Avacta Group expects revenues for the year ended 31 July to be 27% up on last time at £2.75m, in line with market forecasts.

The group said the cash position was well ahead of market expectations at £13m (2016: £19.5m) and the loss before interest and taxation was expected to be in line with market forecasts at £7.9m (2016: £5.7m).

Avacta group chief executive Dr Alastair Smith said: "I am very pleased indeed with the significant commercial and technical progress that has been made in the past twelve months.

"Interest in the Affimer technology from pharma and biotech is growing as the technology becomes better known and its technical benefits are demonstrated by data emerging from our in-house programmes.

"Additionally, the results of our immunogenicity study substantially de-risks the Affimer platform from a therapeutics perspective, and gives us confidence as we aim to move our first Affimer drug candidate into the clinic in 2019.

"I am confident that this strong progress will lead to transformational therapeutic licensing deals in due course.

"We are also seeing very good growth in the number of paid-for custom Affimer projects and evaluations in the diagnostics and research markets and I am delighted that we have been able to report the signing of the first agreement for Affimer product development following a technology evaluation by one of the world's largest diagnostics developers.

"A number of other evaluations are advancing positively and we believe that these will lead to further licensing deals which would result in long term royalty based revenue growth from non-therapeutic applications."

At 8:07am: (LON:AVCT) Avacta Group PLC share price was +2p at 78.5p