4 February 2019
Avacta Group plc
("Avacta", the "Group" or the "Company")
Moderna Exercises Option for an Exclusive Product License
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that ModernaTX, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) has exercised its option to enter into an exclusive licensing agreement with respect to certain Affimers against a potential therapeutic target that has been part of an ongoing research collaboration between the two companies.
In 2015, Avacta and Moderna entered into a collaboration, license and option agreement under which Moderna was granted exclusive access to Avacta's Affimer technology for certain collaboration targets and the option to enter into exclusive license agreements on pre-agreed terms to further research, develop and commercialize Affimers selected by Moderna.
Under the terms of the agreement Avacta may receive undisclosed payments upon future clinical development milestones and royalties in connection with future product sales.
Dr Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"I am delighted to report that Moderna has exercised its option to enter into this exclusive license agreement with respect to certain Affimer molecules that have been generated through our collaboration. This is further strong validation of the potential of the Affimer drug platform to generate differentiated therapeutic molecules for development.
We will continue to support Moderna and their development objectives and I look forward to updating the market as and when key development milestones are met."
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
Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls - Nominated Adviser
Tim Redfern - ECM
Nigel Birks / Nigel Barnes
David Wilson / Claes Spang
Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 0500
Tel: +44 (0) 203 705 9318
Tel: +44 (0) 203 705 9217
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About Avacta Group plc (www.avacta.com)
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 as well as partnered development programmes. Avacta is commercialising non-therapeutic Affimer® reagents through licensing to developers of life sciences research tools and diagnostics.
The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014