UK pharmaceutical company Avacta has signed a $180m (£143m) partnership deal with LG Chem, part of the South Korean LG Group.
Avacta, a portfolio company of FTSE 250-listed IP Group, was one of the top risers in the London Stock Exchange after news of the deal broke this morning – its share price jumping 31 per cent to 30.5p.
The $180m deal will contribute to Avacta's research and development of immuno-oncology drugs, which use the body's immune system to fight cancer.
“It is a global validation of UK bioscience,” said Alastair Smith, the company's CEO. “What it shows is the world-class innovation that happens in the UK. Genuinely innovative and world-leading science is being done that can be translated into real commercial value.”
Mr Smith said the company will provide a cheaper and easier to manufacture alternative to antibody-based medications, which currently make up a third of all new drugs in development.
He added: “This alliance is an exciting opportunity, not only to work with a partner who has first class biologics manufacturing and clinical development capabilities, but who also has a pioneering vision to develop innovative therapies.”
Avacta plans for clinical trials of its drugs to begin in 2020.
They will receive royalties on any future product sales, with the possibility of an additional $130 million if LG chooses to fund more of its research.
Dr. Jeewoong Son, president of LG Chem Life Sciences, said: “We are very pleased to announce collaboration with Avacta.
“I believe this innovative collaboration will deliver value to patients and will transform patients' lives.”