Avacta Announces the Appointment of Darlene Deptula-Hicks as Non-Executive Director of the Board of Directors

Avacta Group plc

Avacta Announces the Appointment of Darlene Deptula-Hicks as
Non-Executive Director of the Board of Directors

London, England; July 8, 2024; Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), a life sciences company developing innovative, targeted cancer treatments and powerful diagnostics, today announced the appointment of Darlene Deptula-Hicks, MBA as a Non-Executive Director of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective 26 June 2024. Ms. Deptula-Hicks is a highly accomplished financial executive with decades of experience working with and advising private and public life sciences companies.

Shaun Chilton, Chairman of the Board of Avacta, commented:

“Avacta is at a pivotal time in its evolution, intensifying its focus on advancing our pre|CISION™ technology through clinical development. As we do so, it’s critical that the Avacta Board has the right commercial, financial and operational experience to support this. We look forward to working with Darlene in developing our capital market strategy and potential partnerships.”

Christina Coughlin MD, PhD, CEO of Avacta, added:
“As our clinical progress continues to gain momentum, we have evolved the Avacta Board to provide more robust commercial and market focus. Darlene brings many years’ experience that will provide invaluable support as we progress our platform.”

Ms. Deptula-Hicks is the interim CFO at Normunity, and prior to that served as CFO of F-star Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FSTX), which she took public in 2020 and successfully sold in 2023. Previously, she held the role of CFO at Northern Biologics and T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO). She also served as SVP and CFO of Pieris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PIRS) which she also took public. Ms. Deptula-Hicks currently sits on the Board of Directors of Abcuro and Aerami Therapeutics, providing strategic financial and business direction. Ms. Deptula-Hicks received her M.B.A. from Rivier University and B.S. in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.

Darlene Deptula-Hicks MBA, Non-Executive Director of Avacta, commented:

It’s an exciting time to be joining the Board of Avacta as the Company expands the clinical development of its therapeutic business and prepares to release a pipeline of innovative new medicines. I look forward to working with the Board and management, bringing my global market experience and contributing to the Company’s strategy and success.”

About Avacta Group plc - www.avacta.com

Avacta Group is a UK-based life sciences company focused on improving healthcare outcomes through targeted cancer treatments and diagnostics.

Avacta Therapeutics: a clinical stage oncology biotech division harnessing proprietary therapeutic platforms to develop novel, highly targeted cancer drugs.

Avacta Diagnostics focuses on supporting healthcare professionals and broadening access to diagnostics.

Avacta has two proprietary platforms, pre|CISION™ and Affimer®.

The pre|CISION™ platform is a highly specific substrate for fibroblast activation protein (FAP) which is upregulated in most solid tumours compared with healthy tissues. The pre|CISION™ platform harnesses this tumour specific protease to activate pre|CISION™ peptide drug conjugates and pre|CISION™ antibody/Affimer® drug conjugates in the tumour microenvironment, reducing systemic exposure and toxicity, allowing dosing to be optimised to deliver the best outcomes for patients.

The lead pre|CISION™ programme AVA6000, a peptide drug conjugate form of doxorubicin, is in Phase 1 studies. It has shown an improvement in safety and tolerability in clinical trials to date compared with standard doxorubicin and preliminary signs of clinical activity in multiple patients.

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For further information from Avacta Group plc, please contact:

Avacta Group plc
Christina Coughlin, CEO
Tony Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer
Michael Vinegrad, Group Communications Director


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