South Korean and Chinese investors join round into Oxford University spinout developing cancer vaccines.
Oxford Vacmedix UK Limited (OVM), the Oxford-based biopharma company focused on the development of cancer vaccines, has completed its Series A financing round of $12.5 million (£9 million) with a consortium of South Korean and Chinese investors.
OVM will use the funds to complete preclinical development and to enter Phase 1 clinical trials with its two lead vaccines, OVM-100 and OVM-200, focusing on unmet clinical need. OVM-100 is an HPV vaccine targeted at cervical cancer, and OVM-200 represents a new type of vaccine utilising survivin to target solid tumours. Both vaccines will be developed as single agents and in combination with immune-oncology agents. The company will also continue to develop its diagnostic kits for cellular immunity.
Spun out by Oxford University Innovation in 2012, OVM is commercialising research led by Dr Shisong Jiang, developed as a partnership between Oxford University’s Department of Oncology and the Medical Research Council’s Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, also based in Oxford. The technology uses the novel, proprietary platform of recombinant overlapping peptides to design and develop therapeutic cancer vaccines and diagnostics with the potential for increased efficacy.
OVM secured Series A investment from Cancer ROP, a leading South Korean healthcare institution, listed in KOSDAQ, and from existing shareholders in China. The financing round represents the first time that a UK cancer vaccines company has been financed by both South Korean and Chinese investors.
William Finch, CEO and Director at OVM, said: “We are delighted to have such an experienced group of international investors support the company in this financing round. This investment will allow OVM’s cancer vaccines to be progressed to important clinical milestones both to benefit patients and to return significant shareholder value. We have already licensed our technology into Chinese market and we are also looking forward to collaborating with Cancer ROP on the development of our vaccines in the Republic of Korea”.
Shisong Jiang, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at OVM, added: “This Series A investment will allow us to further develop ROP technology – a quick and economic way to produce vaccines and diagnostics for cancer and infectious diseases. We hope our effort will eventually benefit the health of many patients.”
Wang-Jun Lee, Chairman at Cancer ROP, added: “We look forward to a productive and mutually beneficial partnership with OVM especially in global clinical trial aspects and confident that we can support the continued growth and development of the company.”