Avacta results trigger sell-off

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Avacta results trigger sell-off
Master Investor Magazine

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The price of shares in AIM-listed biotechnology firm Avacta (LON:AVCT) has dropped by 9.33% to 34p (as of 13:00 GMT) as it reported a loss of $5.2 million. Half-year revenues were lower due to the absence of research services now that staff have been shifted to elsewhere in the company’s pipeline.

CEO Alastair Smith commented: “The Group remains focused on the key objective of first-time-in-human data for the Affimer therapeutic programme and growing a profitable Affimer reagents business.

First-time-in-human data is a significant value inflection point for the technology and a major de-risking point from a deal making perspective. The Group remains on track, to a tight schedule, to dose first patients in late 2020. The addition of Dr Jose Saro as Chief Medical Officer is a significant strengthening of the senior management team with regards this translation of programmes into the clinic.

Whilst the lead programmes progress into the clinic, the Group will continue to build-out its pipeline of immuno-oncology assets. The Group believes that the TMAC platform incorporating a range of Affimer immune checkpoint mono- and multi-specific therapies, and the complimentary development of co-administered combinations of Affimers with the chemotherapy drugs arising from the TMAC programme, provides the potential to develop an extensive, highly differentiated and valuable drug pipeline in the years ahead.

The Group has recently reported a substantial collaboration and license agreement with LG Chem and the exercise of a commercial license option by Moderna with whom the Group has been collaborating with since 2015. This combination of the growing technical and commercial progress is expected to help catalyse further significant partnerships in due course.

As a proven platform technology addressing multiple non-therapeutic markets the Group has the opportunity to establish a profitable reagents business, and there is significant upside potential as it builds a pipeline of valuable Affimer drug assets“.

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