Avacta Group plc (LON: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, has announced a trading update for the 17 month period ended 31 December 2019.
Revenues for the period, which include the initial milestone payment from LG Chem, have grown 100% to £5.5m from £2.76m (12 months ended 31 July 2018) and are ahead of market expectations. Importantly revenues from the Affimer® diagnostics business have grown by 130% as more customer evaluations of the Affimer® platform are underway. The Group’s order intake and sales pipeline into 2020 are the strongest to date.
The Group’s revenues this year will benefit from the expanded LG Chem partnership, the new collaboration established with ADC Therapeutics and the recently announced joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals; each of which will fully fund Avacta’s related R&D activities.
The cash position at 31 December 2019 was £8.7m (31 July 2018: £5.2m), also ahead of market forecasts, following completion of the placing in November 2019. The Group is focusing its resources on its partnered programmes and on taking its first pre|CISION pro-drug, AVA6000, into the clinic in the second half of 2020.
The Group intends to announce its audited results for the 17 months ended 31 December 2019 in late March 2020.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group, commented:
“We are delighted with the significant commercial and operational progress that has been made during the period, expanding our therapeutic development partnership with LG Chem and adding new collaborations with ADC Therapeutics and with Daewoong. Our diagnostics business has continued to gain traction and is poised for continued growth in 2020 which should ultimately lead to license revenues.
“We are also due to take our first drug AVA6000, a re-engineered form of the chemotherapy Doxorubicin into the clinic in the middle of 2020, making it a ground-breaking year for the Group. AVA6000 has been modified with Avacta’s pre|CISION technology to reduce the side effects without affecting the efficacy of this effective cancer treatment. The initial readout, which aims to show that the side effects of this chemotherapy have been reduced, are expected before the end of the year which represents a major value inflection point for Avacta and a significant commercial opportunity.
“I am therefore looking ahead with confidence and believe 2020 will be an exciting year of further progress.”