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Abogen Raises a Huge $700 Million for mRNA COVID Vaccine
Suzhou Abogen Biosciences raised over $700 million in a record-breaking Series C round to support a Phase III trial of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The company has completed a Phase II trial of the vaccine but hasn't released any data from the trial. The Phase III trial started in May of this year. Abogen is developing ARCoV together with a
Also leading the round were Invesco Developing Markets Fund, Loyal Valley Capital, Yunfeng Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures and Boyu Capital.
Founded in 2019, Abogen has kept a low profile, making the size of the C round even more surprising. However, Bo Ying, founder of Abogen, co-authored a paper last year that appeared in Cell Press describing a thermostable COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Dr. Ying has experience in mRNA and previously worked for a Moderna subsidiary.
The company's lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA vaccine ARCoV remained stable at 25 degrees Celsius for at least seven days. Exposing the vaccine to temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius for seven days resulted in a 13% drop in relative photon flux. This profile makes transportation of the vaccine much easier than similar Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines.
Abogen will also use the funds to advance its other vaccine and oncology programs, while constructing a manufacturing facility.
“We are grateful to the strong support from all of our investors,” Abogen CEO Bo Ying said in a statement. “With this new round of financing, we look forward to helping the world fight with the rapidly changing global pandemic by accelerating our COVID-19 vaccine product development, to improving its adaptiveness and to recruiting the best industry talents to support our growth at all levels.”