Key contract wins drive progress at biotech firm

Life sciences business, Aptamer Group, says a string of contract wins means it can look forward with confidence to the rest of the financial year.

In his AGM statement to the company, chief executive officer, Dr Arron Tolley, said the group’s healthy deal pipeline demonstrates the clear market opportunity and demand for its Optimer technology.

He added the latest contracts secured by Aptamer Group have the potential for future downstream royalties and milestone payments.

York-based Aptamer Group develops Optimer ® binders, which can be used as synthetic alternatives to antibodies.

Tolley said: “In our Aptamer Therapeutics business, we have entered the second phase of our collaboration with Cancer Research UK to develop the delivery vehicle portion of the bispecific therapeutic Optimer binder for the treatment of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML) and other myeloid malignancies.

“We’ve also signed an early stage deal to develop Optimers to block the activity of naturally occurring antibodies within the body for use as a potential therapy to prevent transplant rejection.

“Since the publication of the Group’s full year results, we have signed deals with a number of companies related to the development of Optimer solutions for assays where antibodies are not meeting their specificity and selectivity requirements.

“We are working with a biomarker services company to develop Optimer binders to support multiplex biomarker assays for mass spectrometry analysis. The Optimer-based assays will deliver increased sensitivity in identifying and analysing neurodegenerative disease biomarkers to improve clinical trial outcomes in drug development.

“Finally, we’ve also signed a deal with Novavax, a vaccine developer for respiratory diseases, who require Optimers to improve the selectivity and enable multiplex analysis of their QC assays.”

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