Fort Collins, CO-based Inviragen is merging with Singapore's SingVax in a deal that will bring together to vaccine developers focused on advancing new shots to prevent infectious diseases in developing countries. And a group of investors have chipped in $15 million to help fund their discovery work.
"These are very experienced vaccine developers here seeing a market opportunity that others were ignoring and the chance to combine forces and have a more complete team and more complete effort," said John Neis, managing director of Madison-based Venture Investors, which led the round. Charter Life Sciences of Palo Alto, Calif., Bio*One Capital of Singapore and Phillip Private Equity of Singapore also joined in on the venture round.
"Post-merger, Inviragen has three vaccines poised to begin human clinical trials," noted Inviragen CEO Dr. Dan Stinchcomb. "During the next 18 months, these clinical studies will test vaccine safety and measure the immune responses induced by these three vaccines to establish 'proof-of-concept' of their efficacy." Inviragen's lead vaccine is designed to protect against dengue fever. The merged biotech company--which is hanging on to the Inviragen name, will have 20 workers, but there are plans to add more employees.