Genocea wraps up $30M round for T-cell vaccines

Genocea Biosciences has raised $30 million in a Series C financing round to advance its T-cell vaccines for infectious diseases. With the close of this financing round, the clinical-stage company has landed a total of $76 million in equity financing to date.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation--well-known for providing grants to the vaccine industry--and CVF joined Genocea's existing partners, which include Polaris Venture Partners, Lux Capital, SR One, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., Skyline Ventures, Cycad Group, Auriga Partners, MP Healthcare Ventures and Morningside.

Funds raised go toward advancing Genocea's two lead programs: GEN-003, a clinical-stage therapeutic vaccine candidate designed to reduce the frequency and severity of clinical outbreaks associated with moderate-to-severe herpes simplex virus type 2, and GEN-004, a preclinical vaccine candidate to prevent Streptococcus pneumoniae infections. The company is in the Phase I/IIa study of GEN-003, expecting to report preliminary data in the second half of next year.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is no stranger to funding biotech research. In June, the foundation's head of global health, Trevor Mundel, indicated that the nonprofit planned to make investments in up to a dozen biotech companies this year. In late September, the foundation invested $6 million in Atreca to accelerate the discovery and development of novel vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases.

"We are excited about the potential of the partnership with Genocea to further our global health priorities," Mundel said in a statement. "T-cell innovation of this kind presents an intriguing opportunity to advance our global health mission through development of a new class of vaccines."

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