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Avacta Stock Up On Deal With ADC Therapeutics To Develop Affimer-drug Conjugates

Shares of Avacta Group plc (AVCT.L) were gaining around 5 percent in the early morning trading in London after the biotechnology company announced Thursday that it has entered into a collaboration and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics SA, a Swiss clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company.

Avacta develops novel cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Affimer platform, while ADC Therapeutics is focused on the development of highly potent and targeted antibody-drug conjugates for patients suffering from haematological malignancies and solid tumors.

The agreement is to develop Affimer-drug conjugates combining Avacta's Affimer technology with ADC Therapeutics' pyrrolobenzodiazepine or PBD-based warhead and linker technologies.

As part of the multi-target deal, Avacta will generate and optimise Affimer binders against three undisclosed cancer targets and provide these to ADC Therapeutics to target its proprietary cytotoxic warheads or PBDs to the site of the tumour.

ADC Therapeutics will carry out pre-clinical research and development programmes to evaluate each of the Affimer-drug conjugates with a view to generating clinical candidates.

Under the commercial agreement, ADC Therapeutics will have the options, on a target by target basis, to obtain exclusive licenses to the Affimer proteins for clinical development and commercialisation.

ADC Therapeutics will cover all Avacta's costs during the collaboration. Avacta will receive option fees, development and commercialization milestones, as well as a single-digit royalty on sales when ADC Therapeutics enter into each of the commercialisation licenses and successfully bring new Affimer-drug conjugates to market.

Further financial details are not disclosed.

In London, Avacta shares were trading at 20.75 pence, up 5.06 percent.

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