viewAvacta Group PLC

Avacta raises £9mln as its moves towards first clinical trial

Seven evaluations are ongoing with possible partners, which includes four out of the top ten global diagnostics companies.

Avacta Group PLC -
AVA004 is being paused in favour of Pro-Doxorubicin

Biotech firm Avacta Group PLC (LON:AVCT) is to raise £9mln to push ahead with a first clinical trial of anti-cancer treatment Pro-Doxorubicin.

Avacta will use the funds to accelerate the collaboration with Tufts University Medical School on the drug, which is a new form of standard cancer drug Doxorubicin.

WATCH: Avacta Group PLC boss sees a huge opportunity with new version of cancer treatment

Doxorubicin has been a standard of care for soft tissue sarcomas for 40 years, but its use is limited by the heart damage it causes. Even so, the drug still generates US$1bn a year in revenues.

AVA6000, the combination with the technology licensed from Tufts last year is inert until activated by a tumour, which reduces the heart’s exposure to the chemotherapy and concentrates the active drug in the tumour.

Testing of ‘AVA6000 Pro-Doxorubicin’ has been limited to mice so far, but Avacta plans to start dosing patients in a phase 1 clinical trial in the second quarter of 2020, pending application and regulatory approval.

Avacta had previously said its first drug into human trials would be an Affimer PD-L1 inhibitor cancer treatment known as AVA004, but has decided to focus on Pro-Doxorubicin because it provides an opportunity for major licensing deal much sooner.

The £9mln of new money is being raised through a placing at 15p though there is also a small subscription.

Alastair Smith, chief executive, said that it was an “exciting time on all fronts” for the group and not just Pro-Doxorubicin.

Seven evaluations are ongoing with possible partners, he said, which includes four out of the top ten global diagnostics companies.

Heavier research spending meant a loss before tax of £11.1mln, in the year to July.

Gross profits though jumped 72% to £3.2mln, which included US$2.5mln received from new partner LG Chem Life Sciences.

Last December, LG Chem, a Korean group, agreed to fund development and eventually license Affimer technology in a deal potentially worth over US$300mln.

Quick facts: Avacta Group PLC

Price: 163 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £408.56 m

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events


The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

In exchange for publishing services rendered by the Company on behalf of Avacta Group PLC named herein, including the promotion by the Company of Avacta Group PLC in any Content on the Site, the Company receives from...


Avacta Plc's therapeutics business 'has huge amount of potential' - analyst...

Capital Network analyst Ed Stacey discusses the major value driver for Avacta - the development of its proprietary Affimer technology for therapeutics, particularly in the immune-oncology (I-O) space. The group's reported interim results to January 2019 today, revealing revenues of...

on 9/4/19

2 min read