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Oxford Immunotec Updates Their T-SPOT® Discovery SARS-CoV-2 Kit and Include a New Panel to Detect T Cells Reactive to Endemic Coronaviruses

OXFORD, United Kingdom and MARLBOROUGH, Mass., February 4, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (Nasdaq: OXFD) (the “Company”), a global, high-growth diagnostics company, today announces an update to the configuration of the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit. The kit, for research use only, has been updated using the Company’s growing expertise of the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The previous T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit configuration included five antigen wells, each containing a mix of peptides representing target epitopes derived from the virus, with areas of high homology to endemic coronaviruses removed.

Using the Company’s growing results database, it has been possible to make improvements to the configuration of the kit. The new configuration includes only antigens that, in our studies, have shown to induce robust T cell responses specific to SARS-CoV-2. They are designed as overlapping peptides to maximise the detection of the breadth of the human immune response in a genetically unrestricted manner. An additional panel has been included containing epitopes of high genetic homology to endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV). This panel will facilitate research into the role HCoV play in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that previous exposure to HCoV may contribute to the immune response to infection by SARS-CoV-2 in some individuals. A recent report on health care workers in the US demonstrated cross-reactive T cell responses between HCoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections1. The article suggested that HCoV cross-reactivity could be protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The inclusion of a cross-reactive panel in the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit will help investigators understand this effect in more detail and better understand the broader immune responses.

Dr. Magdalena Dudek, VP, Product Development, Research and Development, and project lead for the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit said, “We have learnt a lot about the immunogenicity of different peptides, and the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection since the kit was first released. The changes we are now making take advantage of our growing knowledge and understanding, and will enable researchers to have greater insight into the broader T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.” She continued, “we now have expertise with a large number of different antigens, and are able to partner with researchers should they wish to investigate the role of T cells in different clinical scenarios and with panels beyond those included in the new configuration of the kit.”

For further information visit

  1. Differential T cell reactivity to seasonal coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 in community and health care workers. medRxiv. Published online January 15, 2021:

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. We are uniquely placed as the only company in the world offering regulated ELISPOT assays for T cell measurement, with approval around the globe. 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 Company is an experienced manufacturer of IVD tests, operating under a fully audited Quality Management System, ensuring rigorous batch control. The company has manufactured in excess of 20 million clinical T cell tests for TB infection. The T-SPOT.TB test has been approved for sale in over 50 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

T-SPOT, T-Cell Xtend, the Oxford Immunotec logo, and T-SPOT Discovery are trademarks of Oxford Immunotec Limited.

About T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2

Oxford Immunotec has been developing and strengthening its expertise in T cell measurement for over 15 years since the introduction of its T-SPOT technology in the field of TB diagnostics. In that time, we have taken the classic ELISPOT technique and developed it into the world leading proprietary T-SPOT technology platform we now use to measure T cell immune responses, improving performance, standardizing results, and streamlining the workflow. This high performance is ensured by our regularly audited manufacturing facility operating to our rigorous quality management system. The T-SPOT.TB test, an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) test using the T-SPOT technology platform, has been granted regulatory approval for clinical diagnostic use in over 50 countries, including US, EU, Japan and China. The research use-only T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 assay uses this same technology to allow SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells to be detected and enumerated. The optimized antigen mix used in the test is based on SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins and allows the maximum breadth of the immune response to be measured. The Company’s single antigen-per-well approach allows specific information about the immune response to different SARS-CoV-2 antigens to be gathered in parallel. Sample processing can be centralised whilst still enabling testing on fresh (rather than frozen) blood, using the Company’s T-Cell Xtend® reagent (32 hr room temperature (RT) sample stability).

Forward-Looking Statements

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. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “projects,” and “future” or similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements contained herein which do not describe historical or current facts, including beliefs about the Company’s growing expertise of the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 and the database, including that the kit will have increased value as a research tool and beliefs about the benefits of the cross-reactive panel and related data. 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 measuring T cells in any aspect of vaccine research may not be as important as expected, that the data available will not contribute as much or any increased value to the kits, the T cell response might not play as important of a role as expected in combatting the virus, the T cell testing may not help in understanding of the efficacy of new vaccines, the ability to execute on collaborations and the parties’ ability to deliver on the expected benefits of collaborations, disruptions in the global economic and political environments, the risks associated with Oxford Immunotec’s recently announced pending sale to PerkinElmer, Inc. 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 Oxford Immunotec’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year-ended December 31, 2019 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020, and September 30, 2020, and in any other reports it files with the Commission, including Current Reports on Form 8-K. Oxford Immunotec’s SEC filings are available for free by visiting the investor section of its website,, or the SEC’s website,

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.

For Investor Inquiries:

Matt McLaughlin
Chief Financial Officer
Oxford Immunotec
Tel: +1 (508) 573-9953