IP Group plc (LON: IPO), the developer of intellectual property-based businesses, today noted that AIM-listed portfolio company Avacta Group plc has agreed an Affimer® therapeutics development partnership and license agreement with LG Chem Life Sciences (LG Chem), part of the South Korean LG Group, worth up to $180m across upfront, near-term payments and development milestones.
The agreement, which is aimed at developing Affimer® therapeutics in several disease areas, may also result in an additional $130m in option fees and milestone payments should LG elect to exercise their options for additional targets. Avacta will also receive royalties on any future product sales and LG Chem will cover Avacta’s costs of research and development associated with the collaboration.
IP Group currently holds a direct undiluted beneficial stake of 17.1% in Avacta while IP Venture Fund holds 1.0%.
Avacta will generate and carry out early-stage optimisation of Affimer® drug candidates against multiple undisclosed targets. LG Chem and Avacta will collaborate to progress these candidates through to drug candidate selection, and LG Chem will be responsible for pre-clinical and regulatory studies, clinical development and world-wide marketing of any resulting products.
The Affimer® technology is Avacta’s proprietary alternative to antibodies with wide applications in the life sciences for drug development, diagnostics and research tools. Avacta’s in-house therapeutic pipeline is focused on immuno-oncology and the Group expects to advance its lead programme, a PD-L1/LAG3 bispecific, into the clinic in 2020 whilst building out its pipeline of innovative Affimer® drug candidates.