Avacata posts a loss but pins faith in its latest Affimers technology

​Diagnostics specialist Avacta Group posted a higher annual loss, but said it is confident about the prospects for its latest invention – Affimers, a high-tech alternative to antibodies.

Alastair Smith: It is very early days in the commercialisation of Affimers but all indications are positive.Picture: VisMedia

The Wetherby-based group, which makes devices to speed up and reduce the cost of drug development, reported a pre-tax loss of £2m in the year to July 31, up from a loss of £1.9m the previous year after higher administrative expenses and one-off costs.

Revenue rose 18 per cent to £3.2m.

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Chief executive Alastair Smith said the group has shown that there are no technical hurdles remaining before it scales up the commercialisation of Affimers and raises the funding needed to launch the man-made antibodies.

“It is very early days in the commercialisation of Affimers but I am pleased to say that all indications are positive and, having put in place an outstanding and experienced commercial team, I am looking forward to reporting on progress during the coming financial year,” he said.

Analyst Charles Weston at Numis said: “The key long-term growth driver, Affimers, has made good headway in development, scale up and commercialisation. We leave our forecasts unchanged, and reiterate our ‘buy’ rating.”

The group said it sees “enormous potential” in its Affimer technology and it is now in a position to turn the recent technical and operational progress into commercial success.

Last month, Avacta launched an online catalogue that will make Affimers available to customers off the shelf.

Earlier this year it raised £10m through a placing with support from existing shareholders as well as new investors.