Italy's Okairos raises $20.5M for vaccine work

Versant Ventures and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund led a €16 million ($20.5 million) Series B round of funding for Okairos, which is developing next gen vaccines for infectious disease.

Okairos was formed in 2007 from IRBM, a Merck subsidiary. The company, which is headquartered in Switzerland and has labs in Italy, is developing genetic vaccines using technology that engages T-cells to fight infectious diseases. Its pipeline includes both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases like malaria, hepatitis C, HIV and universal influenza. Additionally, Okarios is using its technology platform to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines. The company will use the funding to advance it's portfolio of vaccines through clinical proof of concept.

"Our investors recognize the huge unmet need in chronic infections," says Dr. Riccardo Cortese, CEO and co-founder of Okairos. "Existing technologies have not lived up to their promise and this investment will allow us to explore a new approach that exploits the body's immune response."

- take a look at Okarios' release

PLUS: NJ-based Arno Therapeutics has closed a private placement of its securities resulting in gross proceeds of over $15 million. Arno is developing oncology therapeutics. Report