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RocketVax raises fresh capital

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RocketVax raises fresh capital


The Basel-based biotech startup RocketVax has successfully closed another financing round. This additional funding will primarily be used to further develop a second-generation vaccine to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

RocketVax AG has successfully raised further capital after closing a financing round, which was led by the Foundation of Urs and Simone Wietlisbach. The foundation acquired a 9 percent stake in RocketVax as well. Urs Wietlisbach is the co-founder of the Partners Group, a Zug-based investment firm.

According to a press release, the additional funding will above all be put towards further developing a second-generation vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “Despite the very difficult environment, we have managed to secure reputable investors who have invested significant amounts”, comments Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, Vice President of RocketVax, before adding: “We still believe that the RocketVax vaccine is urgently needed”.

Partnership with Basel-based institutions

The Basel-based biotech startup was founded in 2020 as a subsidiary of the startup incubator and accelerator Swiss Rockets AG. The company operates on the basis of a collaboration between Swiss Rockets, Gigabases Switzerland AG, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), the University Hospital of Basel, ETH Zurich itself, the University of Zurich and the University of Basel, as well as the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. It is working in parallel on the development of three live attenuated vaccines. Two of these COVID-19 serums are slow replicating SARS-CoV-2 viruses, while the third is based on a genetically engineered SARS-CoV-2 virus that cannot replicate.

The advantage of these is that they not only protect the immune system by producing spike antibodies, but also generate a wide range of other antibodies and T cells. According to RocketVax, this should provide longer-lasting protection against wild-type viruses and virus variations. In addition, the vaccine is said to be very stable at ambient temperatures, which should also allow it to be administered to people in warmer and poorer countries.

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