04 September 2023 | Monday | News
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Innovac Therapeutics, an mRNA therapeutics company, announced the completion of an $18 million Series Pre-A financing. The financing round includes Elikon Venture, Vision Plus Capital, Yunion Healthcare Ventures, TG Sino-Dragon Fund and other industry and private individuals. The proceeds will be used to further develop its technology platform and manufacturing capability to advance its lead programs to clinical stage.
"We are thrilled with the great support from our investors. This financing is an important milestone for Innovac and accelerated development of novel mRNA vaccines ," says Michael Zhang, MD, Co-Founder and CEO of Innovac, who has more than ten years of experience in equity investment and venture formation in healthcare industry in both U.S. and China.
"Our mRNA technology platform has strong potential to address the huge unmet medical needs in both oncology and infectious disease. With this funding, we will take a significant step forward in bringing our lead programs into clinical stage"
"An exciting revolution is underway in the vaccine industry, fueled by the dramatic success of mRNA vaccines in response to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic and breakthrough status for a mRNA-based personalized cancer vaccine." notes Nicholas Valiante, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), who served as CSO at Caperna, a Moderna venture, and previously, Global Head of Immunology and Immunotherapy at Novartis Vaccines. Dr Valiante, a 25-year veteran of the vaccine industry, also comments on Innovac's founding vision: "Innovac was founded to be a primary driver of this ongoing revolution and will exploit the power of mRNA vaccines to treat and prevent a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancer."
"From the beginning, our mission has been to harness the power of mRNA technology to develop therapies for patients with unmet needs," says Hang Yuan, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Dr. Yuan has more than 15 years of experience in the Chemistry Manufacturing and Control (CMC) development and commercialization of biotherapeutics. "With this new infusion of capital, we are well-equipped to expand our team, enhance our technology platforms, and build our manufacturing capability to bring our transformative ideas closer to reality."
Upon closing its Series Pre-A financing, Innovac also announced the appointments of David Bernstein, MD, Shan Lu, MD, PhD, and Elaine Mardis, PhD to its scientific advisory board (SAB). Three newly joined SAB members will bring exceptional scientific expertise and profound industry experience to Innovac.
"We are honored to have David Bernstein, MD, Shan Lu, MD, PhD, and Elaine Mardis, PhD, to join as SAB of Innovac Therapeutics." said Nicholas Valiante, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Innovac Therapeutics, "Innovac will work closely with our renowned SAB members to leverage their breadth and depth of expertise in different areas to further strengthen the scientific foundation of our technology platform and pipeline expansion."
David Bernstein, MD, Director of the Gamble Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, as well as its Vaccine Testing and Evaluation Unit and Professor at the University of Cincinati Department of Pediatrics.
Shan Lu, MD, PhD, Director of the Laboratory of Nucleic Acid Vaccines at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Professor Emeritus at the UMass Chan Medical School.
Elaine Mardis, PhD, Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a key participant in the development of the Cancer Genome Atlas. She was the AACR president for 2019-2020.