and cloud technologies, said Protegrity President and CEO Rick Farnell. Protegrity is purpose-built for hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments and our proven data-protection capabilities enable businesses to extract intelligence-driven insights from their most sensitive data and deliver better customer experiences. Together, Protegrity, Servian, and Snowflake are embarking on a journey to safely accelerate the democratization of data, allowing our mutual customers to further their innovation while protecting sensitive data “ no matter where it resides.

Register today for an on-demand webinar with Protegrity, Servian, and Snowflake to learn how this partnership gives companies the confidence to use and share data across business lines while reducing the risk of breaches of sensitive data.

Follow Protegrity


Twitter: @Protegrity


About Protegrity

Protegrity, a global leader in data security, protects sensitive data everywhere and future-proofs businesses as data-privacy regulations evolve. Maintaining privacy today across distributed data has become impossibly complicated. With Protegrity, enterprises can secure data wherever it resides, control how its protected, and have confidence that data is safe, even if a breach occurs. The Protegrity Data Protection Platform is a modern alternative to traditionally complex data-protection methods that leave gaps in security. Whether encrypting, tokenizing, or applying privacy models, Protegrity protects data at the speed of business. Deep integrations with Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Teradata, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Cloudera, Databricks, and many other enterprise applications ensure that data remains fully protected in hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, and on-premises environments without performance penalties. The platforms fine-grained data protection anonymizes personally identifiable information (PII) thats used in AI and machine learning models, providing faster access to critical analytics data and dramatically shortening the time to business insights. Protegrity protects the sensitive data of over one billion individuals across global enterprises, including five of the worlds 40 largest banks, five out of 10 of the top health insurance providers, and three of the worlds leading multinational companies. With more than two decades of industry-leading innovation, Protegrity allows businesses to finally tap into the value of their data and accelerate digital transformation timelines “ without jeopardizing individuals fundamental right to privacy.

Andrew Smith

Bhava Communications for Protegrity

[email protected]


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To Help Fleet Customers Make the Switch to Electric Vehicles, PG&E Introduces EV Fleet Savings Calculator


Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced a new online tool for companies and organizations considering transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles (EVs). PG&Es new EV Fleet Savings Calculator allows business customers and public agencies with medium- to heavy-duty fleet vehicles to explore EV investment estimates based on their own fleet sizes, infrastructure, budget and other factors.

Transportation is the single largest source of climate-related pollution in California, contributing to 41% of greenhouse-gas emissions across the state. Heavy- and medium-duty vehicles often use diesel, which is a highly polluting fuel. EVs are four times more efficient than diesel and natural gas engines and offer significant fuel cost savings.

Expanding the use of electric vehicles is essential for California to achieve its bold climate and clean-air goals. PG&E has been an active partner in helping make EVs an option for millions of Californians, including for our business and public agency customers who are transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles. Reducing vehicle emissions is good for our state and good for the environment in which we all live,” said PG&E Corporation Interim CEO Bill Smith.

PG&Es own commitment to further electrify its vehicle fleet by 2030 includes 100% of its light-duty fleet, 10% of its medium-duty fleet and 5% of its heavy-duty fleet.

In addition to the new EV Fleet Savings Calculator, PG&E offers business and public agency customers innovative rate options as well as its EV charging infrastructure program for fleets.

PG&Es New Tool for Electrifying Medium- and Heavy-Duty Fleet Vehicles

For customers with fleets that are making the transition to electric, an essential step in the process is understanding the costs and potential cost savings when deploying EVs. PG&Es new EV Fleet Savings Calculator, using calculations based on PG&Es new Business EV Rate, allows business and public agency customers to evaluate their fleet plans by analyzing how much they can save by switching to EVs.

The tool helps customers better understand key total cost of ownership factors including incentives, energy costs, infrastructure considerations and participation in Californias statewide Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). After customers input information on vehicles and usage, the tool offers recommendations for charging infrastructure, charging schedule based on fleet needs, how much they can save on fuel costs, revenue they could generate from LCFS, and estimated reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

PG&Es Business EV Rate

This year, PG&E launched its new Business EV Rate to support charging needs for businesses and public agencies, as well as apartment buildings and other public locations. On average, EV customers on the new rate can save up to 40% on charging costs compared to previous rate options, although actual bill impacts will vary for each customer depending on types of vehicles and charging patterns.

Customers on PG&Es Business EV Rate achieve cost savings through a new feature called a subscription charge, which allows customers to choose the amount of kilowatt power they need for their charging stations, similar to choosing a data plan for a phone bill. This subscription charge can be much lower than current rate options, and allows customers to have simpler, more consistent monthly costs.

On the Business EV Rate, customers pay for the electricity used by the EV chargers and the monthly subscription charge. Customers can always adjust their subscription levels up or down to meet their changing needs for EV charging.

Access to more affordable rates and greater bill certainty will help innovative California businesses make new investments in EV charging infrastructure and expand their EV fleets. Learn more at

PG&Es EV Fleet Program

PG&Es EV Fleet program helps customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road fleets begin to transition their fleet vehicles to clean electricity to save money, eliminate tailpipe emissions and simplify maintenance. By 2024, the program aims to help more than 700 organizations deploy more than 6,500 EVs across numerous medium- and heavy-duty fleet categories.

Through the EV Fleet program, PG&E builds the electrical infrastructure for customers medium- to heavy-duty EVs from the utility pole (electric service) to the customer meter or to the charger depending on which ownership option the customer chooses. PG&E comprehensively helps customers across all facets of EV charging including available incentives and rebates, site design and permitting, construction and activation, and maintenance and upgrades.

Customers are encouraged to reach out to PG&E early as they consider electrifying their fleets. Customers can submit an interest form and learn more at

PG&E Ongoing Support for EV Customers

Today, approximately 303,000 EVs are registered in PG&Es service area “ roughly one in every five EVs in the nation. PG&E continues to make it easier for customers to consider EVs through special rates, a total cost of ownership tool, and rebates, as well as the construction of a charging infrastructure through its EV Charge Network, EV Fleet and EV Fast Charge programs. These programs are each working toward the states larger goals of 250,000 charging stations, including 10,000 fast chargers, and 200 hydrogen fueling stations statewide by 2025.

To learn more about PG&Es support for customers with EVs, rates for EV drivers and other resources, visit

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and



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