Avacta sells Optim for up to £3.3m

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​Diagnostics specialist Avacta Group​ has sold Optim, a machine designed to speed up and reduce the cost of drug development, for up to £3.3m in order to focus on its latest invention – Affimers, a high-tech alternative to antibodies.

Wetherby-based Avacta said the sale to Unchained Labs consists of an initial £2.3m in cash and a further £1m depending on Optim’s sales performance over the next four years.

In the year to July 2014, Optim reported revenues of £1.6m and an operating profit of £100,000. The group’s carrying value for Optim is approximately £1.7m, which includes a related deferred tax liability of £400,000.

In addition, the group carried a non-cash, non-current intangible asset of goodwill related to Optim of £4.9m which will be charged to the income statement.

Avacta said it will put the proceeds towards the development and commercialisation of its Affimer technology.

Avacta’s chief executive Alastair Smith said: “For some time now, the principle focus of the group’s resources has been on the Affimer opportunity and the sale of the Optim product is strategically important as it allows the group to focus even more intensively on the development and commercialisation of Affimers.

“Optim is now established as a product in its market and the opportunity is substantial for an acquirer with significant sales and marketing resources to put behind it.

“The group has a huge opportunity with the Affimer technology to grow significant value for shareholders. It is important for us to focus on that and I am therefore pleased that we have been able to take this strategic step.”