Boohoo executive chairman Mahmud Kamani has joined forces with fellow founder shareholder Richard Hughes to set up a company delivering a rapid test for Covid-19.
The saliva-based test is for the antigen, which shows whether you have the virus at the time of testing, and is described as a “major step forward” in the fight against the disease.
The duo have struck an exclusive distribution agreement for direct-to-consumer sales and will work alongside biotechnology business Avacta Group, which has struck a partnership with Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences) to develop a product designed to give a result within minutes for use by both healthcare professionals and consumers.
The test will be distributed by Medusa19, which is currently investing in global eCommerce, logistics and customer support infrastructure in preparation for Avacta’s test launch.
The company will also have non-exclusive rights to supply the tests to businesses for workforce testing, with the distribution agreement including a profit-sharing arrangement.
Hughes and Kamani said: “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 are required and this demand will continue.”
Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group, added: “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