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Avacta Group plc. (1/8/20). "Press Release: Avacta and Daewoong Pharmaceutical Form Immunotherapy Focused Joint Venture". Cambridge & Seoul.

Region Region Korea, Republic of
Organisations Organisation Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT)
  Group Avacta (Group)
  Organisation 2 Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (KSX: 069620)
  Group Daewoong Pharmaceutical (Group)
Products Product Affimer® technology
  Product 2 cell therapy
Persons Person Smith, Alastair (Avacta 201402 Chief Executive)
  Person 2 Odgaard, Katie (Zyme Communications 201108 Senior Account Manager before College Hill Life Sciences)
     


Joint Venture to develop next generation cell and gene therapies incorporating Affimer proteins


Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, and Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., (KSX: 069620), a leading Korean pharmaceutical company, are pleased to announce that they have agreed to establish a joint venture in South Korea, and to enter a collaboration and license agreement for the joint venture to develop the next generation of cell and gene therapies incorporating Affimer proteins to enhance the immune-modulatory effects.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising agents for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The joint venture will develop a new class of MSCs that are primed to produce Affimer proteins, which are designed to enhance the immune-modulatory effect when administered to patients, by reducing inflammatory or autoimmune responses.

Daewoong will provide the joint venture with access to its proprietary technology for generating allogeneic MSCs from a single donor to treat a large number of patients. This proprietary technology facilitates developing cell therapies as “off-the-shelf” products.

Avacta will develop Affimer proteins against several undisclosed targets which will be transferred to the joint venture to be incorporated into MSCs. The resulting engineered MSCs will have broad ranging therapeutic utility, depending on the Affimer proteins’ intended therapeutic purposes.

Avacta’s research and development costs will be fully covered by the joint venture and Avacta retains the rights to commercialise the Affimer proteins outside of the field of cell therapies. Avacta’s shareholding in the joint venture is 45% with Daewoong holding 55%, and the joint venture will be operationally managed by Seng-ho Jeon, CEO of Daewoong, with a Board composed of representatives of both Avacta (Alastair Smith, CEO and Matthew Vincent, VP Business Development and Strategy) and Daewoong.

“Our partnership reinforces the shared vision of both companies to design the next level of treatment paradigm, and to open up a new horizon in immunotherapeutic strategies”, said Seng-ho Jeon. “This innovative collaboration will deliver invaluable synergy and lead to new solutions with the potential to transform patients’ lives.”

“We are very excited to establish the joint venture with Daewoong, a world-class partner, combining our powerful Affimer platform with MSCs to develop breakthrough medicines targeting immune-mediated diseases”, said Dr Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta. “Affimer proteins have the potential to selectively modulate signalling pathways in inflammatory diseases in order to reduce the aberrant immune response occurring in those tissues, as well as positively impacting tissue regenerative pathways meant to repair and restore normal function to the affected tissues. We look forward to working closely with the Daewoong team to advance these promising therapeutics, and get them to the patients who need them.”


ENDS


For further information from Avacta Group plc, please contact:


Avacta Group plc
Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Tony Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 844 414 0452
www.avacta.com

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Katie Odgaard
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947
katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls – Corporate Finance
Tim Redfern - ECM
Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 0500
www.finncap.com

Yellow Jersey PR (Financial Media and IR)
Sarah Hollins
Harriet Jackson
Tel: +44 (0)7764 947 137
Tel: +44 (0)7544 275 882
avacta@yellowjerseypr.com


About Avacta Group plc
https://www.avacta.com

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 $100bn. 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.

Avacta’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 expects to take its first drug, a pre|CISION targeted form of the standard-of-care Doxorubicin, into the clinic in the middle of 2020.

Avacta has established drug development partnerships with pharma and biotech, including with Moderna Therapeutics Inc., a deal with LG Chem worth up to $310m, and a partnership with ADC Therapeutics. Avacta actively seeks to license its proprietary platforms in a range of therapeutic areas.

Avacta diagnostics business unit works with partners world-wide to develop Affimers for evaluation by those third parties with the objective of establishing royalty bearing license deals. The Company is also developing a small in-house pipeline of Affimer-based diagnostic assays for licensing.

To register for news alerts by email go to www.avacta.com/investor-news-email-alerts


About Daewoong Pharmaceutical
http://www.daewoong.com

Established in 1945, Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a leading South Korean pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and commercializes pharmaceuticals for both domestic and international markets. With its strong and competent in-house R&D and qualified manufacturing facilities (cGMP), Daewoong provides a total healthcare solution to customers across the globe. Aiming to become a global healthcare company, Daewoong has broadened international operations by establishing branch offices and research centers throughout Asia and the United States. Also Daewoong has expanded strategic partnerships in more than 100 countries worldwide.

   
Record changed: 2020-01-09

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