Record Year for Affimers in Scientific Publications

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that 2017 has been a record year for scientific publications using Affimer reagents with nine scientific papers reporting the work of leading groups world-wide.

Two recent papers from the world-renowned laboratory of David Komander at the University of Cambridge have been published in two important international journals – Molecular Cell, and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.  These research articles describe the use of Affimer reagents that recognise important cell signals called the “diubiquitin linkages” which are thought to be involved in a wide range of diseases.  Affimers have been generated that are specific to two of the diubiquitin linkages for which no antibodies exist and the work has revealed hitherto unknown biology.

Another powerful example of the broad utility of Affimer binders as research and diagnostic reagents was a paper in the journal eLife from a group at the University of Leeds in collaboration with numerous other scientists around the world.  In this paper the performance of Affimer reagents that bind to twelve different targets was compared with antibodies across seven different applications.  The paper showcases the key benefits of Affimer technology: high target specificity, intracellular activity, small size and wide target range.

The interest that a scientific paper generates is assessed by the tracking web site Altmetric.  Altmetric ranks the attention that the Affimer paper in eLife has received as being in the top 5% of all the 8.4 million papers ever tracked.

Dr Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Independent scientific reports featuring Affimer reagents are strong validations of the technology and highly influential indirect marketing.  During 2017 nine Affimer scientific papers have been published compared with two in 2016 and four in 2015 and are being read by an ever widening audience; a strong indication of the growing awareness and adoption of the Affimer technology.

As well as being a bumper year for Affimer publications, it is particularly pleasing to see reports of Affimers key benefits in the most prestigious scientific journals and I look forward to seeing this trend continue in 2018.”

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

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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.