Previously (May webinar?) Alistair said they were fairly easy to manufacture at scale and were talking to OEMs, stating they had gone this route in the past and it worked well.
But in the placing RNS they explicitly state that some of the £10m earmarked for diagnostics will go to expanding the diagnostics facilities in Wetherby, for R&D and production of Affimers. Perhaps greater margins doing it in-house, and thinking about the next steps for the business.
I don’t know how they do it exactly. You could try digging in Dr Zoe’s phd thesis or any of the recent papers posted here. If you know a lot about the subject area (as it sounds you may do) and can pull out any pertinent details or extrapolate commercial insights to share, I am sure that would be greatly appreciated by many of us here.
Wilson - is that your son’s technical explanation? Is he involved in biotech or marketing? ;)
Thanks Trek for the views... agree would like to have heard that pitch to the institutions! Here’s hoping we get a rerun of much the same content Thursday. Not sure if it is possible to be deeper than the proverbial balls, but if no news on Monday, I will investigate the possibility.
Off Twitter, this account worth a follow:
“Our latest paper is in preprint. Another example of how @affimers #AVCT can be used. Here we show the ability to identify druggable pockets on KRas, the ‘holy grail’ of cancer proteins.”
Holy grail, eh?
RAS-inhibiting biologics identify and probe druggable pockets including an SII-a3 allosteric site.
Katarzyna Z Haza et al., In pre-print:
Thanks PL75 - i think pure right that the control line has yet another type of antibody. So the test has two types of antibody and one type of Affimer. My confusion was why all the antibodies when we’ve been told about the advantages of Affimers over them?
I think I’ve found my answer; in case of use to anyone else here it is... The difference is the antibodies used with Affimers on the test strip are polyclonal, as opposed to the monoclonal antibodies Affimers are designed to be used in place of. From wiki: “The technical skills needed to produce polyclonal antibodies is not as demanding (as monoclonal antibodies). They're inexpensive to make and can be generated fairly quickly, taking up to several months to produce. PAbs are heterogeneous, which allows them to bind to a wide range of antigen epitopes. Because PAbs are produced from a large number of B cell clones, they're more likely to successfully bind to a specific antigen. PAbs remain stable in different environments, such as a change in pH or salt concentration, which allows them to be more applicable in certain procedures. Additionally, depending on the amount needed, PAbs can be made in large quantities in relation to the size of the animal used.”
Great job finding/pushing this, ab8dct and PL75! This is why I come here. :)
Onto a question... I thought I understood the LFA, but figure 6 has me mildly confused, and perhaps I’m not the only one? Appreciate if anyone smart can explain to this simpleton.
So, this is a positive read test, requiring two virus-binding reagents. Affimers get fixed on the detection strip, which bind to the virus. But the virus also has to bind to the red beads, and does that because the red beads are coated with rabbit antibodies? Anyone got any idea if it would be the same in the Cytiva test, and what might take the part of the rabbit antibodies? Two different types of Affimer?
Definitely appreciate your contributions Chengdo, and MrST you are clearly a better man than I! Nice to see more of the decent humans on this forum today.
I am personally more excited than ever now to see what positive news they’ve been holding back while working on this placing.
Mixed feelings today, like many.
Yep I feel the pacing is a great business move. It was clear from the annual report that their therapies business was somewhat stifled in terms of capital, and had been forced to put nearly all its eggs in the AVA6000 basket, as the best use of funds available. This raise will enable many other therapies to be progressed in parallel and gives more “shots on goal” as they say.
The £10m for diagnostics makes sense - yes Cytiva are developing the tests, but this is to scale up the “R&D and production facilities ... to meet the anticipated demand for Affimer reagent production”. I had wondered if they would need some additional capital for this, but they had suggested in the investor webinar the use of OEMs to produce the Affimers. I guess the returns from doing them in-house are greater and more sustainable going forwards.
Like many though, I am somewhat disappointed by the communication of this after saying they were fully funded through to 2022. Notably, last placing was immediately before news that rocketed the SP... And we know what news is due any day now. The institutions know a good time to get in. At least they are giving PIs the chance to be involved in the placing this time.
And another thing...
