BioVex snags $30M to pay for pivotal trial

A week after putting out the final data on its successful mid-stage cancer trial for OncoVex, BioVex has fattened its bank account with $30 million in fresh venture funds from a slate of new investors, bringing its total take for the year to a whopping $70 million. The war chest will pay for a late-stage trial of the promising oncology program and give BioVex CEO Philip Astley-Sparke plenty of time to work on a licensing deal.

OncoVex takes an oncolytic virus and attaches it to a therapy designed to spur the immune system, essentially dispatching tumor-killers on a search and destroy mission. In the mid-stage trial, 20 percent of the patients achieved a complete response and 28 percent achieved a complete or partial response. Ninety two percent of the responses are durable--defined as lasting at least 6 months--and the majority are ongoing, with a range of 18 to 40 months.  

The new funding gives BioVex enough money to make it to "the major value inflection point of Phase III data," Astley-Sparke tells FierceBiotech. That will leave BioVex on the threshold of a BLA. Astley-Sparke adds that the Woburn, MA-based company hasn't ruled out an IPO and may do a pact ahead of Phase III data. But the CEO has long been reluctant to tout the prospects of a deal, happy to watch the program swell in value as it progresses through the clinic.

The second close placement was co-led by Morningside Venture, Ventech and MVM Life Science Partners. They were joined by other new investors including Sectoral Asset Management and Ysios Capital Partners.

- check out BioVex's release