(Yicai Global) June 21 -- Chinese Covid-19 vaccine developer Therorna has secured CNY280 million (USD42 million) in its latest fundraising round led by Chinese private equity firm MSA Capital and an unnamed investment institution.
The funds will be used to speed up the development of the company’s cutting-edge circular RNA technology, improve international collaborations, facilitate clinical trials and other uses, the Beijing-based biotech firm said today.
Other participants in the A-Series include private equity firms Sherpa Healthcare Partners and 3H Health Investment, it said. Existing shareholders Quan Capital and Cenova Ventures hiked their investment. The vaccine developer has raised over CNY400 million (USD59.7 million) in three rounds of financing so far, it added.
“The smooth closing of this funding round will be a huge help to Therorna’s development of new-type broad-spectrum Covid-19 vaccines as well as boost research into the treatment of a number of other diseases,” said Chief Executive Daniel Tang. “And our team will spare no effort to promote circular RNA as the next new-generation breakthrough therapy, and to reap the huge social benefits as soon as possible.”
Founder Wei Wensheng, who is also a professor at Peking University, has been researching the application of circular RNA technology in vaccines and other therapies. In March, he published an article in the scientific journal Cell on his research team’s work on circular RNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants. The delta variant jab developed during the research also has a broad-spectrum inhibiting effect on other coronavirus strains, the article said.
Although there are a number of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines available, such as those developed by the US’ Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, there are no circular RNA Covid-19 jabs on the market yet.
Editor: Kim Taylor