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Avacta Group PLC - Trading Update

RNS Number : 6434A
Avacta Group PLC
23 January 2020
 

 


 

 

23 January 2020

Avacta Group plc

("Avacta" or "the Group" or "the Company")

 

Trading Update

 

Strong revenue growth and cash position

 

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce a trading update for the 17 month period ended 31 December 2019.

Revenues for the period, which include the initial milestone payment from LG Chem, have grown 100% to £5.5m from £2.76m (12 months ended 31 July 2018) and are ahead of market expectations. Importantly revenues from the Affimer® diagnostics business have grown by 130% as more customer evaluations of the Affimer® platform are underway. The Group's order intake and sales pipeline into 2020 are the strongest to date.

The Group's revenues this year will benefit from the expanded LG Chem partnership, the new collaboration established with ADC Therapeutics and the recently announced joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals; each of which will fully fund Avacta's related R&D activities.     

The cash position at 31 December 2019 was £8.7m (31 July 2018: £5.2m), also ahead of market forecasts, following completion of the placing in November 2019. The Group is focusing its resources on its partnered programmes and on taking its first pre|CISION pro-drug, AVA6000, into the clinic in the second half of 2020.

The Group intends to announce its audited results for the 17 months ended 31 December 2019 in late March 2020.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group, commented:

"We are delighted with the significant commercial and operational progress that has been made during the period, expanding our therapeutic development partnership with LG Chem and adding new collaborations with ADC Therapeutics and with Daewoong. Our diagnostics business has continued to gain traction and is poised for continued growth in 2020 which should ultimately lead to license revenues.

 

"We are also due to take our first drug AVA6000, a re-engineered form of the chemotherapy Doxorubicin into the clinic in the middle of 2020, making it a ground-breaking year for the Group. AVA6000 has been modified with Avacta's pre|CISION technology to reduce the side effects without affecting the efficacy of this effective cancer treatment. The initial readout, which aims to show that the side effects of this chemotherapy have been reduced, are expected before the end of the year which represents a major value inflection point for Avacta and a significant commercial opportunity.

 

"I am therefore looking ahead with confidence and believe 2020 will be an exciting year of further progress."

 

- Ends -

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (MAR)

 

For further information from Avacta Group plc, please contact:

Avacta Group plc

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Tony Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer

 

Tel:  +44 (0) 844 414 0452

www.avacta.com

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls - Corporate Finance

Tim Redfern - ECM

Tel:  +44 (0) 207 220 0500

www.finncap.com

 

Yellow Jersey PR (Financial Media and IR)

Sarah Hollins

Henry Wilkinson

 

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Katie Odgaard

 

Tel: +44 (0)7764 947 137

Tel: +44 (0)7951 402 336

[email protected]

 

Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

[email protected] 

 

 

About Avacta Group plc - https://www.avacta.com

Avacta is developing novel cancer immunotherapies combining its two proprietary platforms - Affimer® biotherapeutics and pre|CISION™ tumour targeted chemotherapy. With this approach, the Company aims to address the lack of a durable response to current immunotherapies experienced by most patients. The Company's therapeutics development activities are based in Cambridge, UK.

 

The Company benefits from near-term revenues generated from Affimer reagents for diagnostics, bioprocessing and research, through a separate business unit based in Wetherby, UK.

 

The Affimer platform is an alternative to antibodies derived from a small human protein. Despite their shortcomings, antibodies currently dominate markets worth in excess of $100bn.  Affimer technology has been designed to address many of these negative performance issues, principally: the time taken, and the reliance on an animal's immune response, to generate new antibodies; poor specificity in many cases; large size and cost. 

 

Avacta's pre|CISION platform, activates chemotherapy only in the tumour, thereby limiting systemic exposure and damage to healthy tissues, and thus improving the overall safety and therapeutic potential of these powerful anti-cancer treatments. 

 

By combining these two platforms the Company is building a wholly owned pipeline of novel cancer therapies with the aim of creating effective treatments for all cancer patients including those who do not respond to existing immunotherapies. Avacta expects to take its first drug, a pre|CISION targeted form of the standard-of-care Doxorubicin, into the clinic in the middle of 2020.

 

Avacta has established drug development partnerships with pharma and biotech, including with Moderna Therapeutics Inc., a collaboration with LG Chem to develop treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases worth up to $310m, a partnership with ADC Therapeutics to develop Affimer drug conjugates and a joint venture in South Korea with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals to develop the next generation of stem cell therapies that incorporate Affimer immuno-modulators. Avacta actively seeks to license its proprietary platforms in a range of therapeutic areas.

 

The Avacta diagnostics business unit works with partners world-wide to develop Affimers for evaluation by those third parties with the objective of establishing royalty bearing license deals. The Company is also developing a small in-house pipeline of Affimer-based diagnostic assays for licensing.

To register for news alerts by email go to www.avacta.com/investor-news-email-alerts

 

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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Quick facts: Avacta Group PLC

Price: 23

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £40.49 m
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