LimmaTech Biologics AG today announced the closing of a USD 37 million (CHF 33 million) Series A financing round co-led by Adjuvant Capital, AXA IM Alts, and the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund. The proceeds will enable LimmaTech to advance its proprietary technology platform and accelerate its pipeline of preclinical and clinical vaccine candidates against increasingly dangerous bacterial infections, including programs addressing shigellosis and gonorrhea.
Later-stage clinical development efforts will focus on the company’s Shigella vaccine program, which LimmaTech developed as part of a joint collaboration with GSK and recently exclusively in-licensed. The company expects to announce preliminary results from the Shigella program’s ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial in the second half of 2023.
As part of the company’s next phase of corporate growth, LimmaTech also welcomed seasoned biotech industry leader Dr. Franz-Werner Haas as CEO. Concurrent with the financing, Kabeer Aziz from Adjuvant Capital, Zina Affas Besse, PhD, from AXA IM Alts, and Camilla Petrycer Hansen, PhD from Novo Holdings will join LimmaTech’s Board of Directors.
"Within the next decade, multiple bacterial infections will become untreatable due to antimicrobial resistance, which is already a significant burden on global health. By advancing our innovative technology platform, LimmaTech has the potential to simultaneously provide vaccine-induced protection against bacterial infections, mitigate the increasing risk of antibiotic resistance, and move toward the control of several highly transmissible pathogens,” said Dr. Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of LimmaTech. “Our Series A with backing from highly experienced and strategic institutional investors reflects the increasing value of our technology and our achievements to date. With this support and our team of proven experts in bacterial vaccine development and manufacturing, we look forward to providing life-changing vaccines to address a major global medical need.”
Kabeer Aziz, Partner at Adjuvant Capital, commented: “Each of the firms co-leading this financing is dedicated to using venture capital investments to support bold and innovative companies like LimmaTech that are developing technologies with the potential to generate significant improvements in global public health. Given the deadly threat posed by increasingly treatment-resistant pathogens, and the enormous scale of the problem, vaccines targeting these indications represent highly attractive commercial markets as well.”
Zina Affas Besse, Partner, Deputy Head of Healthcare, Private Equity, at AXA IM Alts, further commented: “Our investment in LimmaTech through our healthcare private equity strategy supports our wider goal of investing in companies with innovative and affordable solutions to global health challenges and we are proud to collaborate with this outstanding team of biotech industry veterans. LimmaTech’s leadership team has a long track record of success, having built two vaccine technology platforms with programs in late-stage clinical development. We are happy to support LimmaTech in growing its pipeline of much-needed vaccine candidates and contributing to improving health globally.”
Camilla Petrycer Hansen, Principal at Novo Holdings and REPAIR Impact Fund, said: “Our investment in LimmaTech reflects Novo Holdings’ continued commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance. We believe that with its outstanding record of success in the vaccine field, its seasoned leadership at the helm, and its promising technology, LimmaTech represents a very attractive investment opportunity, which we are pleased to pursue in partnership with leading investors. We are thrilled to support LimmaTech’s pipeline of much-needed vaccine candidates with the potential to significantly improve health outcomes globally.”
The Series A is the first venture-backed round of funding for LimmaTech since it was spun out of GlycoVaxyn, its predecessor company that was acquired by GSK in 2015. LimmaTech’s leadership team has in-depth bacterial vaccine development and manufacturing expertise, having sponsored, and led several clinical trials around the world. LimmaTech's unique technology platforms are all based on E. coli expression systems. These technologies allow the production of multivalent vaccines combining carbohydrates and protein antigens with broad and novel modes of action. The company’s overall objective is to develop and manufacture highly effective vaccines that can stop the spread of infections caused by emerging antimicrobial resistance.
About Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
AMR is responsible for approximately 5 million deaths annually. Nearly one million of these deaths occur in children under the age of five, and these numbers are rising at an alarming rate. Treatment with antibiotics has historically been able to reliably stop bacteria from growing or kill these pathogens, however, inappropriate or excessive use of antibiotics has caused bacteria to develop natural resistance to these agents. As a result, infections that were once easily treatable have now become difficult, if not impossible, to cure. As a leading example of this threat to global health, half of the approximately 700,000 annual gonorrhea infections in the U.S. are already resistant to antibiotics as of today, and there is a real threat of gonorrhea soon becoming untreatable. This development is also projected for a growing number of other infections, such as Shigella sp., in both developed and low- and middle-income countries. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified AMR as a serious threat to public health due to its resistance to reserve antibiotics. Shigella sp. is responsible for approximately 450,000 infections in the U.S. alone, and 700,000 deaths globally each year. For children, it is the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal death worldwide. The discovery of new antibiotics, while promising, has not kept pace with the growth of AMR, making the development of vaccines against pathogens with concerning multidrug-resistant patterns an essential component of any strategy to contain this deadly global health threat.