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Avacta Raises $17M, Inks UbiQ Bio Collaboration to Support Affimer Development


NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biotech firm Avacta Group said this week that it has raised £10.1 million ($17 million) from a placing of 918,181,820 new ordinary shares with institutional shareholders at a price of 1.1 pence per share.

Additionally, the company has granted an option to underwriter Numis Securities that requires it to issue up to an additional 218,181,818 new shares to meet additional demand should Numis accept additional requests to purchase shares.

Avacta said that it plans to use the net proceeds – totaling approximately £9.7 million if no option shares are issued, or up to £12.1 if the maximum number of option shares are issued – to accelerate development and commercialization of its affimer affinity reagents, non-antibody reagents based on the protein stefin A that can be engineered to bind to a wide range of protein targets.

The company also announced this week a collaboration with UbiQ Bio, a supplier of ubiquitylated peptides and related assays, under which UbiQ Bio will provide Avacta with ubiquitylated peptides for screening against its affimer library. UbiQ will receive a royalty on sale of any ubiquitylation affirmers generated through the collaboration.