Revenue up but losses widen for Wetherby life sciences business

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US licensing deal for Wetherby life sciences firm
Avacta Chief Exec Alastair Smith pictured right

Avacta, the Wetherby-based life sciences group, has reported a 16% rise in revenue to reach £1.5 million, despite pre-tax losses widening to £4.4 million for the six months to 31 January 2018.

The affirmer develop said it has witness significant progress with its in-house programmes and added it was on-track to deliver several pre-clinical milestones this year.

For example, the Group said it has seen a positive outcome of a preliminary trial with Glythera which, it said, led to a new drug development partnership with affirmer drug conjugates.

Moreover, the Group is in discussions with a number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies concerning affirmer therapeutics opportunities.

CEO Alastair Smith said: “”The Group has delivered strongly against the objectives set out in 2015 when it raised funds to initiate an Affimer drug development programme and to begin commercialisation of Affimer reagents.

“We remain focused on the key objective of generating clinical data for our lead Affimer therapeutic programme. This first-time-in-human data is a significant value inflection point for the technology and a major de-risking point from a partnering perspective.

“Whilst we progress towards the clinic in 2020, the Group will continue to build-out a potentially transformative pipeline of assets in immuno-oncology.

“Avacta is confident that partnerships can be established for assets in this pipeline before the technology is in the clinic, but we also believe that the value of these deals will rise markedly when the first Affimer human clinical data is obtained.

“We will continue to grow the Affimer reagents revenue during this time period, with a focus on long term recurring royalty revenue rather than short term services income, with the objective of creating a potentially stand-alone business unit.

“As a proven platform technology addressing multiple markets, the downside risk is low, with significant upside potential as we build a pipeline of valuable drug assets.

“Sanofi’s recent acquisition of a clinical stage comparator to Avacta (Ablynx) for $5 billion highlights the potential valuation of a clinical stage platform technology like Affimers with a pipeline of assets in development.”