Avacta Group plc Appoints Philippe Cotrel As Chief Commercial Officer

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and research reagents, is pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Cotrel as Chief Commercial Officer of Avacta, with immediate effect. Philippe joins Avacta from Abcam, where he held the role of Commercial Operations Director. Philippe will lead the Group's commercial strategy and business development activities, and will drive the commercialisation of the Affimer technology as both research reagents and biotherapeutics.

Dr Philippe Cotrel, a protein chemist by training, has over twenty years' commercial experience in sales, marketing and customer support in the life sciences sector having held senior positions in Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, Oxford Glycosciences, Affymetrix and Abcam. Whilst at Affymetrix, at that time the inventor and market leader of commercial microarrays, Philippe was appointed General Manager and Vice President of Commercial Operations in Europe with responsibility for European commercial operations, generating approximately £65m in sales made up of capital equipment, consumables and services. Philippe joined Abcam in 2008 as Commercial Director and has been responsible for sales and marketing activities, successfully growing revenue from £36.7m to £144m over a 7-year period. He managed regional offices in Boston, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai and was responsible for all global customer facing functions, as well as business development activities for the service and in vitro diagnostics divisions of the business.

The appointment of Philippe completes a five strong Senior Leadership Team which, along with Philippe, comprises: Dr Amrik Basran (Chief Scientific Officer) who leads the therapeutics development programme; Dr Matt Johnson (Chief Technology Officer) who is responsible for R&D and technical operations; Mr Tony Gardiner (Group Chief Financial Officer) and Dr Alastair Smith (Group Chief Executive Officer). Dr Smith and Mr Gardiner are main Board directors. The other members of the Senior Leadership Team are not currently main Board directors.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta, said:

"I am delighted that Philippe has joined the team at Avacta to drive the commercial strategy and lead the commercial operations for the Affimer technology. During the past year we have made considerable progress demonstrating the power of the Affimer technology as both a research tool and as a therapeutic platform both in-house and with partners and customers. Philippe joins us having spent over twenty years in senior commercial positions in successful life sciences companies. I am very confident that his wealth of market knowledge and experience will allow Philippe to build on our early successes to help deliver the potential of this exciting technology."

Commenting on his appointment, Philippe Cotrel said:

"I am very pleased to be joining Avacta at this exciting point in the development of the Affimer technology. I see many opportunities to leverage the unique strengths of Affimer reagents to provide a new set of tools for life science researchers, and to complement antibodies. The additional potential of Affimers as a therapeutic platform is very significant and I relish the opportunity to work with the Senior Leadership Tea Team to drive the commercial strategy forward and help Affimers reach their full potential."