Vaccine specialists Novavax and Bavarian Nordic are among the companies gunning for a spot in the potential $6 billion RSV vaccine market. Now, add JLABS resident company Meissa Vaccines to the mix, thanks to new funding the startup hopes can help it reach human testing.
The company just secured an undisclosed seed investment from venture capital firm FundRx, adding to a $1.56 million grant from the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research program it gained last month. The new funding will help Meissa push its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate, dubbed MV-012-968, into the clinic.
Cofounded by Emory University faculty member Marty Moore, Ph.D., and RSV vaccine expert Roderick Tang, Ph.D., Meissa is working on preclinical candidates for RSV, rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus, according to its online pipeline report. In RSV, the biotech's vaccine tech incorporates synthetic biology and reverse genetics to produce a live attenuated vaccine; Moore obtained exclusive rights to the technology for Meissa in 2015.