Curevo’s lead program is CRV-101, an adjuvanted subunit vaccine for shingles, which has demonstrated robust immunogenicity and tolerability in Phase 1 trials
Financing funds the 678-patient Phase 2b head-to-head trial of CRV‑101 against Shingrix® from initiation through topline data
Curevo Vaccine (Curevo), a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to reducing the burden of infectious disease by developing safe and highly-effective vaccines, today announced the closing of a $60 million Series A financing round.
“I’m excited to close this financing and begin working with such a world-class group of investors,” said George Simeon, Curevo’s CEO. “This round provides Curevo with funding through topline data from our 678-patient Phase 2b trial of CRV-101, our vaccine for shingles.”
The financing was led by RA Capital Management, a leading investment firm dedicated to evidence-based investing in life sciences companies. They were joined by Adjuvant Capital, whose mission is to back ambitious companies developing life sciences technologies addressing high-burden public health challenges. Additional investors included Janus Henderson Investors, EN Investment, and founding investor GC Pharma, a South Korean biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of vaccines, protein therapies, and therapeutic antibodies.
“We are excited for CRV-101 potential to show favorable tolerability and immunogenicity in its next vaccine development stage,” commented Mario Barro, PhD, RA Capital Management’s Director of Innovation, Vaccines. “The upcoming Phase 2b trial is designed to compare CRV‑101’s immunogenicity and safety profile relative to Shingrix.”
“As investors primarily focused on vaccines, we were impressed by Curevo’s encouraging Phase 1 data and unique sub-unit vaccine technology platform,” said Charlie Petty, co-founder and Principal at Adjuvant Capital. “The opportunity to bring the first non-live varicella (chickenpox) vaccine to the global community with Curevo’s vaccine technology was also a key motivator behind our investment in the company.”
“When we founded Curevo with the Mogam Institute for Biomedical Research (MIBR), it was a big step forward in the effort to address unmet needs for more accessible vaccines to prevent shingles in older adults and chickenpox in children,” stated EC Huh, PhD, GC Pharma’s President. “We continue our support of Curevo by co-investing in this Series A.”
CRV-101 is a clinical-stage adjuvanted sub-unit vaccine under investigation for the prevention of shingles in older adults. Shingles is a painful blistering skin rash caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. About 1 in 10 people with shingles develop nerve pain, which does not resolve for months or even years after the rash disappears. CRV-101 was specifically designed to produce an optimal immune response while using a smaller amount of adjuvant with the intention of a vaccine with similar efficacy but lower burden of side effects than the currently-approved shingles vaccine. In the Phase 1 program, CRV-101 demonstrated very robust immunogenicity as measured by humoral and cellular responses with no grade 3 injection site side effects and a 1.3% rate of grade 3 systemic side effects (“grade 3” side effects are those vaccination-related reactions severe enough to prevent normal activities). According to the CDC website, about 1 in 6 patients (16.6%) receiving Shingrix® experienced side effects preventing them from doing regular activities.