Therapeutic licensing partnership with Moderna Therapeutics, Inc.

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Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the global provider of proprietary diagnostic tools, consumables and reagents for life sciences, announces that Avacta Life Sciences has entered into a collaboration, licensing and option agreement with Moderna Therapeutics, Inc. (‘Moderna’).

Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna will make an upfront payment of $500,000 which provides Moderna exclusive access to Affimer technology against certain targets which may be extended to include additional targets by a further payment. Moderna will also make certain payments to Avacta for research services to deliver pre-clinical development milestones.

Moderna has the option to enter into exclusive license agreements for selected therapeutic Affimer candidates for clinical development and in each case Avacta will be entitled to milestone payments. The total value of these payments could reach several tens of millions of dollars. Avacta is also entitled to royalties in connection with future product sales.

Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive commented:

“This agreement represents a significant opportunity for Avacta with tangible, near term revenues from upfront payments and research services, with additional milestone payments and royalties on future sales of therapeutics. It is a transformational deal for Avacta and Affimer technology and I am absolutely delighted to be working with Moderna, a leader in this exciting new field of mRNA therapeutics.

“The collaboration with Moderna is an important validation of the Affimer technology, highlighting the potential for it to become a real alternative to antibodies. I have no doubt that this early adoption in the therapeutic field will act as a catalyst for others and it represents a step change in the valuation of the Affimer technology.”