Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cancer therapies and powerful diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, is pleased to announce that a pre-clinical development milestone has been achieved in the multi-target therapeutics development partnership with LG Chem Life Sciences (“LG Chem”), the life sciences division of the South Korean LG Group, triggering an undisclosed milestone payment.
Avacta and LG Chem have a multi-target therapeutics development agreement to develop Affimer® therapeutics in several disease areas. As part of the agreement, LG Chem has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise, on a world-wide basis, Avacta’s Affimer® PD-L1 inhibitor with Affimer XT® serum half-life extension.
LG Chem has successfully completed certain pre-clinical in-vivo models in the PD-L1/XT programme leading to the selection of a pre-clinical candidate for further development towards the clinic and triggering an undisclosed milestone payment.
The partnership also provides LG Chem with rights to develop and commercialise other Affimer® and non-Affimer biotherapeutics combined with Affimer XT® half-life extension for a range of indications and Avacta could earn up to $55m in milestone payments for each of these new products. In addition, under the agreement Avacta will earn royalties on all future Affimer XT® product sales by LG Chem.
Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group, commented:
“I am delighted with the progress in our important strategic partnership with LG Chem. LG Chem is a world-class drug development partner with excellent biologics manufacturing and clinical development capabilities and a pioneering vision to develop innovative drugs.
“I am particularly pleased that we have achieved this significant milestone with a novel Affimer® bispecific product, which highlights the tremendous promise of the Affimer® platform.”
About Affimer XT®
Affimer XT® is a system for extending the time a drug spends in the circulation (“serum half-life extension”). Affimer XT® comprises an Affimer® that binds to a large blood protein called Serum Albumin that is too large to be cleared rapidly from the circulation. Half-life extension can be achieved by linking Affimer XT® to a small drug such as an Affimer® PD-L1 inhibitor to make a bispecific drug molecule. A small drug that might otherwise be cleared through the kidneys in a matter of hours, will remain in the circulation for many days if attached to Serum Albumin via Affimer XT®. A long serum half-life increases the exposure of a tumour to the drug and potentially therefore improves the therapeutic effect.