Diagnostic Licensing Deal with Biokit
9 March 2021
Avacta Group plc
("Avacta" or "the Group")
Diagnostic Licensing Deal with Biokit
Royalty bearing license agreement to develop and commercialise an Affimer®-based in-vitro diagnostic test
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of innovative cancer therapies and diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a license agreement with Biokit, a Werfen Company, to incorporate Affimer® reagents into a Biokit in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) product.
Biokit is recognised and renowned as a Centre of Excellence with consolidated experience worldwide in research, development and manufacturing of assays and biomaterial solutions for IVD use.
The license agreement follows an extensive evaluation by Biokit of certain Affimer reagents to detect a key analyte. Under the terms of the agreement Biokit has the right to develop, manufacture and commercialise through original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners a diagnostic immunoassay for this analyte.
Avacta will receive royalties on future sales of any products brought to market following completion of product development and regulatory approvals. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group commented:
"I am delighted to have established this partnership with Biokit, a world-renowned IVD company, which further validates the Affimer reagent platform for diagnostics. Avacta's diagnostics business model combines development of a wholly owned pipeline of products, including the SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test, with licensing of Affimer reagents to diagnostic development partners such as Biokit.
Biokit will develop an automated clinical assay using the Affimer reagents that Avacta has developed for them and I look forward to the successful conclusion of that development process and product launch. There is also potential for the partnership between our two companies to continue and expand to include other diagnostic targets and future Affimer-based IVDs."
Dr Marta Palicio, Innovation Director of Biokit commented:
"Biokit is very pleased to have reached this agreement with Avacta. The agreement will increase the competitiveness of our customized assay offering for our partners. Avacta's technology also enables us to innovate our assays with new reagents like Affimer® reagents, an alternative to antibodies. We can now move onto the next stage of development, incorporation of this technology into new products. We hope this is the first of many assays containing Affimer® reagents which will be developed by Avacta".
This announcement contains information which, prior to its disclosure, was considered inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 (MAR).
For further information from Avacta Group plc, please contact:
Avacta Group plc
Tel: +44 (0) 844 414 0452
Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Tony Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer
finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 0500
Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls - Corporate Finance
Tim Redfern - ECM
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 710 7600
Nicholas Moore / Nick Adams / Fred Walsh / Ben Maddison
FTI Consulting (Financial Media and IR)
Tel: +44 (0) 203 727 1000
Simon Conway / Stephanie Cuthbert
Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Tel: +44 (0) 7787 502 947
About Avacta Group plc - https://www.avacta.com
Avacta Group is developing novel cancer immunotherapies and powerful diagnostics based on its two proprietary platforms - Affimer® biologics and pre|CISION™ tumour targeted chemotherapies.
The Affimer platform is an alternative to antibodies derived from a small human protein. Despite their shortcomings, antibodies currently dominate markets, such as diagnostics and therapeutics, worth in excess of $100bn. Affimer technology has been designed to address many of these negative performance issues, principally: the time taken to generate new antibodies and the reliance on an animal's immune response; poor specificity in many cases; their large size, complexity and high cost of manufacture.
Avacta's pre|CISION targeted chemotherapy platform releases active chemotherapy in the tumour, which limits the systemic exposure that causes damage to healthy tissues, and thereby improves the overall safety and therapeutic potential of these powerful anti-cancer treatments.
The Group comprises two divisions: The therapeutics development activities are based in Cambridge, UK and the Group is generating near-term revenues from Affimer reagents for diagnostics, bioprocessing and research, through a separate diagnostics business unit based in Wetherby, UK.
Avacta's Diagnostics Division works with partners world-wide to develop bespoke Affimer reagents for third party products. The Group is also developing an in-house pipeline of Affimer-based diagnostic assays including the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 Lateral Flow Rapid Antigen Test and AffiDX® BAMS™ SARS-CoV-2 Assay in partnership with Adeptrix Inc.
Avacta's Therapeutics Division is addressing a critical gap in current cancer treatment - the lack of a durable response to current immunotherapies experienced by most patients. By combining its two proprietary platforms the Group is building a wholly owned pipeline of novel cancer therapies deigned to be effective for all cancer patients. In 2021 Avacta will commence a phase 1 first-in-human, open label, dose-escalation and expansion study of AVA6000 Pro-doxorubicin, the Group's lead pre|CISION™ prodrug, in patients with locally advanced or metastatic selected solid tumours.
Avacta has established drug development partnerships with pharma and biotech, including a research collaboration with ModernaTX,Inc. (formerly Moderna Therapeutics Inc.), a multi-target deal with LG Chem worth up to $400m, a joint venture in South Korea with Daewoong Pharmaceutical focused on cell and gene therapies incorporating Affimer immune-modulators, a partnership with ADC Therapeutics to develop Affimer-drug conjugates and a collaboration with Point Biopharma to develop radiopharmaceuticals based on the pre|CISION™ platform. Avacta continues to actively seek to license its proprietary platforms in a range of therapeutic areas.
To register for news alerts by email go to www.avacta.com/investor-news-email-alerts
About Biokit (www.biokit.com)
Biokit, a Werfen Company, is a Centre of Excellence with more than 45 years dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of Assay and Biomaterial for in vitro diagnostics use. Biokit is one of the world's leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) companies for the development and manufacture of customized products and solutions for the in vitro diagnostics industry.