Belgian pharmaceutical company Univercells has cashed in on an $84.7 million (€70 million) Series C round from Health Technology Holding (HTH), an investment firm that integrates the scouting activities of Zcube – Zambon Research Venture with a direct stake in early-stage startups in life sciences) and other international investors.
“When we think about new innovative therapies like gene therapy, manufacturing is a big hurdle. We are therefore excited to have found the solutions developed by Univercells. We believe that the technology developed will be able to significantly increase the availability of such therapies and most importantly decrease their cost. In addition, Scale-X and Nevoline can be easily applied to the production of vaccines, where there is an extreme need for cost-effective production, especially for developing countries,” said Michele Gaiotto, CEO of HTH.
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Univercells is committed to life sciences innovation
Hugues Bultot, CEO of Univercells, commented, “We are very pleased to have HTH as a partner, a passionate team highly committed to life sciences innovation. Like Univercells, HTH is committed to making a contribution by focusing on the less fortunate and on diseases that have not yet been addressed.”
The one just completed constitutes the seventh round for Univercells, which has raised nearly $180 million to date. The company counts among its backers the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, international private equity operator KKR, and Belgian public investors such as SFPI-FPIM (Belgian federal investment company) and SRIW (Wallonia investment company).
Founded in 2013, Univercells developed a bio-manufacturing platform with the goal of making biologic drugs widely available at reasonable costs. The company has built the Scale-X™ bioreactor and Nevoline™ platform, which can produce delivery vectors for biologic active ingredients on an industrial scale and at reduced costs. Used both for certain types of vaccines and for new therapeutic approaches such as gene therapy, vectors, particularly viral vectors, are seeing an inordinate increase in demand, but not accompanied by a production capacity capable of sustaining it, mainly due to production technologies that are difficult to scale up. In addition, the technologies currently being developed by Univercells will enable the efficient and cost-effective production of new types of drugs and vaccines.
HTH is a private investment company dedicated to innovations in the life sciences. Based in Milan, Italy, it invests internationally in innovative biotech, medtech and digital health technologies. To date, HTH has invested in artificial intelligence-based drug discovery projects, long-term drug delivery devices for chronic treatments, respiratory monitoring platforms, non-invasive predictive cancer testing, and digital medicine platforms. Recall that in November 2020, the holding company invested $1.21 million (€1 million) in MyAir Inc, a medtech company based in Boston and Milan and specializing in respiratory disease diagnostics.
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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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