Biotech firm Stablepharma is progressing with the first in-human trials involving its fridge-free vaccine technology, after a £2m raise.
The UK firm has developed a “thermo-stabilisation and reformulation platform” that has shown encouraging animal data for both Tetanus diptheria (Td) and COVID mRNA programmes.
Its aim is to eliminate the ‘cold chain’ – a significant barrier to the transportation and storage of COVID mRNA vaccines, particularly in countries with unreliable infrastructures, such as India and Brazil.
The WHO estimate that up to 50 per cent of all vaccines manufactured currently lose their efficacy before they can be delivered, often as a result of ‘cold-chain’ failures.
Stablepharma’s StablevaX technology will now be used in the first in-human trials for Td with European vaccine manufacturer BB-NCIPD.
Its £2m series A raise will also fund the advance of the firm’s COVID mRNA programme in partnership with the University of Strathclyde; and help to scale up its GMP manufacturing and existing facilities in Madrid.
The funding came from existing shareholders and new investors, including Ascension Ventures.
It follows a previous seed round on the CrowdCube platform that raised an over-subscribed £1.3m to commence its Td vaccine animal studies.
Stablepharma was founded by Dr Bruce Roser with the goal of using novel technology to dramatically improve health outcomes for those most at risk of death and disability caused by vaccine preventable diseases.
In April it announced the appointment of Özgür Tuncer as CEO and executive director.
Previously he was global vice president of the multinational health tech and clinical research firm IQVIA and, before that, held senior positions at Pfizer in the US.
Ascension Life Fund, a London-based early-stage impact venture capital investor, said: “Stablepharma’s technology addresses two pressing issues: removing the bottleneck of thermostable vaccines reaching those in need as well as reducing vaccine wastage and its associated carbon footprint/climate impact’.”
Nick Child, Stablepharma’s VP and co-founder, added: “We are delighted with the success of this round and the response from our shareholders and investors. We raised £2m in a three-week period, from start to completion and have seen an excellent valuation uplift of 40 per cent from our 2018 CrowdCube fund raise.”
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