- Biotherapeutics group Avacta has announced the expansion of its partnership with LG Chem Life Sciences to include additional drug development programmes incorporating Avacta's Affimer XT technology.

The agreed expansion of the drug development partnership includes an undisclosed additional upfront payment, plus near-term pre-clinical milestones and longer-term clinical development milestones totalling $98.5m for two therapeutics to be developed using the Affimer XT technology.

Avacta said that under the terms of the extended agreement, LG Chem has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise, on a worldwide basis, Avacta's Affimer PD-L1 inhibitor with Affimer XT serum half-life extension.

It also provides LG Chem, the life sciences division of the South Korean LG Group, with rights to develop and commercialise other Affimer and non-Affimer biotherapeutics combined with Affimer XT half-life extension for a range of indications, for which Avacta could earn up to $55m in milestone payments for each of these new products.

Under the extended agreement, Avacta will earn royalties on all future Affimer XT product sales by LG Chem.

Chief executive Dr. Alastair Smith said: 'The expansion of our collaboration to develop new therapies for patients with cancer and other diseases is another strong validation of the Affimer technology and its potential as a therapeutic platform to deliver a pipeline of new drugs.'

At 8:49am: [LON:AVCT] Avacta Group PLC share price was +6p at 151p

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