Avacta takes vital step with US agreement

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Avacta was co-founded by chief executive Alastair Smith in January 2004 as a spin out from the University of Leeds’ physics department.

Mr Smith founded Avacta along with two fellow Leeds scientists, Simon Webster and Kurt Baldwin.

At the time it was set up as a services business.

The company recognised the need for analytical technology that could work with every small samples of material.

It serves the high-end analytical instruments and services part of the biopharmaceutical sector, expected to be a $200bn market by 2013 and the fastest growing part of the pharmaceutical industry.

It floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006.