Riyadh Valley Company the investment arm of King Saud University announces its participation in Series B Financing round in Prokarium – one of Riyadh Valley portfolio companies- after its first investment in January 2018. Prokarium closes its round B of $21M led by Korea Investment Partners (KIP). In addition to KIP, Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), the UK government’s Future Fund (FF), and Flerie Invest also participated in the financing round.
Prokarium is one of the companies specialized in developing vaccination solutions based on synthetic biology that stimulates broad protective immune response applicable to a wide range of diseases. Prokarium’s vision is to provide oral protein vaccines as well as reducing the costs and time to manufacture vaccines.
Prokarium also leveraging its platforms to develop vaccines, as the company developed the Vaxonella platform through which Entervax vaccine produced and started the clinical trial phase after receiving the approval from Clinical Trial Authorization (CTA) from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Prokarium has also developed the Onconella platform through which a vaccine against bladder cancer has reached preclinical stages and vaccines against solid tumors that are still in the drug discovery stage.
Dr. Khalid Alsaleh, CEO of Riyadh Valley Company, said that the goal of the additional investment in Prokarium came after the company’s success in developing several vaccines and its huge experience in the field of vaccines, as the company owns 11 patents in its vaccines.
Commenting on the investment round, Ted Fjallman, Ph.D., CEO of Prokarium, said: “We are very pleased with this strong financial support and with the global networks our investors bring, and this funds will support the development efforts of our microbial immunotherapy for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, which we plan to advance to the clinic by 2022, as well as the expansion of our pipeline across multiple solid tumours.”
In conjunction with the financing, Hyam Levitsky, MD, will join Prokarium’s Board of Directors, he has extensive research experience in internal medicine, oncology and immunology said: “I am excited to join Prokarium’s Board and to provide my scientific expertise to develop novel microbial immunotherapies. Prokarium’s bacterial strains have the potential to be potent activators of multiple innate immune pathways, harnessing intrinsic microbial properties combined with modulatory effects from cutting-edge engineering to initiate and drive a patient’s anti-tumor responses. This harbours the potential to perform both as a monotherapy or in combination with other immunotherapies.”
The investment of Riyadh Valley Company – the investment arm of King Saud University – in Prokarium comes with the aim of investing in knowledge companies locally and internationally and to build a balanced investment portfolio that supports King Saud University’s goals and to achieve the Kingdom’s 2030 vision in the field of knowledge economy.