TUBINGEN, Germany, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CureVac GmbH, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of therapies and vaccines based on mRNA, today announced the completion of an 80 million financing round with its main investor, dievini Hopp BioTech Holding. In the next years, CureVac will use the proceeds mainly to advance the development of its two lead RNActive® cancer vaccines against prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), respectively. Additionally, CureVac will intensify the development of its prophylactic vaccines and adjuvants for infectious diseases. This financing round is one of the largest for a private European biotech company.
"We have continuously seen strong and consistent data from CureVac's RNActive and RNAdjuvant® programs in the past," said Friedrich von Bohlen, Ph.D., CureVac's chairman of the board of directors and managing partner at dievini Hopp Biotech. "CureVac's RNA-technology and products have the potential to create a novel class of therapeutics for the treatment of many different diseases. Additionally, based on the novel therapeutic mechanism of mRNA vaccines, we see strong market potential which we expect will materialize through continued pipeline development and collaborations in the industry."
Ingmar Hoerr, Ph.D., chief executive officer of CureVac, said, "Securing this major investment conveys dievini Hopp BioTech's enthusiasm for an enormous commitment to our company and technology. Our technology is based on a major new understanding of the medical potential of mRNA, and our novel mRNA vaccines and RNA-based adjuvants may transform the treatment of many debilitating diseases, including prostate and lung cancer, as well as the prophylaxis of many infectious diseases. This financing will provide us with sufficient capital to advance our ongoing programs in oncology and infectious diseases over the next years."
To date, the company has raised approximately 145 million in equity financing. CureVac previously announced its collaboration with DARPA, Sanofi Pasteur and In-Cell-Art to develop prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases.
CureVac is combining both the antigenic and adjuvant properties of mRNAs to develop novel and effective mRNA vaccines. RNActive vaccines are comprised of modified and formulated mRNA with three distinct features: The mRNA vaccines are translated into the target antigens, and the formulation and modifications lead to translatability ensuring strong antigen expression (1), increased stability (2) and enhanced immune-stimulatory activity (3).
RNAdjuvants are modified, non-coding, long-stranded and complexed RNAs. Proprietary RNA modifications and formulation allow for increased stability, enhanced immune-stimulatory activity and a beneficial safety profile.
CureVac is developing an entirely new class of therapies based on a fundamental new understanding of the medical potential of mRNA. Using its RNA technology platform, CureVac is currently developing novel therapeutic mRNA vaccines (RNActive) for cancer and prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases and adjuvants based on long, non-coding RNAs (RNAdjuvant) for enhancing the immune response of other vaccines. The company has successfully completed Phase 1/2a studies with its RNActive cancer vaccines in prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results so far have shown that mRNA-based products are safe and capable of inducing balanced immune responses including humoral and cellular, Th1 and Th2 and effector and memory responses. In addition to developing its own pipeline, CureVac is collaborating with Sanofi Pasteur and DARPA on a $33 million project for the development of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines in infectious diseases utilizing its RNActive technology platform.For more information, please visit: http://www.curevac.com.
Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D.
Tony Russo, Ph.D.
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