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Fancy a Medical Pioneer that May Get Better in 2017? Look In Avacta

By Malcolm Stacey | Tuesday 10 January 2017

Disclosure: I own shares in one or more of the stocks mentioned. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Hello Share Raisers. One share which I bracket among my stronger tips for 2017 is a company which provides diagnostic tools for vets. But its real potential, I believe, is in something called affimers. These are rather a mystery to me, but seem to be a substitute for antibodies. These, as we all know, fight disease. 

The share price of Avacta (AVCT) has fallen backwards since the Autumn (from 94p to 73.5p). But that seems to be mostly due to a lack of news. However, there will be news later on this month, when the company reports on the 20th. Therefore, if you agree with me, now might be the time to join in the fun.

Given the recent losses, even I have become a bit wary of life science pioneers. It's certainly a speculative business. However, the rewards, if and when realised, can be great.

Antibodies can be used to treat conditions in humans and animals. But they are difficult to target to the trouble spot, and they can be fragile. Affimers can be targeted more specifically, are quicker to produce and can be used in certain circumstances where antibodies cannot. Avacta, based in Yorkshire, is developing affimers with a policy of licensing them out.

The directors are all men, but the majority of the managers and top scientists are women. It’s my controversial view that women can often be more responsible with money than men - and an excessive cash burn has been the nemesis of some life-science aspirations.

I acknowledge that this is not a share for the faint-hearted. The losses have been rising for the last few years, but that is to be expected in the medical world as we hope for break-throughs and big orders.

And now it’s time for me to catch up in the Punter’s Return.

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