MMJ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:MMJ, OTC:MMJJF) has completed an investment of A$1 million in the unlisted Valo Therapeutics Oy, as part of a total pre-initial public offering (IPO) equity financing of around US$13 million.
The Finland-based immunotherapy company that is developing antigen-coated oncolytic viruses and vaccine vectors as therapeutic vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases, is preparing for an IPO in 2022.
MMJ’s investment was made from the company existing cash reserves.
MMJ Group chair Peter Wall said: “The investment in Valo demonstrates MMJ’s expertise to secure a private negotiated investment in unlisted businesses, which are not generally available to Australian retail and institutional investors.
“Valo represents the continued deployment of funds in accordance with its investment strategy following the broadening of MMJ’s investment mandate in 2020.”
Validate PeptiCRADd platform
Valo Therapeutics CEO Paul Higham said: “This successful financing is yet another significant milestone as we further validate our PeptiCRAd platform and now take the important step into the first clinical study.
“In addition, the financing will allow us to further validate our other oncology and infectious disease platforms and our pan Coronavirus T-cell vaccine.”
Valo Therapeutics successfully raised EUR11 million in an oversubscribed pre-IPO funding round, with participation coming from existing investors, Freeman Road, and new investors, MMJ.
The total raised to date is now over EUR22 million.
Valo Tx’s lead platform, PeptiCRAd (Peptide-coated Conditionally Replicating Adenovirus), was developed out of the laboratory of Professor Vincenzo Cerullo at the University of Helsinki.
It turns oncolytic adenoviruses into targeted, tissue-specific cancer vaccines without the need to develop and manufacture multiple genetically modified viruses.
The company is seeking to fund the finalisation of preparations and initiation of a Phase 1 clinical study PeptiCRAd-1, in addition to the continued development of its anti-infectives platforms including PeptiBAC and PeptiVAX.