Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
SutroVax, a Foster City, Calif.-based developer of a pneumonia vaccine, raised $110 million in Series D funding co-led by RA Capital Management and Janus Henderson Investors.
Why it matters: Its lead candidate is a more-encompassing alternative to Pfizer's Prevnar 13, a $6 billion per-year vaccine that reportedly is seeing a prescription bump from those worried about the coronavirus. Prevnar won't prevent someone from being infected, but some believe that it could help ward off subsequent pneumonia.
- Return backers include TPG Growth, Abingworth, Longitude Capital, Frazier Health Care Partners, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Medixci, CTI Life Sciences, Roche Venture Fund, and Foresite Capital.
The bottom line: "Sutro had figured out a way to design and manufacture proteins without using living cells, as biologists have for decades. They used to build antibody-drug conjugates and recently brought multiple into the clinic. They realized, though, that it could also be important for building vaccines, a field whose potential had long been limited by how precisely you could design a protein." — Jason Mast, Endpoints News