VAXIMM AG, a Basel-Switzerland-based biotech firm focused on developing vaccines for patients suffering from cancer, closed a CHF7.8m financing round.
Investors include existing shareholders BB Biotech Ventures and Merck KGaA and new partners Sunstone Capital, Merck Serono Ventures and BioMedPartners.
The company intends to use the new funds to advance its lead program VXM01 into and through clinical phase I testing.
VXM01 is an investigational oral T-cell vaccine that targets the tumor vasculature and has shown anti-tumor activity in a variety of animal studies testing different tumor types.
The human clinical trials of the vaccine are expected to start in 2011.
In conjunction with the funding, Dr. Sten Verland, Partner at Sunstone Capital and Dr. Gerhard Ries, Co-founder and General Partner of BioMedPartners, will join Dr. Klaus Breiner, chairman, on VAXIMM’s board of directors.
Formed in 2008 as a joint venture of BB Biotech Ventures and Merck KGaA to develop VXM01, the company has a Mannheim, Germany-based subsidiary, Vaximm GmbH.