Affimer therapeutics are a novel class of small proteins based on the naturally occurring human protease inhibitor Stefin A. Affimer binders are generated by varying 18 amino acids introduced into the scaffold sequence, creating libraries containing up to 10 billion individual molecules.
The libraries can be screened using phage display to identify single Affimer molecules with desirable therapeutics properties such as inhibitors (blocking a biological process) or agonists (activating a biological process). Because of their small size and simple structure, Affimer proteins can easily be formatted to deliver the right characteristics for different therapeutic applications. They can be fused to create multi-specific molecules to address more than one target, modified to carry a toxin for cell killing or expressed within a cell to target intracellular pathways. Additionally Affimer proteins provide significant advantages over antibodies in terms of manufacturability.
Avacta has its own therapeutics development pipeline focusing on immuno-oncology and bleeding disorders. It is also actively seeking to leverage its unique IP position through licensing, co-development collaborations and partnerships.