21 January 2020
Avacta Group plc
("Avacta" or "the Group" or "the Company")
Appointment of Non Executive Director
Highly experienced pharmaceutical and biotech professional joins Avacta's Board
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Fry as Non Executive Director with effect from 3 February 2020.
Paul has extensive financial experience across a number of industries including biotech, pharmaceutical and telecommunications. He is currently Chief Financial Officer of Vectura Group plc, an industry leading inhaled drug delivery specialist listed on the FTSE Main Market.
Prior to his current position, he was Chief Financial Officer of Immunocore Limited, a leading biotech company focused on the development of a new class of immunotherapeutic drugs based on proprietary T-cell receptor technology. Paul has also served as Director of Global Finance Operations at Vodafone plc and spent more than 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK"), where he held a number of senior roles including Head of Global Finance Services and Chief Financial Officer for GSK's Italian pharmaceutical business.
Paul will be appointed Chair of the Audit Committee.
Dr Eliot Forster, Chairman of Avacta Group, commented:
"I am delighted to welcome Paul to the Board of Avacta. Paul has significant financial and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector and his appointment reflects our commitment to attracting the best talent to the Company. We look forward to working with him as Avacta develops into a clinical stage biotechnology company."
Paul Fry, Non Executive Director of Avacta Group, commented:
"I am excited by the opportunity to work with Avacta in their mission to develop novel cancer immunotherapies and to commercialise the Affimer technology in other markets. I look forward to helping support the evolution of the Company and realising value for both patients and shareholders."
The following information is disclosed in accordance with Rule 17 and paragraph (g) of Schedule 2 of the AIM Rules for Companies.
Paul Andrew Fry, 53, holds nil ordinary shares in the Company. Mr. Fry's current and previous directorships are as follows:
Vectura Group plc
Directorships/Partnerships held in last 5 years:
Save for the disclosures above, there are no further disclosures to be made in accordance with Rule 17 and Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules.
- 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
finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
Geoff Nash / Giles Rolls - Corporate Finance
Tim Redfern - ECM
Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 0500
Yellow Jersey PR (Financial Media and IR)
Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Tel: +44 (0)7764 947 137
Tel: +44 (0)7951 402 336
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947
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 platform, activates chemotherapy only in the tumour, thereby limiting systemic exposure and damage to healthy tissues, and thus 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 collaboration with LG Chem to develop treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases worth up to $310m, a partnership with ADC Therapeutics to develop Affimer drug conjugates and a joint venture in South Korea with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals to develop the next generation of stem cell therapies that incorporate Affimer immuno-modulators. Avacta actively seeks to license its proprietary platforms in a range of therapeutic areas.
The 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.
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