Affinivax announced the completion of a $120 million Series B financing round, led by Viking Global Investors with participation from Bain Capital Life Sciences and Ziff Capital Partners. Proceeds from the Series B financing will be used to continue advancing the company’s MAPS pneumococcal vaccine program into phase 3 studies and to advance several additional vaccine candidates targeting hospital-associated infections (HAIs) into clinical studies. Affinivax received an initial seed and Series A equity investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in June of 2014.
Affinivax’s lead vaccine, ASP3772 (partnered with Astellas Pharma) targets Streptococcus pneumoniae and includes 24 pneumococcal serotypes, more than any other vaccine on the market or in clinical testing today. ASP3772 is currently being studied in pneumococcal infection in elderly adults in an ongoing Phase 2 study that is nearing completion. In a previously completed Phase 1 study, ASP3772 was demonstrated to be safe and highly immunogenic in healthy adults. The clinical program for ASP3772 is expected to expand to include an infant indication.
“We are very pleased to welcome such a strong syndicate of new investors to Affinivax and look forward to benefiting from their deep experience,” said Steven B. Brugger, CEO of Affinivax. “Having built the company to over 70 employees and advanced MAPS into clinical testing in less than 5 years, we are very excited to look ahead to our next phase of growth, taking our lead pneumococcal vaccine through Phase 3 testing and bringing several additional novel MAPS vaccines and immunotherapies into clinical trials.”
About Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS)
The MAPS technology platform uses proprietary chemistry that capitalizes on the highly specific and durable non-covalent, affinity binding between biotin and rhizavidin, a biotin-binding protein. The highly stable MAPS complex created by this affinity binding contributes to a simple, modular, and efficient approach to the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapies. Conventional vaccine conjugation technology seeks to optimize the generation of protective antibody responses mainly to polysaccharide antigens, using the protein antigen as a carrier. In stark contrast, a MAPS vaccine can present both the polysaccharide and the protein antigens to the host immune system to induce both a B- and T-cell immune response. This unique capability of the MAPS technology allows for the tailored development of each MAPS vaccine or immunotherapy based on the specific type of immune response that is most desired for each pathogen and disease.