Avacta fundraising signals progress towards transformational COVID-19 testing

Avacta (LON:AVCT) has taken another significant step forward in their fight against COVID-19 with a capital raising thats proceeds will fund development of their diagnostics products.

In addition to COVID-19 antigen testing, Avacta’s technology is being used in a pipeline of cancer therapies.

Avacta raised £48 million at 120p, representing a 4.4% discount to 125.3p, the 30 day volume weighted average price (VWAP) to 3rd June.

Avacta shares were trading at 162.55p, up 7%, in mid morning trade on Friday.

“By taking this initiative, Avacta’s Board has recognised the demand from institutional and private investors to fully capitalise the business,” said Barry Gibb, Research Analyst at Turner Pope.

“It unlocks the Group’s pipeline of differentiated cancer therapies centred on its pre|CISION™ and Affimer® platforms, expands its diagnostic products pipeline and provides the working capital required to grasp the potentially huge short and longer-term commercial opportunities now being presented by the COVID-19 antigen tests in development with partners.”

“TPI considers the successful completion of this Fundraising will enable the Avacta to reach a number of the major inflection points it is currently presented with,” Barry Gibb concluded.

Of the £48 million raised, £10 million will be designated to COVID-19 testing and £38 million will be used in the expansion of cancer therapies.

The fundraising was significantly oversubscribed highlighting the demand for Avacta shares. Exceptional demand was noted from retail investors who invested through PrimaryBid.

“I am delighted to report that the placing has received overwhelming support from both institutional and retail investors leading to a bookbuild that was multiple times oversubscribed,” Avacta CEO Dr Alastair Smith.

“I would like to thank our existing investors and welcome new shareholders to Avacta. We are very pleased to have added a significant strategic US investor to our register,” Smith said.

“This substantial fundraising allows us to rapidly expand the in-house Affimer® and pre|CISION cancer therapy pipelines and scale-up the diagnostics business to expand the Affimer® diagnostic products pipeline. In the short term the funds will provide the Company with the working capital to support the development and manufacture of the COVID-19 antigen tests in development which, given the potential demand, could be transformational for Avacta.”

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