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Avacta Group PLC   -  AVCT   

Drug Development Partnership with Glythera

Released 07:00 15-Jan-2018

RNS Number : 7915B
Avacta Group PLC
15 January 2018




15 January 2018


Avacta Group plc


("Avacta" or "the Group" or "the Company")


Positive Outcome of Proof-of-Concept Study with Glythera and

Follow on Drug Development Partnership  


·     Successful proof-of-concept study leads to Affimer drug conjugate development partnership

·     Affimers shown to have key technical benefits for drug conjugates

·     Drug conjugate market expected to be worth $14.6bn by 2030


Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that its initial study with Glythera Limited, the developer of next generation antibody drug conjugates, has concluded successfully.  Following this study the two companies have agreed the terms of a licensing deal which will allow them to develop drug conjugates using the combined technologies.  The detailed terms of the license have not been disclosed but Avacta would receive development milestone payments and royalties on sales of an approved drug developed by Glythera.


The antibody drug conjugate market is estimated to be worth around $1bn today from two approved compounds and is expected to be worth $14.6bn annually by 2030[1].  Drug conjugates combine a chemotherapy (toxin) with a protein such as an antibody or Affimer to target that toxin to the tumor.


Avacta and Glythera have carried out a proof-of-concept study designed to demonstrate that Avacta's Affimer® technology could be combined with Glythera's Permalink® conjugation chemistry to provide a technically superior drug conjugate platform with shorter development times, simpler, more consistent production and greater chemical stability.  An Affimer, compared with a much larger antibody, potentially also allows greater control over the time the drug spends in the blood stream and deeper tumor penetration producing a more effective medicine with fewer toxic side effects.


Importantly, the initial trial has also shown that the Affimer remains functional when the toxic payload has been added indicating that the combination of the two technologies has the potential to develop drug conjugate therapies.


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

"The drug conjugate market is a very important one for the Affimer technology because of the key benefits of Affimers' solvent stability, controlled conjugation chemistry and small size which have now been clearly demonstrated.  When combined with the benefits of Glythera's Permalink chemistry, we believe that there is potential to create a competitive, differentiated drug conjugate platform.


I am delighted with the reciprocal arrangements that we have put in place with Glythera allowing both companies to develop Affimer-Permalink drug conjugates and I look forward to updating the market on progress in Avacta's drug development programmes in due course."




For further information from Avacta Group plc, please contact:

Avacta Group plc

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Tony Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer


Tel:  +44 (0) 844 414 0452

finnCap Ltd

Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls - Nominated Adviser

Tim Redfern / Alice Lane / Nikita Jain -

Corporate Broking


WG Partners

Nigel Birks / Nigel Barnes

David Wilson / Claes Spang

Tel:  +44 (0) 207 220 0500




Tel:  +44 (0) 203 705 9318

Tel:  +44 (0) 203 705 9217


Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Katie Odgaard


Yellow Jersey PR (Financial Media and IR)

Sarah Hollins

Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947 


Tel: +44 (0)7764 947137



For further information from Glythera Ltd, please contact:

Glythera Ltd

Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer

Ian Evetts, Chief Business Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 191 6031680


FTI Consulting (Financial Media and IR)

Tel: +44 (0) 020 3727 1000

Simon Conway / Mo Noonan / Rob Winder



Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Lorna Cuddon


Tel: +44 (0) 7811996942


About Avacta Group plc (

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 $100bn despite their shortcomings. Affimer technology has 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. Affimer technology is 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 has a pre-clinical biotech development programme with an in-house focus on immuno-oncology and bleeding disorders as well as partnered development programmes. Avacta is commercialising non-therapeutic Affimer reagents through licensing to developers of life sciences research tools and diagnostics.




About Glythera Limited

Glythera is a biotechnology company focussed on the development of next generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) designed to combat difficult-to-treat tumours, including those that are resistant or refractory to current treatment regimens. Glythera's pipeline of stable, safe and superior ADCs is centred on its highly stable PermaLink® conjugation platform in combination with a portfolio of highly potent cytotoxic payloads designed to enhance antitumor activity and improve the lives of cancer patients. 

For further information visit:




[1] Antibody Drug Conjugates Market (4th Edition) 2017-2030, Roots Analysis.


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Drug Development Partnership with Glythera - RNS