Oxford Immunotec releases the T-SPOT® Discovery™ SARS-CoV-2 kit for research into measuring the T cell immune response to SARS-CoV-2, which may offer new insights into immunity to COVID-19
Oxford, UK and Marlborough, Mass – 19 May 2020. Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (Nasdaq: OXFD) (the “Company”), a global, high-growth diagnostics company, today announces the release of the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test kit. This kit is for research use only and launched under the T-SPOT Discovery brand. This research kit could make a significant contribution towards development of a new tool to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn could help to bring nations out of their current lockdowns in a faster, safer and more controlled manner.
T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 builds on Oxford Immunotec’s experience with TB diagnosis and the assessment of immune response to CMV in transplant patients, to apply the Company’s established, proprietary T-SPOT technology to the fight against COVID-19. While serology is able to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in the blood of some individuals after infection, little is currently known about how this confers immunity to COVID-19. T-SPOT technology goes further than simple serology by interrogating the immune system’s T cell response and will enable research into the measurement of the strength of that response to SARS-CoV-2. The strength of this response may be linked to protection from reinfection.
T-SPOT technology is a proven technology, approved for clinical use to detect TB infection in over 60 countries including the US, China, Japan and Europe.
With over 20 million clinical tests manufactured since release, T-SPOT technology:
- Uses a standardized sample prepared from peripheral blood which:
- Reduces the influence of factors which might affect results, such as other treatments
- Standardizes cell numbers in the test to normalize for cell number variations between samples
- Allows the number of responding T cells to be enumerated for a more precise assessment of the T cell response
- Is able to maintain performance, even in samples from immunosuppressed individuals
- Can be run in high-volume labs enabling large testing programs to be rolled out
T-SPOT technology can also be automated using the T-Cell SelectTM reagent kit. Automation solutions are available for low, medium and high throughput settings.
Phill Keefe, Senior Vice President Product Design, Development and Delivery at Oxford Immunotec said, “Not everyone with COVID-19 infection has detectable antibodies in serology tests, and this may be a bigger problem in the majority who experience only mild or no symptoms. Also, it is not yet clear whether the presence of antibodies confers immunity. T cell responses develop before antibody generation and can independently provide protection, so studying T cells could give us new insights into immunity to COVID-19.”
Oxford Immunotec CEO, Peter Wrighton-Smith commented, “We are really excited about the release of this RUO T-SPOT Discovery product in such an important area for current research. This allows us to make our contribution to the battle against COVID-19. The data generated using this RUO kit, if favourable, will help us develop a T-SPOT kit which could be approved for clinical use and may help support our return to a more normal lifestyle”.
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Oxford Immunotec is committed to supporting the global efforts to stop TB and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to sponsor The International Union Against Tuberculosis webinar, “How to Prevent 1.4 Million Deaths: Advancing TB Care and Prevention in the Time of COVID-19.” Registration for the webinar, which is being held on Wednesday, 20 May at 16:00 CEST, and more information is available here https://join.theunion.org/205webinar.
NOTE: The T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit is For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
About Oxford Immunotec
Oxford Immunotec Global PLC is a global, high-growth diagnostics company. We bring energy and invention to a world in need of diagnostic truth. Our leading product, the T-SPOT.TB test, is used for diagnosing infection with Tuberculosis, the world’s largest cause of death from infectious disease.
The T-SPOT.TB test has been approved for sale in over 60 countries, including the United States, where it has received pre-market approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Europe, where it has obtained a CE mark, as well as Japan and China. The Company is headquartered near Oxford, U.K. and in Marlborough, MA. Additional information can be found at www.oxfordimmunotec.com.
T-SPOT, the Oxford Immunotec logo, T-Cell Select and T-SPOT Discovery are trademarks of Oxford Immunotec Limited.
Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable U.S. and U.K. laws and regulations, including under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements contained herein which do not describe historical or current facts, including beliefs about the Discovery line of test kits, including its ability to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, beliefs about serology, T-cells, antibodies, reinfection and other matters related to COVID-19 and testing and beliefs about T-SPOT technology constitute forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements are based on our management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include the possibility that the Discovery line of testing might not be a successful or timely tool in combatting COVID-19, the risk that research data from the Discovery test kit will not produce results that support its clinical use, the likelihood that the Company will be able to partner with a third party to make a testing device clinically available and the possibility that, even if ultimately made commercially available, the testing kit will not be efficacious in testing for or combatting COVID-19, as well as those other risks and uncertainties described in Oxford Immunotec’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year-ended December 31, 2019 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, and in any other reports it subsequently files with the Commission, including any other Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. Oxford Immunotec’s filings with the Commission are available for free by visiting the investor section of our website, www.oxfordimmunotec.com, or the Commission’s website, www.sec.gov.
Investors should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations and assumptions and currently available data and are neither predictions nor guarantees of future events or performance. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained herein, which speak only as of the date of this release. Oxford Immunotec does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking statements after they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
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 Note that not all products and reagents are available in all countries; please contact us for details on availability in your country.