Austria – more cash for vaccine designers
Vienna – Two big investors have poured €25m into Austrian vaccine specialist Affiris AG. Venture fund Santo VC – the investment vehicle of German biotech investors Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann – donated €20m, while the German MIG Fonds expanded an existing investment in their MIG11 portfolio with a further €5m. Both investors secured an option for further capital injections that could end up totalling €30m. Affiris CSO und co-founder Frank Mattner said: “We knew from the start that all stakeholders share a common understanding of where the journey of Affiris should take us.”
On the basis of its proprietary Affitom Technology, Affiris is developing vaccines for several indications, among them ones for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Up to now, Affiris has pocketed about €12m from MIG – the only out-of-house investor on board since the firm was founded. In 2008, British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline acquired the rights to develop and commercialise two Alzheimer’s disease vaccine candidates that are based on Affiris‘ Affitope technology. These are currently in Phase I clinical development. The total potential value of the agreement could reach a430m. Last October, the Michael J. Fox Foundation announced that it was awarding €1.5m to Affiris for a clinical study of the Parkinson’s vaccine candidate Affitope PD01.