Imophoron Secures Strategic Investment from Japanese VC fund, Global Brain
Additional Seed funding to fuel infectious disease and oncology vaccine pipeline development and to ready Company for Series A financing
BRISTOL, UK – 7 July 2023 – Imophoron, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, thermostable nanoparticle vaccines using its ADDomer™ platform, today announced a significant new investment from Meiji Yasuda Future Innovation Fund L.P. managed by Global Brain, as part of an extension to its Seed financing round. Global Brain joined existing investors Octopus Ventures and Science Creates Ventures in a £2.4 million extension to the Seed financing round, which originally closed at £4 million in September 2021.
Imophoron is building a pipeline of thermostable, nanoparticle ADDomer™ vaccines to address critical medical challenges that impact communities worldwide. The Company’s most advanced ADDomer™ vaccine programme, targeting Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), is undergoing GMP process development and expected to enter IND-enabling studies in 2024 following the completion of a preclinical proof-of-concept study in mid-2023. The Company’s vaccine candidate for Chikungunya is expected to complete a preclinical proof-of-concept study in H2 2023. The Company is utilising the ADDomer™ technology to develop further novel vaccine approaches, including both prophylactic approaches to infectious diseases as well as therapeutic approaches to cancer.
“We are delighted to welcome Global Brain as an investor, which highlights the exceptional potential of our ADDomer™ technology” commented Richard Bungay, Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working alongside Global Brain as we progress towards a Series A financing round, and welcome Global Brain’s deep connections in Japan, the world’s third largest pharmaceutical market. We are also extremely grateful to our existing investors for their continued support as we develop ADDomer™ as a next-generation platform to address major global health challenges. “
Hiroki Takai, Director of Global Brain, commented: “The multifaceted strengths of ADDomer™ technology could pave the way for the next generation of disease prevention and potential therapeutic options. We seek out the most promising early-stage companies that combine unique sciences and experienced teams with proven track records, and we are excited to work closely with Imophoron’s leadership team alongside the prestigious life science investors in the UK.”
Oliver Sims, Biotech Investor at Octopus Ventures and Investor Director at Imophoron said: “When we first invested in Imophoron in 2021, we were excited that its technology had the potential to bring a new modality to the vaccine market with advantages over mRNA and attenuated viruses. Our follow-on investment demonstrates our continued confidence in Imophoron and its potential to disrupt prophylactic approaches to infectious diseases and beyond. We look forward to working closely with Richard and the team as they gear up for Series A.”
Harry Destecroix, Managing Partner of Science Creates Ventures, commented: “We're delighted to have Global Brain on board for Imophoron's journey. It's great to see further validation of the potential of the ADDomer™ Vaccine platform on improving healthcare.”
Imophoron was founded in 2017 and is based at Science Creates in Bristol, UK. Imophoron has developed a novel, thermostable nanoparticle platform, ADDomer™, initially focused on the development of vaccines to combat present and future infectious diseases, including ‘Disease X’ outbreaks. The ADDomer™ platform also has significant potential to generate therapeutic candidates to treat diseases with high unmet needs such as oncology. The ADDomer™ platform is based on a self-assembling thermotolerant protein that permits rapid insertion of large numbers of peptide and protein epitopes in a single particle. The Company has already generated ADDomer™ vaccines candidates for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chikungunya and COVID-19. ADDomer™ has demonstrated both thermostability and the ability to deliver vaccines intranasally, highlighting ADDomer’s potential for the creation of the next generation of vaccine candidates.
About Global Brain
Global Brain is one of the largest and most active independent venture capital firms headquartered in Tokyo. Its experienced deep tech experts seek out promising start-ups through multiple global locations in Europe, the US, and APAC and provide hands-on growth support and open innovation opportunities with large corporations. Global Brain is uniquely positioned in the venture scene, managing flagship funds funded by institutional investors and companies, as well as multiple corporate venture capital funds with leading companies in each industry, with total assets under management of about 1.7 billion US dollars.
About Octopus Ventures
Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture capital investors in the UK and Europe, investing in and supporting the people, ideas, and industries that are changing the world. It has built expertise across seven sectors: B2B software, biotech, climate tech, consumer tech, deep tech, fintech, and health, and has backed more than 180 businesses across the UK and Europe, including successes like Zoopla, WaveOptics, Cazoo, and Depop. Octopus Ventures invests in people and teams from as early as ideas on a page all the way through to the later stages of growth, providing capital, expertise, and partnership. Octopus Ventures manages £1.9 bn for retail and institutional investors and invests £200m yearly. It is part of Octopus Investments, an investment company investing in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world.
Hear from Octopus Ventures experts at www.octopusventures.com
About Science Creates Ventures
Science Creates Ventures, headquartered in Bristol, was founded to back exceptional teams building game changing UK-based deep tech companies with investment and qualified mentorship. We get excited by truly standout technology that has the potential to disrupt existing industries or create entirely new ones, and we love investing at the early stages of a company’s journey. We’re a team of serial entrepreneurs, investors and scientists who have unique insight into the challenges facing young deep tech companies. We bring a hands-on, tailored approach to supporting and mentoring our portfolio companies, focusing on setting them on the best path for growth and success from the outset.