Avacta Group plc
("Avacta" or "the Group")
Therapeutic licensing partnership with Moderna Therapeutics, Inc.
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the global provider of proprietary diagnostic tools, consumables and reagents for life sciences, announces that Avacta Life Sciences has entered into a collaboration, licensing and option agreement with Moderna Therapeutics, Inc. ('Moderna').
Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna will make an upfront payment of $500,000 which provides Moderna exclusive access to Affimers against certain targets which may be extended to include additional targets by a further payment. Moderna will also make certain payments to Avacta for research services to deliver pre-clinical development milestones.
Moderna has the option to enter into exclusive license agreements for selected therapeutic Affimer candidates for clinical development and in each case Avacta will be entitled to milestone payments. The total value of these payments could reach several tens of millions of dollars. Avacta is also entitled to royalties in connection with future product sales.
Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive commented: "This agreement represents a significant opportunity for Avacta with tangible, near term revenues from upfront payments and research services, with additional milestone payments and royalties on future sales of therapeutics. It is a transformational deal for Avacta and Affimers and I am absolutely delighted to be working with Moderna, a leader in this exciting new field of mRNA therapeutics.
"The collaboration with Moderna is an important validation of the Affimer technology, highlighting the potential for Affimers to become a real alternative to antibodies. I have no doubt that this early adoption of Affimers in the therapeutic field will act as a catalyst for others and it represents a step change in the valuation of the Affimer technology.
Avacta Group plc
Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Tim Sykes, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 844 414 0452
Numis Securities Limited
Michael Meade / Freddie Barnfield - Nominated Adviser
James Black - Corporate Broking
Tel: +44 (0) 207 260 1000
Walbrook PR Ltd
Mike Wort / Anna Dunphy
Tel: +44 (0) 207 933 8780
Notes to Editors
Avacta Group plc (www.avacta.com)
Avacta Group plc is a global provider of innovative technologies, consumables and reagents for the life science markets, from drug discovery to diagnostics. Avacta's principal focus is on its proprietary Affimer® technology which is a novel engineered alternative to antibodies that has wide application in Life Sciences for diagnostics, therapeutics and general research and development.
Antibodies dominate markets worth in excess of $50bn despite their shortcomings. Affimers have been designed to address many of these negative performance issues, principally: the time taken to generate new antibodies, the reliance on an animal's immune response, poor specificity in many cases, and batch to batch variability. Affimers are based on a small protein that can be quickly generated to bind with high specificity and affinity to a wide range of protein targets.
Avacta is commercialising the Affimer reagents through custom Affimer services to provide bespoke solutions to customers, via a growing on-line catalogue of Affimer reagents and, in the longer term, by developing Affimers with therapeutic properties for out-licensing.