Two US biotech companies licence Affimer reagents for research use

Exclusive licence deals follow successful custom Affimer evaluations


Avacta is pleased to announce that two leading US biotech companies have separately taken exclusive rights to Affimer reagents for research and development use, to support their respective drug development programmes.

Avacta has developed the Affimer technology platform to provide proprietary, high quality reagents to Life Sciences companies for therapeutic, diagnostic and research use. The Company continues to deliver on its licensing model under which it provides bespoke Affimer reagents, via fully funded development projects, for third party research use, incorporation into both diagnostic and other products, and for therapeutic development. 

Following technical evaluations, Avacta has agreed exclusive licensing arrangements for bespoke Affimer reagents with two US based biotech companies. In line with deals of this nature and sensitivity commercial terms cannot be disclosed.

The first, a global top fifteen biotech company, needed an Affimer reagent to capture a human protein with no cross-reactivity against the same protein from other species commonly used in drug development, such as rodent. No antibodies exist that are capable of providing this “species specificity” and the new Affimer reagent will allow the biotech partner to develop previously unavailable assays to support its drug development activities. A number of Affimer reagents which met these demanding criteria were generated by Avacta and, under the terms of the agreement, the biotech partner has been allowed to take exclusive rights to one of those Affimer molecules for research use.

The second, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, wished to detect a certain human protein, mutations of which are known to lead to worse overall survival rates in some cancers. This protein is one of a group of very similar proteins and no antibodies are available that can differentiate reliably between the different members of this protein family. Avacta was able to generate several Affimer reagents that met these requirements and the US biopharmaceutical company has taken exclusive rights to one of these Affimer reagents to support its in-house drug discovery programmes in oncology.

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

“These two custom Affimer reagent licensing deals are further evidence of the ability of Affimer technology to meet challenging requirements for use in real world applications when, to date, antibodies have been unable to provide a satisfactory solution.

At this early stage of commercialisation such successes are important factors in building awareness and adoption of the Affimer technology, which is key to allowing us to deliver on our strategy of executing therapeutic and diagnostic licensing deals.

This excellent progress follows the recent exclusive licensing deal with a top three global diagnostics company and I look forward to being able to update the market again in the near future.”