Avacta raises £2m for chemotherapy programme

Drug developer Avacta, which is working on cures for lung, breast, gastric and bowel cancer, is to raise £2m to fund a chemotherapy programme.

Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta Group

The Wetherby-based firm said the cash will also be used to secure significant drug development partnerships.

Given the current economic climate, the group said it is prudent to also take on a small amount of additional equity capital to ensure it is in a strong position to exploit progress once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Avacta is raising the £2m by way of a subscription for 11.1m ordinary shares at 18p, a 2 per cent discount to a 14 day volume weighted average of 18.4p.

Avacta said it is currently monitoring the Government's guidance regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has instigated a working from home policy where possible and has curtailed all travel. Laboratory staff are continuing to carry out their duties, working in smaller teams to allow social distancing to be observed.

The group's revenues are not expected to be materially affected this year and will continue to benefit from the expanded LG Chem partnership, the new collaboration established with ADC Therapeutics and the recently announced joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals.

These will fully fund Avacta's related research and development activities.

Analyst Mark Brewer at FinnCap said: "Given the current economic uncertainty and disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, we think this is prudent as it extends the cash runway further into 2021.

"Not only does this create a cash buffer for any unseen disruption, but it also provides additional time to advance its immunotherapy pipeline with partners (fully funded by the partners), as well as delivering further commercial progress for both therapeutics and diagnostics."

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor