(Yicai Global) June 3 -- Stemirna Therapeutics has secured nearly USD200 million in a new round of financing to accelerate clinical trials of its messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccine candidate and build production facilities, online tech media 36Kr reported today.
The fundraising was led by China Merchants Health Industry Holdings, Sequoia Capital China, Greenwoods Investment and Wuxi AppTec. Participants also included healthcare-focused investment firms OrbiMed and Tsing Song Capital.
Stemirna’s new generation mRNA Covid-19 jab is effective against multiple virus strains, including those first found in South Africa and Brazil, and will soon enter Phase-2 clinical trials, said founder and Chairman Li Hangwen. Planning for overseas Phase-3 trials is already underway, he added.
Shanghai-based Stemirna specializes in mRNA vaccines which are a new technology and a promising alternative to conventional jabs. They use a sequence of mRNA, or the genetic code transcribed from the DNA of a target protein, which when introduced directly into the human body can stimulate the production of antigens and a specific immune response.
The global mRNA vaccine market is expected to reach USD5.98 billion by 2025, according to US market research firm Market Study Report. The compound annual growth rate is expected to be 32 percent from last year to 2025, it added.
Stemirna was founded in 2016 by a team of doctors who returned to China from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The company now boasts more than 200 employees, of which over 40 percent hold a Masters degree and above or have worked overseas before.
Editor: Kim Taylor