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Avacta Group plc establishes US business development team

Avacta appoints three business development executives in US including industry veteran as Vice President of Therapeutics Business Development
Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of Affimer® biotherapeutics and reagents, is pleased to announce that it has established a commercial team of three people in the United States of America including the appointment of Dr Matthew Vincent as Vice President Therapeutics Business Development.
In order to exploit the rapidly growing interest in Avacta’s proprietary Affimer® alternative to antibodies, and to further grow the pipeline of evaluations and collaborations, the Group has taken the strategic decision to establish a permanent US business development team.  The new US team comprises three individuals.  Two business development executives based in San Diego, CA and Philadelphia, PA each with a broad business development remit for Affimer technology across diagnostic, research and therapeutic markets, and Dr Matthew Vincent who has been appointed as Vice President Therapeutics Business Development based in Boston Massachusetts.
Dr. Vincent is a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in multiple areas of biotechnology and life science.  He joins Avacta from Arisaph Pharmaceuticals where he led corporate development and therapeutic innovation strategy delivering around $100m in license revenues in the past three years.  Prior to Arisaph, Matthew was Director of Business Development at Ocata Therapeutics where he had responsibility for all commercial affairs including product licensing and divestment, asset acquisition and complex commercial negotiations as well as the eventual acquisition of Ocata by Astellas Pharmaceuticals.  Matthew’s experience also includes developing therapeutic product profiles for regenerative medicine and immuno-oncology, pricing/reimbursement and regulatory strategy.  From his previous work as a lawyer and patent attorney, he has experience in worldwide patent portfolio strategy and IP diligence, regulatory affairs strategy, private and public financing and patent litigation.
The new US team joins the commercial team headed by Chief Commercial Officer, Dr Philippe Cotrel who was previously Commercial Director of Abcam plc and who joined Avatca in 2016.  The expansion in the US brings the total in that team to eight including UK/EU business development individuals, marketing and customer support.
Dr Alastair Smith, Avacta Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The US is a very important and large market for us and in order to exploit the scale of the opportunity in North America effectively, we have decided to establish a presence on both the east and west coasts.  This expansion is a strong signal of our confidence in the technology and the growing interest from pharma, biotech and diagnostics that is being driven by the new data and applications that is rapidly emerging from our own and collaborators’ laboratories.
 This team’s task is to build the long term relationships that ultimately will lead to licensing deals and royalty based revenue from research and diagnostic applications and to secure Affimer therapeutic development partnerships.
 I am delighted that we have been able to bring someone with Matt Vincent’s extensive experience and network into the Group to specifically address the therapeutics business development opportunity and to capitalise on our continued technical delivery of the Affimer technology as a therapeutic platform.”