BioInvent, BiondVax pocket $9.5M each in separate stock sales

BioInvent (STO:BINV) and BiondVax Pharmaceuticals ($BVXV) have wrapped up their respective fundraising initiatives. Sweden's BioInvent pulled in $9.5 million to fuel the advance of its oncology pipeline, while Israel's BiondVax bagged a similar amount to continue work on its universal flu vaccine.

BiondVax CEO Ron Babecoff

The stock sales took place on opposite sides of the Atlantic. BiondVax joined many of its fellow Israeli biotechs by adding a Nasdaq listing to its existing presence on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The small IPO gives BiondVax a slim budget with which to mount a mid-phase clinical trial program and prepare for pivotal studies. BiondVax has set aside $180,000 to finish a 36-person Phase II trial of its universal flu vaccine in Israel and a further $233,000 for another study in Europe. The European trial is also being financed by a $600,000 grant from the Unisec Consortium.

While BiondVax has scraped together enough cash to gather Phase II data, it is well short of what it needs to run a Phase III in influenza. The plan is to pump $2 million into manufacturing vaccines for a Phase III trial and a further $140,000 on consultants to persuade FDA to sign off on an IND application. With these initiatives and Phase II data in hand, BiondVax intends to pitch its program to large biopharma companies and national healthcare systems in an attempt to raise the cash it needs for a pivotal study. The plan failed to wow investors and the stock opened down 15%.

BioInvent is operating under similar financial constraints. The Swedish cancer R&D shop raised a little more than $9 million from an oversubscribed rights issue, adding to the $3 million it had in the bank at the end of March. Having boosted its bank balance, BioInvent thinks it has the money to see it through at least the next 12 months, during which time it expects to start a Phase I/II trial of TB-403 in medulloblastoma patients in collaboration with ThromboGenics spinout Oncurious. 

- read the BiondVax release
- and the BioInvent release