If you happen to be an investor with a keen eye on biotechnology stocks, then you might be acquainted with Avacta Group plc (LON: AVCT), listed on the London Stock Exchange.
YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK
During the pandemic, Avacta made a name for itself, with its share price surging, topping out at roughly 262p. Avacta has been the cause of much debate among investors. Such are the rollercoaster rides that come with investing in biotechnology stocks that you and the experts never quite know what might happen.
It takes a special breed of investor to dip their toe in biotech waters. There is always the potential for enormous gains but also devastating losses. Many of these companies are small with limited staff. It is easy to get caught up in the dream, especially when the company's offerings sound impressive. One announcement could send the stock soaring, while a single slip-up in a clinical trial can send it spiralling into purgatory.
Avacta Group plc is one of those companies trying to grab the golden ring.
Is Avacta a good stock to buy at the moment? It has demonstrated that it can excite an investor base in what it is doing, as technically sounding as that might be. It has a number of development partnerships with large key players in the industry, but is that enough to see its stock surge once again?
Table of contents
Who Is Avacta Group plc?
Avacta has 133 employees at last count, according to Zoom Info. The company offers and develops cancer therapies and diagnostics in the United Kingdom, France, North America, South Korea, and the rest of Asia and Europe, operating through its Diagnostics and Therapeutics segments.
Alastair Smith is the founder and chief executive officer of Avacta Group plc. He founded the firm in 2003, and it is based in Wetherby, United Kingdom. It also has an office in London for its therapeutics division. Smith has a PHD in Physics and served ten years as the lead for Molecular Biometrics. After leaving academia, he worked tirelessly managing Avacta. Raising around £50m for the development of Avacta’s proprietary Affimer programme and its pre|CISION targeted chemotherapies’ platform. The firm’s IPO occurred on the FTSE Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2006.
YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK
The Affimer platform is a “novel class of biotherapeutic based on a naturally occurring human protein,” the primary platform offered by the company and protected by several intellectual patents. The firm’s pre|CISION targeted chemotherapies’ platform is also proprietary, protected, and uniquely targets a tumour directly without coincident damage to other nearby tissues. The company’s pipeline is filled with a number of applications derived from these two protocols, which primarily focus on cancer therapies and diagnostic tools.
The mission of the Avacta Group, as stated on its website, is “to shape the future of medicine by developing novel cancer therapies and powerful diagnostics using our proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms.”
The company has a number of projects in its pipeline, with the first candidate to reach Phase I of clinical trials being AVA6000, which has since shown some positive results.
Overall, its pipeline is robust, and the management team plans to conduct a number of trials for its various cancer-preventing therapies while generating revenues from licensing and its diagnostic business. Eventually, the firm hopes to leverage its partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies to broaden its revenue base, thereby driving long-term shareholder value.
As mentioned, biopharmaceutical stocks can be risky. Nevertheless, the Avacta management team has developed two rather unique approaches to supplement existing cancer therapies. The company may succeed or fail, or it may even be acquired if its pipeline and client base is attractive to a major pharmaceutical firm. The risk is yours to call.
YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK
Where Will Avacta Group plc’s Stock Price Be at the End of 2023?
The Avacta share price has fluctuated due to changing investor sentiment over the long-term prospects of the firm, although it seems to have found a base so far this year. What is the Avacta forecast for the mid-term future? It would be speculation at this juncture to pinpoint a value with certainty.
Generally, at this point, we would quote the analyst consensus rating and price target for the stock. However, according to Market Screener, there is one analyst covering Avacta, with a buy rating and 206p per share 12-month price target, representing a significant upside from current levels.
Regardless of the lack of coverage, the progress of the firm’s clinical trials and the development of products in its pipeline will be the major factors that impact the Avacta share price this year.
Where Will Avacta Group plc’s Stock Price Be in 5 Years?
Is Avacta Group a buy or sell for the long term? The current market for antibody-driven immunotherapies is said to be worth in excess of $100bn by the management team at Avacta. The team also states that its various platforms using its proprietary protein-based approach counters many of the shortcomings of the alternative.
CEO Alastair Smith has stated: “What drives us all at Avacta is the opportunity to realise the incredible potential of the Affimer and pre|CISION platforms to create new tools for life sciences and, in our own drug development programmes, to make a measurable difference to patients’ lives through clinically superior cancer immunotherapies” (source: Avacta).
Analysts have given Smith high marks for bringing his firm to its present stage, but, as mentioned earlier, the company’s long-term viability and attractiveness will depend on how well its products deliver on his promise. Will their approaches be superior and make a measurable difference in those that receive them? Is the firm’s pipeline as robust as it says it is?
As a Biotech firm, it must deliver increasing revenues year after year for its various products. Avacta has already had its long research and development phase, starting in 2003 and moving forward.
YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK
Is Avacta Group plc a Good Buy?
Is Avacta Group plc a good stock to buy at this time for the long term? If you have a portion of your portfolio devoted to high-risk special situations, then you might find shares of AVCT to your liking. Biotech stocks can be a fun ride, but it is easy to get caught up in the company’s narrative. This company’s diagnostic tools have caught the attention of many investors, while its pipeline is also seen to have potential. Its therapies could take off, or they could fail.
The jury is still out on the company's shares. It is still early days for Avacta, and the stock is viewed as risky. In addition, it remains loss-making. When assessing a potential investment in Avacta, it is best to proceed with caution and risk only what you are prepared to lose.
The Best Brokers to Trade Avacta Group PLC Stocks:
eToro: 68% of retail CFD accounts lose moneyTake a look
Tickmill: FCA RegulatedTake a look
IG: Over 16k stocks to tradeTake a look
If you are ready to add some Avacta Group PLC stocks to your portfolio you'll need a broker that is regulated, has low fees and a user-friendly platform. Finding one can be a daunting task, which is why we've selected some of our favourites that tick all of these boxes to help you get started.