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Pharmaceuticals



Avacta and Daewoong agree collaboration and licence agreement with AffyXell Therapeutics


21st February 2020
Avacta Group plc has signed a collaboration and licence agreement with AffyXell Therapeutics, its recently established joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceutical, to develop Affimer proteins to be used by AffyXell for the generation of new cell and gene therapies. Avacta and AffyXell will now work together to develop proteins against a range of targets which, when produced by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are intended to inhibit inflammatory and autoimmune pathways and improve the overall efficacy of MSCs, creating a next generation of stem cell therapies. The initial focus for AffyXell will be on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In the longer term, there is potential for AffyXell to address oncology uses for these Affimer-enabled cell and gene therapies.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Avacta’s research and development costs associated with generation of the Affimer proteins will be funded by AffyXell and Avacta will retain the rights to commercialize the Affimer proteins outside of the field of cell therapies.
 
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented: “Our objective is for these cell therapies to finally fully address diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and multiple sclerosis, as well as other autoimmune diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. From a commercial perspective, the global stem cell market is expected to be worth $16 billion by 2025. AffyXell has a unique opportunity to combine two world-class technologies, Avacta’s Affimer antibody mimetic platform and Daewoong’s proprietary technology for generating ‘off-the-shelf’ allogeneic MSC therapies to create the next generation of stem cell therapies. We believe that this has the potential to create substantial value for stakeholders in the near future.”