BIOTECHNOLOGY business Avacta Group has raised £10.1 million through a placing in a bid to accelerate the development and commercialisation of its medical innovations.

The Wetherby company, which started life at York Science Park, designs and makes diagnostic tools and consumables tailored to reduce the cost of human and animal healthcare.

The cash has been generated through a conditional placing of new ordinary shares of 1.1p each, through both existing and new shareholders.

Part of the proceeds from the placing will be used to resource the early-stage commercialisation of Avacta’s Affimer products through commercial partnerships as well as direct sales of custom reagents.

Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta, said: “We are delighted to have successfully raised these funds through both existing and new shareholders.

“The board has identified the vast potential of the Affimer platform to complement and replace antibodies in many applications.

“Following the achievement of some significant technical milestones the board considered that the commercialisation of the Affimer platform should be accelerated and the board is now in a position to do that.”

Richard Naish, Jamie Burgess and Thomas Mieszkowski from Walker Morris acted for Avacta.

In the business’s interim results for the period ended January 31, 2014, turnover rose by 40 per cent up to £1.61 million from the previous year. Underlying operating loss reduced to £0.65 million from £0.96million and pre-tax loss dropped from £0.96 million to £0.77m.”

Speaking last month when the interim results were announced, Mr Smith described it as “an exciting time” for the group, which he said is poised for growth not only through its existing businesses in Avacta Animal Health and Avacta Analytical, but also through the “enormous potential” for the commercial exploitation of the Affimer platform.