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Avacta shares: one shot pony or more to come from AIM biotech stock?


The past 18 months have been momentous for Avacta (LSE:AVCT), the AIM-listed developer of diagnostics and cancer therapies based on its proprietary Affimer and pre|CISION platforms.

Investors with shares in the company in March 2020 saw the value of their stock surge 800% in six weeks, after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 virus a pandemic on 12 March. Avacta was able to secure first-mover advantage with some key diagnostic tools to fight the virus, while continuing to develop its cancer therapies.

A note from in-house broker Stifel in April stated that 2021 would be a ‘breakthrough year’, but it is difficult to see how last year’s performance can be repeated. There is little sign yet of that happening. In fact, after a strong 2Q when shares reached 275p, the share price has been on an unstoppable slide, losing more than half its value, despite some positive news flow, rumours about a government contract and claims of an “ongoing dialogue” with the Department of Health.

Important ISO 13485 certification for Avacta

Expectations that Avacta might secure the CE mark authorisation of the test in May, ahead of the commercial roll-out in Europe later in the year, were disappointed. Progress has been slow, but last month Avacta was granted the ISO 13485 certification for the manufacture and distribution of its Affimer reagents for use in lateral flow, ELISA and immunodiagnostic in-vitro diagnostic devices.

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