Avacta Group Preliminary Results for the Year Ending 31 July 2017

Published: Oct 04, 2017

Further significant progress in the Affimer therapeutics programmes

Commercial traction for Affimer reagents building and multiple licenses agreed

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce its unaudited preliminary results for the year ending 31 July 2017.

Operating Highlights

Affimer Therapeutics

• Significant de-risking of the broader Affimer biotherapeutic opportunity
• Discovery programme delivering a pipeline of Affimers to important immuno-oncology targets
• Excellent progress in lead immuno-oncology programme (PD-L1 inhibitor): Programme remains on track to be ready for first-in-man clinical trials in 2019
• Partnership with Moderna expanded to include more drug targets
• Collaboration signed with Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to show potential of Affimer based CAR-T therapies: reporting H1 2018
• Collaboration with Glythera established to demonstrate suitability of Affimers as the targeting molecule in drug conjugates: reporting H2 2017

Affimer Research and Diagnostics Reagents

• Strong growth in pipeline of paid-for Affimer technology evaluations with order book up 91% YOY. Focus on licensing opportunities with pharma, biotech, diagnostic and reagents companies
• Evaluations now beginning to deliver licensing agreements and repeat business that will underpin medium and long term revenue growth

Financial Highlights

• Group revenues increase 26% to £2.74m (2016: £2.17m)
• Avacta Life Sciences revenue £1.15m (2016: £0.70m), in line with market expectations
• Avacta Animal Health revenue £1.59m (2016: £1.46m)
• Loss from continuing operations £6.37m (2016: £4.65m)
•Loss per share increased to 9.31p (2016: 6.86p)
• Cash balances at £13.17m (2016: £19.52m) well ahead of market expectations
• Net assets as at 31 July 2017 £29.89m (2016: £35.86m)

Other Highlights

• Affimer intellectual property portfolio expanded
• Two new facilities completed in Wetherby and Cambridge totaling around 20,000 sq ft

Dr Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“The past twelve months have been an exceptionally strong period of performance and we have never been more excited about the potential for the Affimer technology.

The commercial traction for Affimer reagents has continued to build which is reflected in the strong growth in the number of technology evaluations and license deals that have been agreed. The first license deal with a global diagnostics company represents a significant milestone and we are confident of delivering further license deals which are key steps on the path to building a profitable Affimer reagents business.

Major milestones that have been delivered in the past year include the positive outcome of the first animal efficacy data and excellent results from a major immunogenicity trial on human samples. The pipeline of immuno-oncology assets now includes Affimers for T-cell recruitment and co-stimulatory receptor agonists which plays to the key technical strengths of the Affimer technology for immuno-oncology. The progress with the lead PD-L1 inhibitor programme, and the overall de-risking of the Affimer therapeutic platform, has been outstanding.

These technical successes have, as expected, generated growing interest from potential partners and we continue to work with them providing data and supporting technology evaluations that will eventually lead to licensing deals.

Antibodies have become the dominant technology in markets worth in excess of $100 billion annually and this is despite some significant limitations. The opportunity therefore, for a competitive alternative such as the Affimer technology, is very large.

We believe that 2018 could be a very significant year for the Group and I look forward to further updating the market on future progress.”

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