Avacta, Daewoong and AffyXell to work on proteins for a range of targets

AffyCell has agreed to provide funds to Avacta for R&D costs of proteins produced by mesenchymal stem cells

Avacta, the developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents, has signed a collaboration and license agreement with AffyXell Therapeutics, the recently established joint venture with Daewoong Pharmaceutical, to develop Affimer proteins to be used by AffyXell for the generation of new cell and gene therapies.

Avacta and AffyXell will now work together to develop Affimer proteins against a range of targets which, when produced by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are intended to inhibit inflammatory and autoimmune pathways and improve the overall efficacy of MSCs, creating next generation of stem cell therapies.

The initial focus for AffyXell will be on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In the longer term, there is potential for AffyXell to address oncology uses for these Affimer-enabled cell and gene therapies.

Under the terms of the collaboration and license agreement, Avacta’s research and development costs associated with generation of the Affimer proteins will be funded by AffyXell. In addition, Avacta will retain the rights to commercialise the Affimer proteins outside of the field of cell therapies.

Dr Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta Group, said: “AffyXell has a unique opportunity to combine two world-class technologies, Avacta’s Affimer antibody mimetic platform and Daewoong’s proprietary technology for generating “off-the-shelf” allogeneic MSC therapies to create the next generation of stem cell therapies.”

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