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.”

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 / Nikita Jain – Corporate Broking
Tel:  +44 (0) 207 220 0500

WG Partners
Nigel Birks / Nigel Barnes
David Wilson / Claes Spang
Tel:  +44 (0) 203 705 9318
Tel:  +44 (0) 203 705 9317

Yellow Jersey (Financial Media and IR)
Sarah Hollins
Tel: +44 (0)7764 947137

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Katie Odgaard
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947  

To see the research report produced by Capital Network that analyses our preliminary results, please click on the link below:
Link to report: (link is external)

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 $50bn 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.