VaxInnate Corporation Closes $30 Million Round of Financing; Wellcome Trust Leads Round
Emerging Swine Flu Among Targets for Development of Novel Vaccines
CRANBURY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VaxInnate Corporation, a biotechnology company pioneering breakthrough technology that could dramatically improve the potency, manufacturing capacity and cost effectiveness of vaccines, today announced the closing of $30 million in new Series D financing, led by its newest investor, The Wellcome Trust. New Leaf Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, HealthCare Ventures, Oxford Bioscience Partners, MedImmune Ventures and CHL Medical Ventures, representing all existing shareholders, also participated in the financing.
The funds will be used for the development of the company's vaccines for infectious diseases that include influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and dengue. Specifically, the Company plans to fund several clinical trials, including a Phase II clinical trial of its M2e universal flu vaccine and a Phase I clinical trial of its seasonal flu vaccine in an elderly population.
VaxInnate is already working on a prototype swine flu vaccine that could be available for preclinical animal studies in as early as six weeks. If successful, VaxInnate's swine flu vaccine could be manufactured in a matter of weeks and at volumes sufficient to rapidly meet global vaccination needs.
"We're delighted to add The Wellcome Trust to our roster of shareholders and gratified to see our investors' continuing interest in VaxInnate," said CEO Alan Shaw, PhD. "The additional funding will make it possible for us to continue advancing our flu vaccines forward to market and to support the application of our technology platform to vaccines for other infectious diseases, among them HPV, RSV and the emerging swine flu."
The Wellcome Trust is the world's largest medical research charity and the largest charity in the United Kingdom. The Wellcome Trust funds innovative biomedical research in the UK and internationally to produce knowledge that can be used to protect and improve human and animal health, investing more than £600 million annually to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas.
"Wellcome is very pleased to support the development of VaxInnate's proprietary technology and innovative vaccines, having recognized both the scientific validation and the commercial value of its approach," said Julie Eskay-Eagle of The Wellcome Trust.
Eskay-Eagle, who heads the healthcare team for The Wellcome Trust's investment division, joined the VaxInnate Board of Directors.
"We believe VaxInnate's paradigm-shifting vaccine technology platform is positioned to address key challenges in the marketplace at a time when industry, government and the public sector are working together to improve our ability to meet global health needs," said Board member Seth Berkley, MD, president and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and a specialist in infectious disease, epidemiology and international health. "We welcome Julie Eskay-Eagle to the VaxInnate Board and look forward to benefiting from her experience and counsel."
VaxInnate is a privately-held biotechnology company in Cranbury, NJ that is pioneering breakthrough technology for use in developing novel and proprietary vaccines. VaxInnate's technology has the potential to dramatically improve the potency, manufacturing capacity and cost-effectiveness of vaccines.
VaxInnate's first vaccines focus on infectious diseases, including seasonal and pandemic flu, malaria, dengue, human papillomavirus and respiratory syncytial virus. In 2008 and 2009, VaxInnate generated positive Phase I clinical data for its first two vaccines, a universal flu vaccine and a seasonal flu vaccine. For more information about VaxInnate, please visit http://www.vaxinnate.com.