Healthcare group raises £26m to support cancer drug research

Alastair Smith CEO Avacta Group

Healthcare group Avacta has raised £25.7m in a heavily-discounted placing to fund further research into one of its key programmes.

It is also looking to raise £6.8m from new and existing retail investors.

Avacta is a healthcare group developing innovative cancer drugs at its sites in Wetherby and London.

Its Therapeutics division is developing proprietary platforms that aim to address the lack of a durable response to current immunotherapies experienced by most patients. Avacta’s second division uses its Affimer platform with the aim of developing market-leading diagnostic products.

The placing was at 50p-per-share, which was a discount of 34% on Tuesday’s closing price,

However Avacta’s shares briefly traded above 150p last October and were above 100p earlier this month.

Avacta said the fundraising saw “strong demand” from existing and new investors and the placing was increased from £20m to £25.7m.

Avacta chief executive Alastair Smith said: “Under very challenging market conditions we have raised financing that allows Avacta to progress at full speed its lead pre|CISION™ targeted chemotherapy, AVA6000, into the expansion and Phase 2 efficacy studies.

“The emerging clinical data from the Phase 1 safety study strongly supports our belief that pre|CISION™ can change the way in which cancer is treated and we are pleased that we are now in a position to also progress the broader pre|CISION™ pipeline.

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