SpyBiotech raises $32.5m in Series A funding and appoints chairman

Lutz B Giebel

Oxford-based biotechnology company SpyBiotech has raised $32.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by new investor Braavos Investment Advisers with participation by new investor Oxford Investment Consultants. Founding investors Oxford Sciences Innovation and GV also participated, alongside the UK government’s Future Fund, converting a prior convertible loan into equity.

The round brings SpyBiotech’s total funding to $39 million since its spin-out in 2017 from the University of Oxford, in collaboration with Oxford University Innovation.

SpyBiotech’s novel vaccine platform technology targets infectious diseases, cancer and chronic diseases. The company said it will use the funding to advance the clinical development of its novel vaccine technology platform, based on its proprietary SpyCatcher/SpyTag protein technology. SpyBiotech plans to begin a Phase I clinical study of its internal lead candidate, targeting human cytomegalovirus, early next year.

The company stated that its platform technology has broad applicability across a number of other infectious diseases, and in a range of other areas, such as oncology, which it also plans to explore in clinical development. SpyBiotech will now build out the required scientific and operational resources.

SpyBiotech has also appointed Lutz B Giebel as chairman. Lutz has operational, governance and investment experience from a 30-plus year career in biopharma in the US. He has been a board member of 16 biopharma companies and held several executive positions, including managing partner at SV Life Sciences, an international healthcare-focused venture capital firm, based in San Francisco. SpyBiotech has also appointed Andre Crawford-Brunt, general partner of Braavos Investment Advisers to the board.

Giebel said: “I’ve been involved with many biopharma companies over the course of my career but this is one of the most exciting ones I have encountered. SpyBiotech has a unique platform technology based on decades of vaccine scientific excellence. The Covid-19 vaccine development programme has shifted the company into an accelerated phase of development. I’m looking forward to supporting the team and working with our incoming and existing investors to move this exciting vaccine platform through clinical development.”

Professor Sumi Biswas, co-founder and chief executive of SpyBiotech, added: “Braavos and OIC complement our existing register of supportive and sophisticated investors and Lutz Giebel brings years of governance experience and expertise. These developments position us well as we accelerate our clinical development programme.”

Date published: February 10, 2021

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