Copenhagen-born biotechnology startup MinervaX has secured €22 million in an equity funding round co-led by new investors Trill Impact Ventures and Pureos Bioventures and includes existing investors REPAIR Impact Fund (Novo Holdings), Sunstone Life Science Ventures, LF Investment, Wellington Partners, Sanofi Ventures, Adjuvant Capital and Industrifonden and gets loan facility with access to up to €50M from the European Investment Bank. MinervaX is pursuing the development of a maternal vaccine for the prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes and life-threating infections caused by Group B streptococcus (GBS).
MinervaX has had an exciting year of clinical development for its novel GBS vaccine. The Company commenced enrolment of pregnant women in its Phase 2 clinical trial in Denmark, the UK, and South Africa and completed the dosing of healthy adult women, previously dosed with its GBS vaccine, in a Phase 1 booster clinical trial in the UK.
The €72M financing will enable MinervaX to advance the late-stage development of its GBS vaccine candidate in preparation for a Phase 3 clinical trial. The vaccine candidate was recently awarded PRIME status by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) due to its potential to prevent life-threatening infections in newborn babies. MinervaX also aims to expand its clinical development team and evaluate the Phase 2 clinical data for efficacy and safety ahead of publication next year.
Per Fischer, Chief Executive Officer of MinervaX, said: “We are delighted to announce this financing, which gives us the firepower to accelerate the development of our novel GBS vaccine. GBS can be life-threatening for newborn babies and there is no approved, universally available vaccine to date. I would like to thank the investors and the MinervaX team who have worked very hard on our vaccine candidate in preparation for
the final stage of clinical development.”
In conjunction with the financing, Bita Sehat, Senior Director at Trill Impact Ventures, and Veronica Gambillara, Partner of Pureos Bioventures, will join the Board of Directors.
Veronica Gambillara, Partner at Pureos Bioventures, commented: “We are excited to join the MinervaX team and support the development of this vaccine which could protect against one of the leading causes of neonatal and infant sepsis. We are impressed with the clinical data previously generated and the dedication of the leadership team. This financing will expedite the development of a product that has the potential to drastically improve the options available to address GBS infections.”
Bita Sehat, Senior Investment Director at Trill Impact Ventures, added: “MinervaX’s GBS vaccine holds great promise to address a large unmet medical need globally by preventing serious infections in both newborns and pregnant women. Its successful development will not only save lives, it will also contribute to combatting antimicrobial resistance. We are happy to join forces with a strong shareholder base and an excellent management team to support turning this promise into reality. We view MinervaX as a great example of societal and commercial impact going hand in hand.”
EIB Vice president Christian Thomsen, responsible for Denmark, added: “We are delighted to be supporting MinervaX with its medical research into the unmet medical need. Being one of the biggest financiers of innovation in Europe, this fits our investment strategy; to support highly innovative biotech companies developing breakthrough Life Science products, which have the potential to transform and improve people’s lives.”