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23 January, 2020 - 21:07 By Tony Quested

Avacta Group revenues rocket with order intake and sales pipeline strongest to date

Avacta Group plc in Cambridge, which develops Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is racking up record revenue figures, according to a trading update for the 17 months to December 31.

Revenues for the period, which include the initial milestone payment from LG Chem, have grown 100 per cent to £5.5 million from £2.76m (12 months ended July 31, 2018) and are ahead of market expectations. 

Revenues from the Affimer® diagnostics business have grown by 130 per cent 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.

Avacta says revenues this year will benefit from the expanded LG Chem partnership, a 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 December 31 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.

Chief executive Dr Alastair Smith, said: “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.”

Avacta recently announced the appointment of Paul Fry as non-executive director with effect from February 3. Fry has extensive financial experience across a number of industries including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and telecommunications.

He is currently chief financial officer of Vectura Group plc, an industry leading inhaled drug delivery specialist listed on the FTSE Main Market. 

Prior to his current position, he was chief financial officer of Immunocore Limited, a biotech company focused on the development of a new class of immunotherapeutic drugs based on proprietary T-cell receptor technology. 
 
He has also served as director of global finance operations at Vodafone plc and spent more than 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline where he held a number of senior roles.

Fry will be appointed chair of the Audit Committee.

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