Science & Enterprise subscription

Follow us on Twitter

  • Many thanks @SciSeeker https://t.co/uQy4yl5pQb
    about 3 hours ago
  • New post on Science and Enterprise: Taking a Break https://t.co/QgH851GMZX #Science #Business
    about 4 days ago
  • Total venture capital funding in the U.S. for first six months of 2019 reached levels not seen since the year 2000,… https://t.co/cGSC6j1Xl8
    about 4 days ago
  • New post on Science and Enterprise: Infographic – U.S. Venture Funds Near 20-Year Highs https://t.co/mIkraoGRAH #Science #Business
    about 4 days ago
  • A set of computational tools developed at Purdue University enables public safety agencies to monitor potentially c… https://t.co/NHSLm9YBBG
    about 5 days ago

Please share Science & Enterprise

Immunotherapy Biotech Gains $325M in Venture Funds

Investment graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

9 July 2019. A biotechnology enterprise developing personalized treatments for cancer and infectious diseases is raising $325 million in its second venture funding round. The new financing gives BioNTech SE in Mainz, Germany a total of $595 million raised in its first two venture rounds since January 2018.

BioNTech is an 11-year old company spun off from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz developing immunotherapies from synthetic forms of messenger RNA, a nucleic acid linked to DNA, transmitted to cells for production of amino acids in proteins to carry out functions in the body. Much of the company’s current pipeline is devoted to cancer treatments that go beyond messenger RNA immunotherapies to protein and small molecule drugs, and cell and gene therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR T-cell treatments for cancer. BioNTech also has a diagnostic division and manufacturing facilities.

A key part of BioNTech’s business strategy is partnerships with other biotechnology developers, pharmaceutical companies, and academic research labs. As reported in Science & Enterprise in August 2018, BioNTech and drug maker Pfizer are collaborating on a vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza using messenger RNA, where BioNTech will be responsible for initial development of the vaccine through the first clinical trial. If all stages of the deal are completed, the partnership could bring BioNTech as much as $425 million.

BioNTech is also acquiring assets from other biotechnology companies to build its portfolio. In May, BioNTech bought the rights to synthetic targeted antibodies for treating solid tumor cancers from MabVax Therapeutics in San Diego, a company reportedly in financial trouble. One of the immunotherapies is being tested in an early- and mid-stage clinical trial. Included in the deal are MabVax’s labs, which enables BioNTech to build a research center in San Diego, making it easier for the company to conduct clinical trials in the U.S. Financial aspects of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new venture round raising $325 million is led by Fidelity Management & Research Company in Boston, the asset management arm of Fidelity Investments. Taking part in the financing are new and current investors Redmile Group, Invus, MiraeAsset Financial Group, Platinum Asset Management, Jebsen Capital, Steam Athena Capital, BVCF Management, and the Struengmann Family Office. BioNTech says two-thirds of the funds are from new investors.

In a company statement, BioNTech’s CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin welcomes ” the support from high-technology investors who see the accelerating convergence of biology with bioinformatics, robotics, and artificial intelligence as an opportunity to develop more precise, efficacious and cost-effective individualized immunotherapies.”

More from Science & Enterprise:

Disclosure: The author owns shares in Pfizer.

*     *     *

Please share Science & Enterprise ...
error

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.