Avacta Group has confirmed that an evaluation of its Affimer technology by a large, global diagnostics developer has concluded successfully and that the third party had taken exclusive rights to several Affimer reagents for an undisclosed sum.

Avacta has adopted a licensing business model for its Affimer technology and has, over the past year, established a number of paid-for evaluations of the technology by third parties with a view to securing commercial agreements to develop Affimer based products.

It said this was the first such evaluation to conclude and it had led to an agreement to provide exclusivity for certain Affimers which were relevant in a large diagnostic market.

It said this was an important commercial step and a validation of the significant potential of the licensing business model. Avacta said details of the commercial terms and the proposed use of the Affimer reagents could not be disclosed due to confidentiality.

Chief executive Dr Alastair Smith said: "We believe this deal is a key value inflection point for the company.

"We have provided numerous Affimer reagents to customers for in-house research use, but this the first successful conclusion of a technical evaluation of the Affimer technology leading to the third party taking exclusive rights to certain Affimers with product development in mind.

"This is fundamental to the licensing business model that underpins the future growth of the Affimer reagents business and as such this first deal is hugely important commercial progress.

"Securing the first agreement arising from the successful conclusion of an Affimer technology evaluation was an objective that we set for 2017 and so I am delighted to be able to report that we have hit this milestone early in the year.

"I look forward to reporting on further such successes in the near future as well as reporting on progress in our Affimer therapeutic programmes."

At 8:20am: (LON:AVCT) Avacta Group PLC share price was +2p at 71.5p