Key Information

This information is provided for the purposes of AIM rule 26
Avacta Group plc (AIM:AVCT) is dedicated to providing life scientists with high quality, powerful tools to enable them to work faster and smarter in accelerating our understanding of biology and disease, and to help them apply these advances to diagnosis and treatment.
 
Avacta came to the AIM market in 2006 to provide instrumentation, consumables and reagents for life science researchers. The Group’s activities are now focused on Affimer® technology, an engineered alternative to antibodies, which it is commercialising through Avacta Life Sciences.
 
Antibodies are the gold standard affinity reagents used in life sciences and they dominate research, diagnostic, and therapeutic markets worth over $75bn despite their limitations. Antibodies generally have problems with specificity to their target, have very long development times, are limited to certain targets by the need to use animals’ immune systems in their development and are expensive to produce. There are also many important applications where antibodies struggle because of the nature of these large, complex and often fragile proteins.
 
“Affimer” technology is based on a small protein that can be engineered to bind with high specificity and affinity to a wide range of targets. They are generated rapidly in a few weeks without any use of animals and are easily manufactured with high yields. Their simple structure and robust nature makes them able to address applications where antibodies cannot be used, as well as being an alternative to antibodies in a wide range of applications in diagnostics, drug / biomarker discovery, life sciences research & therapeutics.
 
Avacta began commercialising Affimer technology as reagents for research and diagnostics in late 2014 with a primary focus on licensing custom Affimer molecules into third party products. Since agreeing the first major therapeutics licensing deal with Moderna Therapeutics Inc and raising additional funding in 2015, the Company has established an Affimer drug development programme with a view to out-licensing these assets.
 
Avacta’s strategic focus is on generating Affimer reagents and biotherapeutics that cover gaps where antibodies are unavailable or perform poorly and not to compete head-to-head with established antibody products.
 
The Group also provides diagnostic tools and services for veterinarians through its Animal Health business including specialisms in allergy, acute phase proteins and cancer.

Strategy

The Group is focused on delivering to shareholders, over the medium to longer term, value growth and profitability through commercialisation of its intellectual property.

The Directors believe that the Affimer affinity reagent platform provides the greatest potential for such value growth by delivering a profitable research reagents business alongside therapeutic Affimer partnerships and an in-house therapeutic development pipeline. The Group is therefore focusing its investments primarily its proprietary Affimer technology.

Country of Registration & Operation

The Company is Registered in England and Wales (Registration number 04748597) and the main country of operation is the UK.
Registered office – Unit 20, Ash Way, Thorp Arch Estate, Wetherby LS23 7FA.

Significant Shareholdings

Current significant shareholders are as follows:

IP Group plc – 24.8%
Henderson Global Investors – 11.4%
Aviva 9.6%
Baillie Gifford & Co Limited – 7.2%
Ruffer LLP – 7.1%
Fidelity - 5.9%

J O Hambro - 5.7%
NFU - 3.5%

As at 25th July 2017 the company has 68,397,433 ordinary shares of 10p each in issue.

42.3% of the ordinary shares of the Company are not held in public hands.

Avacta Group has not applied or agreed to have any of its securities (including its AIM securities) admitted or traded on any other exchanges or trading platforms.

There are no restrictions on the transfer of Avacta Group plc’s AIM securities.

Avacta Group plc is subject to the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.

This information was last updated on 25th July 2017.

Directors

Dr Alastair Smith
Mr Tony Gardiner
Dr Trevor Nicholls
Mr Alan Aubrey
Dr Michael Albin
Dr Mike Owen

Advisors

Joint broker and Nomad – finnCap Limited, 60 New Broad Street, London EC2M 1JJ
Joint broker – WG Partners, 85 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ
Auditor – KPMG LLP, 1 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds, LS1 4DA
Solicitor – Walker Morris, Kings Court, 12 King Street, Leeds, LS1 2HL
Registrar – Capita IRG plc, Bourne House, 34 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, BR3 4TU. www.capitashareportal.com
Investor and Media Relations – FTI Consulting, 200 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4HD, +44 (0)20 3727 1000, simon.conway@fticonsulting.com / natalie.garland-collins@fticonsulting.com.