Conjugated vaccines are expected to sell over $8 billion globally in 2015. These vaccines usually protect against infectious diseases in both the young and the elderly and are complex to make and develop. To protect against various strains that are prevalent globally, pharma companies have tried to attach (conjugate) or mix many antigens within a vaccine, leading to various degrees of effectiveness. Using natural attachment locations limits the number of antigens a vaccine can hold while still maintaining effective protection for the patient.
SutroVax licensed the vaccine rights to a novel conjugation approach from Sutro Biopharma, a leading conjugated antibody company well known to Abingworth. This is expected to afford SutroVax the ability to go beyond the traditional limits of current conjugated vaccines. SutroVax’s CEO, Grant Pickering, has extensive experience in complex vaccine manufacturing and has attracted one of the most successful teams in conjugation vaccine development from major pharma.
Abingworth led the $22M Series A financing with financial and strategic investors and Managing Partner Kurt von Emster assumed the Chairman role. Abingworth also helped find and secure facilities for SutroVax's headquarter operations. The company will spend the next two years in product development fully funded by the financing.