Life sciences tools and services provider Avacta (AVCT:AIM) rises 1% to 102.5p on making a breakthrough in the fight against the Zika virus.

The news comes just 13 weeks after the company set to work on the fight against the infection, which is a threat to pregnant women as it can cause birth defects.

Avacta has discovered three Affimers, a type of scaffolding that binds molecules together. These Affimers will bind to NS1, a protein found in Zika, which could potentially speed up the detection of the virus, for which no cure yet exists.

Web - Avacta - 22 June 2016

Avacta is an example of how life sciences services and products companies can generate revenue from the drug development industry without taking huge risks. They help companies to develop new drugs and therefore do not have to invest huge sums of investors’ cash to bring those treatments to market.

These companies typically charge a fee for the products and services that they provide, although some take a cut of the royalties of future sales, if the drug is approved.

The Zika outbreak in Brazil has made headlines around the world because the Olympics will be held in Rio during August. Golfer Rory Mcllroy is reported to have pulled out of the games because of the virus.

Issue Date: 22 Jun 2016