CureVac, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the field of mRNA-based technology, today announces that it has raised about $110 million (€100 million) to enable accelerated expansion of its industry-leading messenger RNA (mRNA) development platform and clinical-stage pipeline. CureVac also announces the change of its corporate legal form to a joint stock company, Aktiengesellschaft (AG).
This new financing round was led by Baillie Gifford, adding to the approximately $220 million CureVac has raised since its founding in 2000. The new investors, Baillie Gifford, Chartwave Limited, Coppel family, Elma Investments Ltd and Sigma Group, join existing investors dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG of Dietmar Hopp and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Proceeds from the financing round will be used to further develop CureVac's clinical pipeline of natural, chemically unmodified mRNA therapeutic and prophylactic product candidates. The new capital will also fund research and clinical development to expand CureVac's proprietary mRNA platform technology.
In addition, CureVac has filed for a change of its legal form from a German limited liability company (GmbH) to a joint German stock corporation (AG). The change of legal form is part of a process of adapting the corporate structure to facilitate further international growth on the corporate level.
Friedrich v. Bohlen, Ph.D., Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, "We are very pleased with the interest and strong support from both our existing and new investors. This financing round expands and enhances CureVac's investor base, allowing us to accelerate and broaden our research and clinical programs."
Ingmar Hoerr, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of CureVac, added, "The successful financing is an important step for CureVac as it provides the company with the resources needed to further strengthen our preclinical and clinical mRNA pipeline. Recently published preclinical and clinical data, as well as our progress in the clinical development of our most advanced candidates, confirm the value potential of our mRNA technology platform. With a significantly strengthened balance sheet, we anticipate continued execution of the successful strategy that has placed CureVac at the forefront of a transformation in therapeutic medicine."
Peter Singlehurst, Investment Analyst at Baillie Gifford, stated, "We are excited to be investing in CureVac on behalf of our clients. RNA has the potential to underpin a new class of medicines and CureVac is in the vanguard. Lives will be saved by the RNA vaccines and therapies being developed by CureVac. As long term investors, we look forward to working with the CureVac team and supporting them in building a world-class biotechnology company."
Since 2008, CureVac has treated more than 350 humans with its mRNA technology in seven clinical trials in eleven countries. CureVac's mRNA programs include novel mRNA-based cancer immunotherapies and prophylactic vaccines against infectious diseases (RNActive®), molecular therapies designed to trigger the body's own production of therapeutic proteins (RNArt®), and RNA encoded antibodies (RNAntibody®).
CureVac's most advanced product candidate, CV9104, is being developed in Phase IIb for the treatment of prostate cancer. Data from the company's Phase I/IIa study in prostate cancer was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer and indicated that CureVac's mRNA cancer immunotherapy was well tolerated and immunogenic.
CureVac's development pipeline also includes clinical programs in non-small cell lung cancer (partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim) and rabies, as well as numerous development programs against infectious diseases, including HIV, Rotavirus, RSV and Tuberculosis.
Founded in 2000 as a spin-off from the University of Tübingen in Germany, CureVac is a technology leader in the development of drugs that are based on Messenger RNA (mRNA). The company has more than 15 years of expertise in handling and optimizing this versatile molecule for medical purposes and has the most advanced product pipeline and IP portfolio in the industry.
The basic principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases.
Since its inception, CureVac has received approximately $330 million (€300 million) in equity investments. CureVac has entered into various collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including agreements with Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi Pasteur, Johnson & Johnson, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IAVI.
In 2006, CureVac successfully established the first GMP facility worldwide for the manufacturing of mRNA. In 2016 CureVac will start the construction of an industrial scale production facility with a capacity of 30 million doses per year.