Avacta Group make significant progress with its highly scalable lateral flow test (Interview)

Avacta Group plc (LON:AVCT) CEO Alastair Smith joins us to discuss its update on the lateral flow rapid antigen test. Alastair reminds us of the COVID-19 tests that it is developing, talks us through the key points of todays update, progress made with the other tests taking the first preCISION pro drug programme into the clinic and what other updates we can expect.

Avacta is developing novel cancer immunotherapies combining its two proprietary platforms – Affimer® biotherapeutics and pre|CISION™ tumour targeted chemotherapy. With this approach, the Company aims to address the lack of a durable response to current immunotherapies experienced by most patients. The Company’s therapeutics development activities are based in Cambridge, UK.

The Company benefits from near-term revenues generated from Affimer reagents for diagnostics, bioprocessing and research, through a separate business unit based in Wetherby, UK.

The Affimer platform is an alternative to antibodies derived from a small human protein. Despite their shortcomings, antibodies currently dominate markets worth in excess of $100 billion. Affimer technology has been designed to address many of these negative performance issues, principally: the time taken, and the reliance on an animal’s immune response, to generate new antibodies; poor specificity in many cases; large size and cost.

The company’s pre|CISION targeted chemotherapy platform, releases active chemotherapy only in the tumour, thereby limiting systemic exposure and damage to healthy tissues, and thereby improving the overall safety and therapeutic potential of these powerful anti-cancer treatments.

By combining these two platforms the Company is building a wholly owned pipeline of novel cancer therapies with the aim of creating effective treatments for all cancer patients including those who do not respond to existing immunotherapies. Avacta Group expects to take its first drug, a pre|CISION targeted form of the standard-of-care doxorubicin, into the clinic in early 2021.

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