Moderna opts for licensing deal with Avacta for its biotherapeutics and reagents

Laboratory
Moderna has opted to enter a licensing deal with U.K.-based Avacta Group to use the U.K.-based company’s Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents. (Getty/RossHelen)

Moderna has opted to enter a licensing deal with U.K.-based Avacta Group to use the U.K.-based company’s Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents.

The two began collaborating in 2015 that gave Moderna exclusive access to the Affimra tech for certain collaboration targets. The deal also included the option to enter into exclusive license agreements.

Under terms of the latest agreement, Avacta could receive undisclosed payments upon reaching future clinical development milestones and royalties that are part of potential product sales.

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“This is further strong validation of the potential of the Affimer drug platform to generate differentiated therapeutic molecules for development,” Dr. Alastair Smith, Avacta’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We will continue to support Moderna and their development objectives and I look forward to updating the market as and when key development milestones are met.”

Avacta’s Affimer reagents and therapeutics are a class of non-antibody binding proteins that have been designed for a wide variety of uses where antibodies and aptamers have limitations, according to the company’s website. The technology can be used to detect difficult targets.

Moderna, which posted a blockbuster $604 million IPO in December, boasts a core technology that uses mRNA to trigger the production of human proteins with patient cells, creating what the company has described as an in vivo“factory” for target therapies.

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