One notable omission from the placing RNS is any talk of the neutralisation therapies. Not in the Covid-19 “Key Market Opportunities” section, nor in the “Outlook” section. The only related mention is “Obtain first-in-human data for the Affimer platform” under accelerated expansion of therapies. Perhaps this is seen as a rate-limiting step vs more tried-and-tested antibody therapies, and explains the lack of a major partner announcement to date? Happy to be proven wrong. Perhaps that is lined up as one of the post-placing good news items.
Just to make a point about the current perception in the UK on the outlook for coronavirus - something which the derampers are using to fuel their agenda. It seems there’s a lot of complacency about Covid-19 washing through the markets and the population at large because daily new cases and hospital admissions are still on a gradual downward trend, at the same time as society is gradually opening up again. The critical thing people are not taking into account is the lag time between new cases and reporting. After infection there is on average five to seven days (or even more) before symptoms show. Then there may be days or weeks before someone has a positive test result and/or is hospitalised if necessary. The lag time from infections to related deaths is even greater. Right now, sadly we are just in the calm before the storm of a second wave. Those working in hospitals and PHE know it and are getting ready. (At least, the few I know.) Infection rates have been going down only due to the economically crippling lockdown. We are still at c.2,000 new cases reported per day in the UK, with >90% of the population still uninfected. It’s nowhere near under control here. So what’s going to happen as society reopens? Think ahead more than a day or two. This is to say nothing about the horrific situation in the rest of the world, but untortunately it seems sentiment is driven much more by what’s directly in front of people’s faces.
That said, I am happy for anyone that has made a profit here by playing the short term game well, genuinely, great job. Now don’t go and p*** on those chips you sold to the next person. You’d be like the worst kebab shop owner ever. Unless you wee vinegar, I suppose. In which case, see a doctor??? Anyway, there’s an important message here, and it is that if you still believe in your reason for investing, don’t eat your chips while they are soggy. IMO, DYOR, GLA
Next item up on the recent webinar slide of ‘Anticipated News flow 2020-21’, after news of shipping Affimers to partners was:
“Prototype Affimer covid-19 test performance.”
So this suggests we won’t hear anything official until post-test development, after an initial performance trial. We just need patience. The technical news flow was rapid while the development was ongoing in-house at Avacta, but in my opinion it may have just slowed down because now development has moved over to their partners, Avacta can’t give further details without partners’ consent. And the partners may have a more cautious, major milestone-based approach to news releases.
That said, we did get the little Brucy bonus of the Medusa19 partnership announcement out of sequence. So agree other partnerships could also be next. But not if those partners are waiting for the prototype test performance before going public.
Patience. The news doesn’t need to come immediately.
I saw that as well, so I messaged ii (my provider) to ask if they would ever loan their customers’ (e.g. my) shares out. After consulting the relevant department, in short they replied: “This is something we would never do without your express consent.” They did go on to say they have been considering providing that as a service for specific customers with a long term large holding who were looking to gain additional revenue from it. Not for me, but good to know if implemented that the customer could gain from the practice, not just the brokerage. Can’t speak to other providers’ policies.
(In fairness I also may need to go back and recheck the account small print to be sure I haven’t already given that “express consent”! But the follow-on would suggest not.)
Done in Geneva. No familiar test names there from the UK crop of stocks (unless they trade under different names?), but it’s all PCR or similar needing lab/specialist to analyse.
Tomvisual - thanks for post. Would you have an idea how many MS machines that equates to, and how many sit in non-medical labs vs hospitals? Also I note there are many types of MS machines and I think the BAMS system only works on MALDI TOF Mass spectrometers. How many MALDI machines are really out there? In my searches I came across a couple recent papers arguing that MALDI machines save at least their cost - £100,000’s(?) - in <3 years in a hospital setting, which would suggest that adoption of the technology is not standard at the moment. Any medics care to put us out of our misery on this one?
RD, re volumes, pricing, margins...
My guess if launched successfully would be worth anything from a few $million to a few $10s of million to Avacta. Not as massive as the rapid test potential of course, but lower risk, and significant compared to current cash position on the order of £20mln. In the unlikely event that all else covid were to flop, that could still go a long way towards developing the cancer therapies without further placings.
