Avacta shares up 12% on clinical study news

Shares of Wetherby-based diagnostics company Avacta Group plc rose about 12% on Thursday after it reported that “the first-in-human Phase I trial (ALS-6000-101) of AVA6000 Pro-doxorubicin will advance to the next dose cohort following a positive review of the safety data from the dosing of the first cohort.”

Avacta is a clinical stage oncology drug company and developer of diagnostics based on its Affimer and pre|CISION platforms.

Avacta’s Safety Data Monitoring Committee (SDMC), comprised of clinicians currently recruiting patients, has completed its review of the safety data from the first cohort dosed with AVA6000 at 80mg/m2 in the ongoing Phase I trial,” said the company.

“Following this review, the SDMC has recommended that the clinical trial continues as planned and escalates to the next dose of AVA6000 at 120mg/m2.

AVA6000 is a novel form of doxorubicin that has been modified with Avacta’s pre|CISION platform to improve its safety and therapeutic index.

“Anthracyclines such as doxorubicin, a generic chemotherapy with a market size that is expected to grow to $1.38bn by 2024, are widely used as part of standard of care in several tumour types, but their use is limited by cumulative toxicity.

“AVA6000 has been designed to limit cell penetration of the drug, and therefore its cell killing effect, until it is specifically activated by fibroblast activation protein α (FAP) which is in high concentration in many solid tumours compared with healthy tissues.

“The resulting reduced exposure of healthy tissues to active doxorubicin has the potential to significantly increase its therapeutic index by reducing the incidence of adverse effects, including cardiotoxicity and myelosuppression.”

Avacta Group CEO Alastair Smith said: “We are delighted with the SDMC’s recommendation to move on to the next dose of AVA6000 in our dose escalation study following its positive review of the safety data from patients in the first cohort.

“We are very excited by the potential of AVA6000, and the pre|CISION platform more broadly, to deliver ground-breaking and affordable cancer treatments that have the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.