Abingdon-based Emergex Vaccines, a biotech startup developing set-point vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, has announced that it has secured over €9.9 million in a Series A round. Vickers Venture Partners, 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.”