Avacta Group sees increased losses following R&D investment

Avacta Group Plc (LON:AVCT) have seen their losses for the second half widen with a 31% increase in research and development.

The move has seen the firm’s R&D costs jump to £3.78 million, with losses through the year dipping from £7.89 million to £10.39 million.

In the meantime however, the company’s £11.6 million fundraiser in July will help it hit necessary milestones in the next couple of financial years. This news coming alongside a modest 1.02% hike in revenue to £2.76 million.

The company remain optimistic for coming years, with the firm stating that they are potentially tapping into a multi-billion dollar market for Affirmers, an alternative for chemotherapy and antibodies that does not rely on killing cancerous cells.

“We are very pleased with the significant operational progress made over the past year which firmly underpins our progress towards key near term commercial and clinical milestones which represent major value inflection points for the Affimer platform and the Group,” said Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group.

“We are very confident that the Group will deliver at least one substantial pharmaceutical licensing deal whilst the technology is still at a pre-clinical stage, during which, we remain focused on getting first-in-man clinical data in 2020.”

The firm’s repeating under-performance is a prime indictment of investing money to make money, an approach being adopted and weathered by other players in the British market. However, should the company’s rounds of R&D prove fruitful in the near future, it would mark monumental progress not only for Avacta’s profits but also for the pharmaceutical sector and the way healthcare is looked at as a whole.

Avacta’s most promising Affirmer programmes are the PD-L1 and LAG3, both of which are said to have the potential to be cures for breast, bowel and lung cancer within the next decade. The Affirmer treatment is a binding protein that can be used to detect difficult targets and address the shortfalls of antibodies and aptamers, at a fraction of the cost.

The firm’s share price is currently trading at 24p, down 1p or 4% since trading began. Analysts from finnCap have reiterated their ‘Corporate’ stance on Avacta stock.