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Avacta Group “significant technical and commercial” headway

03:37 EDT 7 Aug 2017 | Proactive Investors

Avacta Group Plc (LON:AVCT) said it is making “significant technical and commercial” headway with its Affimer technology as it updated on its progress. Affimers are small, engineered proteins, some of which are of human origin and some of plant origin, and are capable of binding specific molecular targets in a similar way to antibodies. Avacta in its announcement said it has developed multiple PD-L1 inhibitors as part of its immuno-oncology programme and has selected the most promising candidate to go forward to first-in-man clinical trial in 2019. READ: The trading update in full It said its technology showed a “clear indication of efficacy” in industry-standard mouse syngeneic models. The discovery programme is delivering a pipeline of Affimer binders to other important immuno-oncology targets, it added. Complementing its own in-house programme, Avacta also has a partnership with Moderna Therapeutics, as well as collaborations with the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Newcastle-based Glythera Ltd. In a comprehensive update, Avacta also reported strong growth in its pipeline of paid-for Affimer-based research with the order book up 64% year-on-year. “I am delighted that we have been able to report the signing of the first agreement for Affimer product development following a technology evaluation by one of the world's largest diagnostics developers,” said chief executive, Dr Alastair Smith. “A number of other evaluations are advancing positively and we believe that these will lead to further licensing deals which would result in long term royalty based revenue growth from non-therapeutic applications.” Financially, the company is making headway with revenues up 27% in the year to July 31 at £2.75mln. The loss was £7.9mln, but more importantly Avacta’s cash position was well ahead of market expectations at £13mln.

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