Meissa Vaccines, a South San Francisco, CA-based biotechnology company developing vaccines to prevent viral respiratory infections, closed a $3.4m seed funding round.
The financing included numerous undisclosed individual investors.
The company intends to use the funds to further develop its investigational vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) into clinical trials. To support these efforts, Meissa has had a successful FDA pre-IND meeting, completed manufacturing of clinical trial material, and recruited two outside industry veterans, Kenneth Kelley and William Daly, to join the company’s board of directors.
Co-founded by Martin Moore, Ph.D., cofounder, and CEO, and Dr. Roderick Tang, Meissa is a private biotech company focused on the advancement of vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human metapneumovirus and parainfluenza virus.
The technology is exclusively licensed from Emory University.
Meissa is currently a resident company at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS in South San Francisco.
Prior to this latest seed round, Meissa had been awarded several small business innovation research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund vaccine research and development. The company completed a pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year to ensure preclinical work was appropriately focused and would enable eventual human testing.
The seed funds have already enabled completion of manufacturing of clinical trial materials for Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing in adults and children, as well as for the advancement of vaccine candidates for human metapneumovirus and parainfluenza virus using the same technology platform. Meissa’s proprietary technologies of reverse genetics and human codon deoptimization allow for rapid generation of live attenuated vaccine candidates that may be safer yet more immunogenic than the natural pathogens and give them ideal properties for manufacturing and distribution.