Avacta Group will present data that highlights the competitive performance of Affimers in affinity separation applications at bioProcessUK in Newcastle on 23-24 November.

Affinity separation is one of three non-therapeutic applications that the company highlighted in its strategic plan presented earlier in the year.

Affinity separation is used to purify biological molecules from complex mixtures by capturing them using antibodies or other binding agents such as Affimers.

The affinity separation market ranges from small, laboratory scale separation systems up to very large, industrial bioprocessing systems capable of handling thousands of litres of a product.

The company believes that this market is worth around $0.5bn in total with growth being driven strongly by the growth of the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The market is also responding to demand for better performance, new systems to purify emerging product classes, re-usability in some applications and improved economics.

During the past six months the Company has been benchmarking Affimer technology against accepted market performance standards and will present data at bioProcessUK on 23-24 November which show that Affimer technology is highly competitive in a number of ways:

- Affimer purification systems show excellent stability and can be regenerated for re-use at least one hundred times, if required, because of the compatibility of the Affimer technology with harsh washing conditions.

- Affimer reagents are highly specific to the target and can be generated against targets which are difficult or not possible for antibodies because of the in-vitro selection process used to generate new Affimer reagents.

- The binding capacity of a prototype Affimer based purification system has been shown to be comparable to established commercial products.

Chief executive Dr Alastair Smith said: "We have previously identified affinity separation as a commercially attractive, non-therapeutic application for the Affimer technology where we could foresee significant competitive advantages over existing technologies. We have since focused our non-therapeutic development efforts on this application, along with lateral flow rapid diagnostics and immunoassays.

"I am delighted to report that the detailed marketing data pack for affinity separation that we have generated as planned clearly validates the relative performance benefits of Affimer technology in this application.

"Indeed, we have been able to produce, in-house, a prototype Affimer separation column that has superior stability characteristics and comparable binding capacity to established commercially available alternatives. We are now in a strong position with credible supporting data to partner the Affimer technology in this market, particularly in the areas of biologics production and small scale sample separation for diagnostics and research."