Existing assay kits range from $1600 to $3500 per 96 tests.
And we know: “Avacta will receive a royalty on the sales of BAMS test kits by Adeptrix.“ but not how much. If royalty were say 5-10% (a guess) on $20-30/test, that’s $1-3 to Avacta per test.
Market is hard to predict... If monkshood or Ophidian or anyone might know how many appropriate MS machines there are as a target market, please advise. Also we have to consider they are probably already in use and unlikely to be suddenly assigned 100% to running this test. For a ball-park, there are c20,000 hospitals in the USA, Europe and UK based on a billion people and about 1 per 50,000 population - also ignoring MSs in non-hospital labs for now. If 10% of these hospitals took 10 x 96 kits each that’s already about 2 million kits and $2-6 million royalties. It could easily be 10 times that if good uptake and/or broader geography. 100 times - not impossible? But it might well become production capacity-constrained before hitting the loftier of these estimates.
Interesting then... I had been thinking the primary appeal here was to enable labs/hospitals to also put MS devices into use on testing, and thus increase capacity and access to gold-standard equivalent testing without a PCR machine. But if the BAMS test will be quantitative... and they could also include a test for the detached spikes, which potentially signify disease progression... This test could also be a completely unique proposition in terms of the data it provides to help understand the virus - not just for research but also maybe improving patient outcomes.
I’ve been wondering about the detached spike proteins lately - will they really be prevalent in saliva? If they detach over time as the disease progresses, aren’t you more likely to see them in blood serum than saliva, which is more or less continuously produced and swallowed as we eat, drink, look at the Avacta share price, etc? Genuinely interested, not a biologist. Thanks all for the pleasingly technical dialogue!
In the recent FinnCap post-results report from 6th May (when SP was nearer £1) they suggested a conservative £150m market cap for Avacta seemed appropriate, subject to an ongoing update, and not including any credit for the covid-19 work, which they hesitated to put a value on. For me, the value of all Avacta’s other lines of work is largely why the SP hasn’t swung around quite as much (either up or down) as other covid shares for which the covid work is a larger % of the company value.
True, the SP was around 20p before the first covid-19 announcement and subsequent rise, but arguably the cancer work and other partnerships were not priced in at that stage - this was the basis of Myles’ initial thesis. Now with more eyes on them, I’d suggest the rise is partly related to covid-19 testing and treatments, but also more people now being aware of and waking up to the value in the rest of their work.
On the logic above, the more we go up in anticipation of the covid work, the more swingy the SP could be in response to it. All speculation though, and the markets aren’t known for obeying logic, especially over short timeframes!
Loads of good options out there... I’d look at the costs for a few and consider your portfolio size, whether you hold mostly stocks or funds or a mix, and how often you make trades. I use ii personally for the flat rate platform fee that doesn’t scale with my portfolio, and relatively low trading costs. I moved there after starting out with Charles Stanley Direct who are great for holding funds, but less good for stocks. For a small portfolio a % charge on your holdings can be more attractive than a flat fee. Also if you trade very infrequently you could sensibly opt for a provider with a lower regular platform fee and higher cost per trade. Good luck, and don’t try to play catch up by rushing into Avacta on a morning spike between 8-9am!
It’s nice to know, being unable to go into my local pub, that there remains a place I can frequent to get my fill of grumpy old timers complaining loudly about the clueless youth of today to anyone in earshot. A vital part of any good community, I’m sure we can agree. Thanks, it means a lot. ;)
In defence of MM’s, as “it says on the tin” they make the market, and without them there would be little or no liquidity, i.e. it would be very hard to get hold of Avacta shares, and the buy/sell spread would be enormous. But where they could just make money from the spread, they also like to provoke inexperienced traders into buying or selling at the wrong prices by moving their bid/offer prices up and down unpredictably. They are very good at this. They have more information than we do. They are typically institutions with large holdings in the share, like FinnCap. When someone was posting level 2 data (current bid/ask prices from all the MM’s - you pay a provider extra to get this) last week, it was interesting to see more MM’s on Avacta at the end of the week than the start (c.8 vs 5?). Could mean a feeding frenzy with the high volume of trades, and/or more institutions building their own position in a quality company.