Avacta Raises £22M

Wetherby-based biotechnology business Avacta Group has raised up to £22m by way of a placing with new and existing institutional shareholders.

Net proceeds of approximately £21m will be used for infrastructure and in-house development programmes as part of Avacta’s strategy to develop a pipeline of affimer assets. Affimers are engineered proteins that mimic certain qualities of antibodies, but are much smaller, more robust and simpler to produce with consistent quality.

Avacta chief executive Alastair Smith thanked existing investors for “their continuing support” and welcomed “a number of new investors”.

Specialist lawyers at Walker Morris advised Avacta on the placing. Richard Naish and Shubhu Patil, both from the corporate department at Walker Morris provided legal advice to Avacta.

Naish said: “Avacta is a long-standing client of Walker Morris and we’ve worked with them on a number of key developments over the years, including on equity fundraising, M&A and other matters.”

Alan Aubrey, chief executive at Avacta backer IP Group, added: “This fundraising will allow Avacta to build on its success in developing affimers as an alternative to antibodies that can potentially overcome many of the latter’s limitations.

“We look forward to continuing to support the company as it further explores and develops this versatile and differentiated platform.”