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Avacta agrees Affimer reagent licensing deal with New England Biolabs

Royalty bearing license agreement to commercialise a product incorporating the Affimer technology

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that it has agreed a commercial license with New England Biolabs® (NEB®) (Ipswich MA, USA), a global leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications, to commercialise a product using the Affimer technology for use in both life science research and diagnostics assays.

Avacta and NEB have been collaborating to develop Affimers to combine with NEB’s reagents. Avacta has identified Affimers that specifically inhibit certain NEB proprietary enzymes to provide modulation of their activity in response to temperature. Unlike alternative enzyme inhibitors, Affimers can be fine-tuned to switch at the right temperature without having a negative effect on the overall assay performance. NEB is in the final stages of product testing and the two companies have agreed terms under which NEB will commercialise the combined product.

Financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed, but Avacta will receive a royalty on product sales, which may occur as soon as 2019.

NEB and Avacta expect to continue the collaboration to generate Affimer tools and inhibitors to other enzymes, enabling further product developments.

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group commented: “We are delighted that the collaboration with New England Biolabs, a highly respected, globally recognized leader in the life sciences reagents market, has resulted in this commercial agreement to incorporate the Affimer technology into one of their products.

This is another important milestone for Avacta, because it further validates the Affimer technology and our licensing business model. We have built a pipeline of evaluations and collaborations, such as this one with New England Biolabs, to deliver numerous license agreements to commercialise Affimer-based products. Collectively, these royalty bearing licenses will underpin the future high margin revenue from Affimer reagents.

We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration to generate more combined products for the research and molecular diagnostic markets.

This is a very exciting time for the Group and we look forward to updating the market on continuing commercial progress for Affimer reagents and, importantly, on therapeutic licensing deals.”