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10 December, 2018 - 09:56 By Tony Quested

Great Korea move as Avacta lines up $310m haul from LG

Cambridge BioMedTech innovator Avacta Group has lined up a potential $310 million haul from a deal with LG Chem Life Sciences, part of the South Korean LG Group.

The alliance is designed to develop the UK-quoted company’s Affimer® therapeutics in several disease areas and improve millions of patients’ lives globally.

This multi-target therapeutics development agreement provides for upfront and near-term milestone payments, plus longer-term clinical development milestones totalling $180m.

Avacta will also receive royalties on any future product sales and LG Chem will cover Avacta's costs of research and development associated with the collaboration.

Avacta may receive an additional $130m in option fees and milestone payments should LG elect to exercise their options for additional targets.

The Cambridge business will generate and carry out early-stage optimisation of Affimer® drug candidates against multiple undisclosed targets.

LG Chem and Avacta will collaborate to progress these candidates through to drug candidate selection and LG Chem will be responsible for pre-clinical and regulatory studies, clinical development and world-wide marketing of any resulting products.

The Affimer® technology is Avacta's proprietary alternative to antibodies with wide applications in the life sciences for drug development, diagnostics and research tools.

Avacta's in-house therapeutic pipeline is focused on immuno-oncology and the group expects to advance its lead programme, a PD-L1/LAG3 bispecific, into the clinic in 2020 whilst building out its pipeline of innovative Affimer® drug candidates.

Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group said: “I am delighted to be entering into this therapeutic development partnership with LG Chem which is a strong validation of the potential of the Affimer® platform.

“This alliance is an exciting opportunity, not only to work with a partner who has first class biologics manufacturing and clinical development capabilities, but who also has a pioneering vision to develop innovative therapies.

“This landmark agreement with LG Chem reflects the substantial progress that we have made in developing the Affimer® technology as a therapeutic platform and I look forward to updating the market on future progress and other partnerships.”

Dr Jeewoong Son, president of LG Chem Life Sciences added: “Utilising Avacta's Affimer® technology – a novel non-antibody protein format overcoming limitations of classical antibody-based therapy – and LG Chem's biologics capability in development and manufacturing, it will take us to the next level of treatment paradigm and to open up a new horizon in biologics therapeutic strategies. I believe, this innovative collaboration will deliver value to patients and will transform patients' lives.”

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