Optimising costs

Avacta Group has launched its flagship product, Optim, a laboratory instrument that promises to cut costs during pharmaceutical research and development.


Avacta Group has launched its flagship product, Optim, a laboratory instrument that promises to dramatically cut costs during pharmaceutical research and development.


The instrument is designed to perform advanced biophysical analysis on small samples of biopharmaceuticals and other biological material. The process allows drug developers to acquire vital information about their compound’s performance at an early stage and therefore help them reduce the risk of late stage failure.


Avacta believes this could result in cheaper pharmaceuticals because drug manufacturers will be able to bring their products to market quicker and with less cost.


Optim has the potential to fill a gap in the pharmaceutical research and development market. Avacta stated that its product gives drug developers the ability for the first time to gain vital information about product performance in the early stages of product development when very limited quantities of material are available.


The market size for the product could be broad, Avacta claimed, because the instrument is easy to use and its analysis can be widely understood by non-expert users. Avacta is also promising to develop follow-on products that could, when added to Optim, deliver a comprehensive ‘protein analysis workstation’ for drug developers.


Avacta, which was formed in 2004 as a spin out from LeedsUniversity, has established itself up until now as a biophysics company specialising in contract services. The company plans to tap into its partners though that business and reach out to the larger worldwide market to get its new product off the ground.


Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta, said the company has high hopes for its first product.


‘Optim is the first in a range of high-value analytical products for the biopharmaceutical sector that Avacta has under development and we believe that the substantial benefits it has to offer to end users are very clear,’ he added.

‘Avacta is capable of using biophysics to revolutionise the way in which biological samples such as biopharmaceuticals or clinical samples can be analysed rapidly. In delivering an instrument for biopharmaceutical developers, we have targeted the largest immediate market that Avacta can address and we are looking forward to the wider application of our core technology in diagnostics and elsewhere.’