Avacta raises £5m to speed up developments

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DIAGNOSTICS specialist Avacta has raised £4.7m through a share placing and said it will use the cash to develop three of its key products.

The Wetherby-based company makes devices to speed up and reduce the cost of drug development.

The proceeds will be used to accelerate the development and commercialisation of Affimers, technology that can produce man-made antibodies that Avacta said are more resilient, cheaper and stronger than animal antibodies.

It will also support the early stage commercialisation of the group’s Sensipod in-clinic analyser in the veterinary market

Sensipod is a blood testing instrument that provides vets with point of care diagnostics.

The rest of the cash will be used to develop the group’s key diagnostic Optim, which it says delivers vital information tens of times faster than other approaches using much smaller samples.

Avacta’s chief executive Alastair Smith, said: “We are delighted to have successfully raised these funds through both existing and new shareholders.

“We look forward to utilising the proceeds of the placing to build the life sciences division of our business, specifically developing the Affimer platform.

“Although currently at an early stage, the board sees this as being a key division contributing to revenue growth in our business in future and it is vital that the commercialisation plan is executed effectively.

“We will also shortly be undertaking commercial roll out of the Sensipod diagnostics system following recent successful field trials.”

He said he was pleased that the placing price was at a small premium to the middle market share price of 0.535p on July 17.

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