Biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta Group said it had formed a co-development partnership with Bach BioSciences, a company commercialising research conducted at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

The collaboration would develop a new class of drug conjugate therapies with a novel mode of action that combined Avacta's Affimer technology with drug conjugates developed at Tufts.

Avacta said the new conjugate would selectively release a potent drug in the tumour microenvironment, without requiring cellular internalisation of the conjugate as is otherwise traditionally the case.

'We believe that this new drug conjugate platform is transformational for the business,' chief executive Alastair Smith said.

'From our initial discussions with several large pharmaceutical companies, it is clear that there is significant interest and there is certainly the potential for partnering at an early stage once we have the appropriate supporting data from the collaboration with Professor Bachovchin.'

At 2:14pm: (LON:AVCT) Avacta Group PLC share price was +11p at 39.5p