Clinical-stage biotechnology company Curevo Vaccine has announced the closing of $26m Series A1 financing round.
Curevo Vaccine CEO George Simeon said: “Completing this A1 round ahead of data from our Phase 2b trial of CRV-101 head-to-head against Shingrix is a meaningful demonstration of the confidence our investors have in the CRV-101 programme.
“The $86 million we raised in 2022 significantly extends our cash runway and allows us to more aggressively pursue our programs; we look forward to getting topline data from the Phase 2b shingles trial in early 2023.”
The financing round has seen participation from Janus Henderson Investors, RA Capital Management, Adjuvant Capital, and founding investor GC Biopharma.
South Korea-based GC Biopharma specialises in the development and commercialisation of vaccines, protein therapies, and therapeutic antibodies.
Janus Henderson Investors portfolio manager Andy Acker said: “CRV-101 has the potential to demonstrate a favorable tolerability profile with comparable immunogenicity to Shingrix.
“We were impressed with the Curevo team’s execution of the Phase 2b trial, including enrolling 678 patients in just six months, and are looking forward to the results. We see significant commercial potential for a shingles vaccine that could match the clinical profile of Shingrix (currently annualizing at $3B in sales) without manufacturing capacity constraints.”
GC Biopharma president EC Huh said: “As Curevo’s oldest partner, we are proud to continue to support accessible vaccines to prevent shingles.
“We very much look forward to seeing the results of the CRV-101 Phase 2 trial in early 2023.”
A clinical-stage adjuvanted sub-unit vaccine, CRV-101 is under investigation for the prevention of shingles in older adults.
Shingles is a painful blistering skin rash caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus.
About one in ten people with shingles develop nerve pain, which can last for months or even years after the rash disappears.
CRV-101 was particularly designed to generate an optimal immune response while using a smaller amount of adjuvant with the intention of achieving similar efficacy but with fewer side effects than the currently approved shingles vaccine.
In the Phase 1 trial, CRV-101 showed strong immunogenicity as measured by humoral and cellular responses with no grade 3 injection site reactions and a low (1.3%) rate of grade 3 systemic side effects.
A Phase 2b head-to-head trial of CRV-101 against Shingrix has completed enrolment of 678 patients, with data due in early 2023.