Avacta joint venture completes fresh funding round
Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Avacta Group announced on Thursday that AffyXell, its joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals, has completed a funding round to advance its lead mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) programme towards the clinic, and to develop its wider preclinical pipeline of cell therapies.
The AIM-traded firm launched the AffyXell venture with Daewoong in January 2020, in a bid to develop “the next generation” of cell and gene therapies based on mesenchymal stem cells, incorporating its ‘Affimer’ immunotherapies.
It said the new class of stem cell therapy was designed to produce Affimer proteins, in situ in the body, that reduce inflammatory or autoimmune responses to the stem cell therapy to potentially enhance their therapeutic effects.
The proceeds of the fundraise, which remained undisclosed for “confidentiality” reasons and were from existing and new financial and strategic investors, would allow the company to progress through significant value inflection points.
Avacta said the funds would be used to support investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies which would underpin a regulatory filing to take its lead programme into the clinic.
The funding would also allow AffyXell to develop the broader pipeline of cell therapies to address a wide range of immune diseases with high unmet needs, and to reinforce its platform intellectual property portfolio.
“We are delighted with the continued strong progress made by AffyXell,” said chief executive officer Dr Alastair Smith.
“This joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceutical is a key strategic collaboration allowing us to demonstrate the potential of the Affimer platform to enhance cell therapies generally, as well as providing an opportunity to address high unmet need in AffyXell's focus area of immune diseases.”
At 1505 BST, shares in Avacta Group were down 4.36% at 109.12p.
Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.