Vaccitech, an Oxford University spinout company developing a universal flu vaccine, among other vaccine-related products, secured £20m ($27.1m) in Series A financing.
The round was co-led by new investors GV, Sequoia China, and existing backer Oxford Sciences Innovation, which manages a £600m fund aimed at Oxford University spinouts. Neptune Ventures joined in participation.
The company, which has raised £30m since inception in 2016, will use the funding to expand its business, develop its lab structure, and to push its influenza and prostate cancer programs through Phase II by the end of 2019, and move three other programs into the clinic.
Led by Tom Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Vaccitech is commercializing the research of vaccine development specialists Adrian Hill and Sarah Gilbert, who developed the underpinning technology at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute.
The company, which has also added vaccine veteran Pierre Morgon to its Board of Directors, has a portfolio of six products based on inducing cellular immune responses using non-replicating viral vectors for treatment or prophylaxis against diseases at various stages.
The portfolio includes:
– a universal influenza vaccine in evaluation in a Phase 2b efficacy trial, in which 862 people are enrolled in the first year of a two-year study;
– a prostate cancer therapeutic current at Phase I. A Phase 2 study combining the vaccine platform with a checkpoint inhibitor will begin in metastatic prostate disease in early 2018;
– A Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) prophylactic is currently beginning Phase 1 studies at Oxford University.
– A Human Papillomavirus (HPV) therapeutic, a Hepatitis B (HBV) therapeutic, and another infectious disease asset are in late preclinical development.