Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (‘Emergex’), a biotechnology company developing set-point vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has secured over US$11 million in a Series A round. Vickers Venture Partners (‘Vickers’), a top-ranked global early stage Venture Capital company led the round and Dr. Finian Tan, Chairman of Vickers Venture Partners, will join the Emergex Board as a non-executive director.
Founded in 2016, Emergex focuses on developing vaccines that prevent virulent diseases such as Zika, Dengue Fever, Ebola and even pandemic Flu. The Company’s set-point vaccines deliver experimentally-derived pathogen peptide data via quantum-sized nanoclusters to prime the immune system to recognise subsequent infections, mimicking natural infection and preventing severe manifestation of the disease. Emergex’s T-cell vaccines elicit different responses than traditional antibody-producing vaccines, eliminating allergic, autoimmune or antibody-mediated side effects.
Emergex’s underlying platform technology enables rapid development of vaccines to entire families of pathogens, compared to traditional approaches that can take years to develop and scale vaccines for single pathogens. As purely synthetic vaccines with no biological components, Emergex’s vaccines are much safer as they carry no infection risk from live attenuated pathogens; are much cheaper to produce since they do not require culturing; and can be conveniently transported and administered even in remote parts of the world as they can be stored and handled at room temperature.
The financing supports the progress of Emergex’s development pipeline, including a first-in-man Phase 1 clinical trial of its Flavivirus (Dengue) vaccine in Switzerland, as well as Phase 1b clinical trials in the endemic regions of Singapore and Brazil. Proceeds will also support the Universal Influenza and Filovirus programmes through the preclinical stages and early clinical trials. In parallel, Emergex will continue to identify peptide libraries for a range of infectious disease indications to further expand and diversify the Company’s development pipeline.
Professor Thomas Rademacher, CEO and co-founder of Emergex, commented, “Attracting such high calibre investors is an endorsement of our development pipeline and validation of the potential our technologies hold in the field of infectious diseases. These new funds will support us to achieve some significant value-enhancing milestones as we progress our lead vaccine candidates into clinical development.”
In addition to leading this financing, Vickers Venture Partners will assist Emergex with growth at the strategic level, by leveraging its experienced team of technical experts who have a strong track record in helping life science companies raise capital and scale up, and connecting Emergex to its networks of investment and industry partners.
Dr Finian Tan, Chairman of Vickers Venture Partners and a new Emergex non-executive director, added, “With today’s rising global population, the risk posed by infectious diseases is greater than ever before. As such, it is vital that we value and pursue innovation to ensure we have effective healthcare options. We see great potential in Emergex’s technology as it allows vaccines to be produced quickly, administered easily and sold at a fraction of current prices. We believe that this would revolutionize the entire world of vaccines and increase access to a larger number of people around the world.”
Over the last year, Emergex achieved significant milestones, including demonstrating an excellent safety profile for the base particle that will be used for all its vaccines and an excellent safety profile for the final dengue vaccine construct. The Company also signed a collaboration agreement with A*STAR’s IMCB in Singapore to develop a vaccine for Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, and secured a state-of-the-art R&D facility at Milton Park near Oxford, bringing in-house its own up-stream capabilities to drive development of its vaccines.
Emergex, a UK-based biotechnology company headquartered in Abingdon, UK, is pioneering the development of set-point vaccines to address some of the world’s most immediate health threats such as Dengue Fever, Zika, Ebola, pandemic flu and serious intra-cellular bacterial infections.
These set-point vaccines are population based and modify the initial immune status of recipients in a way that ‘primes’ their immune systems to recognise subsequent infectious agents much like a natural infection would do, preventing an acute or severe manifestation of the disease.
Emergex combines validated technologies together with the very latest scientific insights to develop its vaccines, including using synthetic peptide codes determined on actual infected cells and using a proprietary gold nanoparticle carrier system for programming.
The Company has a growing pipeline of vaccine candidates. The most advanced development programme is a vaccine for Dengue Fever, which may also be disease modifying for other Flaviviruses such as the Zika and Yellow Fever viruses. Emergex also has programmes in development for a universal Influenza vaccine and a universal Filovirus vaccine (including viruses such as Ebola and Marburg) and discovery programmes for a Yellow Fever Booster vaccine and a Chikungunya vaccine.
Emergex has partnered with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) of Singapore to develop a vaccine for the emerging threat of Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brazil-based Oswaldo Cruz Foundation ‘Fiocruz’ for the development of viral vaccines. This initially covers the development of a vaccine that universally targets diseases within the flavivirus family such as Dengue Fever, Zika and Yellow Fever but could be expanded to include the development of vaccines to target other viral families that are endemic to the region.
Find out more online at www.emergexvaccines.com.