16 July 2018 | News
Investment proceeds will support commercialization of the company’s breakthrough biologics manufacturing technology
Univercells SA (‘Univercells’) and Global Health Investment Fund (‘GHIF’) are pleased to announce the closing of a €16 million ($18.8M) Series B equity financing.
Investment proceeds will support the continued development of Univercells’ game-changing biomanufacturing technology, which has the potential to dramatically reduce the capital expenditure, physical footprint and operating costs required to produce a variety of complex biologics.
The financing, which was heavily over-subscribed, is anchored by institutional commitments from prominent investment funds on three continents. In addition to GHIF (a public health-focused R&D fund based in New York), the Series B syndicate includes Seoul-based Korea Investment Partners, a leading technology investor in Asia and two Belgian technology investors: The Innovation Fund, supporting innovative chemistry and life sciences companies, and Inventures II, a leading impact venture capital fund. Rodolphe de Spoelberch, a Belgium-based independent private equity investor with a long-term horizon, is welcomed as an incoming Univercells board observer, while a variety of prominent private investors were federated by TheClubDeal, a private investment holding.
The Series B financing was catalyzed by new validations of the breakthrough biologics manufacturing solutions being pioneered at Univercells. The company’s flagship Sabin inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) program recently achieved a 40-fold increase in polio D-antigen productivity compared to the benchmark process and manufacturing cost estimates are within striking distance of the original goal of $0.15 per dose. With continued process development and high-efficiency fill-finish operations, the Univercells sIPV technology could enable a 10-fold reduction of the current public-sector sales price.
On the heels of these milestones, Univercells is concluding technology transfer negotiations with a number of established biologics manufacturers and healthcare providers in China, India and Latin America.
In parallel, Univercells will be demonstrating the versatility of its technology platform by developing turn-key manufacturing solutions for two additional public health vaccines.
With the current financing in place, Univercells has the resources to commercialize a diversified portfolio of technology solutions for a variety of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and enzyme replacement therapies, with the first products available for human use as soon as 2019.