Avacta is a specialist in developing Affimers, which are engineered proteins that help drugs more effectively target diseases such as cancer.
It has been working with LG Chem Life Sciences to find a protein to bind to one of its discoveries.
The latest update reveals that LG Chem has now nominated two further prospective treatments that will use the UK group’s technology.
Avacta chief executive Alastair Smith said the first LG drug programme had made “excellent progress”, and was upbeat on the expanded collaboration.
“Not only is this an important validation of the Affimer platform, confirming that it can be used to quickly generate potential candidate drug molecules for development, but it also means that we have taken an important step towards receiving the next substantial milestone payment under our collaboration agreement,” he explained.
“Our partnership with LG Chem goes from strength to strength with their decision to nominate the next two drug targets. I look forward to keeping the market informed of further progress over the coming months."
Avacta has developed scaffolds called Affimers, which are essentially small, engineered proteins capable of binding specific molecular targets, in a similar way to antibodies.
This binding property can be used to target cancer cells in the human body and make those cells vulnerable to attack from the body’s own immune system.
Many existing immuno-oncology therapies use an antibody to target cancer, but Affimers have several innovative features which potentially make them a better tool for several diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Smaller and quicker
They are smaller, quicker to manufacture and easier to format, but they maintain antibody-like biologic activity when binding a target.
Avacta is using Affimers to develop various potential cancer treatments, while other companies pay to use the technology in their research and diagnostics.