BioPharma, Startups

SutroVax picks up $85 million in Series C round for pneumococcal vaccine

SutroVax, spun off from Sutro Biopharma, also announced a contract manufacturing deal with Swiss vendor Lonza.

A company developing vaccines against infectious diseases has locked down a new Series C funding around and secured a manufacturing partnership with one of the world’s largest contract manufacturers.

SutroVax, based in Foster City, California, said Thursday that it had closed the $85 million round, led by TPG Growth. TPG, a new investor in the company, joined two other new investors, Medixci and Foresite Capital. Roche’s venture capital arm, along with Abingworth, Longitude Capital, Frazier Health Care Partners, Pivotal bioVenture Partners and CTI Life Sciences are existing investors.

The company will use the funding to bring its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine into clinical testing. The company’s website states that it has generated preclinical proof-of-concept for the broad-spectrum vaccine in head-to-head studies against current vaccines. The company’s vaccines are developed using a proprietary platform that the company says enables precise conjugation of pneumococcus-derived polysaccharides onto carrier proteins by incorporating non-native amino acids as conjugation anchors.

Under the deal with Lonza, the contract manufacturer will handle manufacturing for the vaccine through its plant in Visp, Switzerland.

The company secured a $64 million Series B round in March 2017, led by Frazier and Pivotal. Prior to that, it netted $22 million in a Series A round in July 2015, led by Abingworth. The company itself was spun off from Sutro Biopharma, from which it licensed its development platform, Xpress CF. A report in April from forecast that the global market for pneumococcal vaccines could reach more than $10.4 billion by 2023.

Merck & Co.’s Pneumovax23, GlaxoSmithKline’s Synflorix and Pfizer’s Prevnar are commercially available pneumococcal vaccines.

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