Avacta Group plc (LON:AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, has announced the expansion of its existing multi-target collaboration and development agreement with LG Chem Life Sciences, the life sciences division of the South Korean LG Group, to include new programmes incorporating Avacta’s Affimer XTTM serum half-life extension system.
In December 2018, Avacta and LG Chem entered into a multi-target therapeutics development agreement to develop Affimer® therapeutics in several disease areas potentially worth over $300m to Avacta. The companies have today agreed to expand this drug development partnership to include Avacta’s Affimer XTTM technology, which can be used to control the time a drug spends in the circulation.
The expansion of the partnership includes an undisclosed additional upfront payment, plus near-term pre-clinical milestones and longer-term clinical development milestones totaling $98.5m for two therapeutics to be developed using the Affimer XT technology. Under the terms of the extended agreement, LG Chem has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise, on a world-wide basis, Avacta’s Affimer PD-L1 inhibitor with Affimer XT serum half-life extension.
The expanded partnership also provides LG Chem with rights to develop and commercialise other Affimer and non-Affimer biotherapeutics combined with Affimer XT half-life extension for a range of indications and Avacta could earn up to $55m in milestone payments for each of these new products.
In addition, under the agreement Avacta will earn royalties on all future Affimer XT product sales by LG Chem.
Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group commented:
“I am delighted with this expansion to the agreement with LG Chem, with whom we have developed a strong collaborative partnership. LG Chem is a world-class drug development partner with excellent biologics manufacturing and clinical development capabilities and a pioneering vision to develop innovative therapies.
The expansion of our collaboration to develop new therapies for patients with cancer and other diseases is another strong validation of the Affimer technology and its potential as a therapeutic platform to deliver a pipeline of new drugs.
We look forward to developing these new therapies with our partners, LG Chem, and I look forward to updating the market on this and our other drug development and diagnostics progammes in due course.”