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Venture Capital News: Aptimmune Biologics Raises $2.75M of Series A

2015-07-13
CHAMPAIGN, IL, Mucosal vaccine company developing novel swine vaccines for PRRSV and influenza virus, has received $2.75 million of funding.
Aptimmune Biologics, a mucosal vaccine company developing novel swine vaccines for PRRSV and influenza virus, has received $2.75 million of funding from Arsenal Capital Management, Fox Ventures LLC, and a group of Midwest angel investors.

'PRRSV and influenza virus are a growing threat to swine health worldwide. Their combined annual economic impact on the U.S. swine industry alone is over $1.4 billion. Our new vaccine portfolio will change the management of these diseases, significantly improve swine health and producer productivity'

'PRRSV and influenza virus are a growing threat to swine health worldwide. Their combined annual economic impact on the U.S. swine industry alone is over $1.4 billion. Our new vaccine portfolio will change the management of these diseases, significantly improve swine health and producer productivity,' said Dr. Federico Zuckermann, Aptimmune's founder and Chief Scientific Officer.

Dr. Zuckermann is a leading swine immunologist, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and inventor of patented vaccine technologies commercialized by Aptimmune. He has dedicated the last 30 years to better understanding PRRSV and other swine diseases that plague producers.

Aaron Gilbertie, who joined the company as CEO weeks before the funding, will lead the company through pipeline development, product registration, and commercialization of Aptimmune's revolutionary vaccines.

'This funding positions Aptimmune to accelerate its mucosal vaccine candidates through development and product registration. Our vaccines will fundamentally change the way we think about and practice vaccination of swine,' said Gilbertie.

He notes that Aptimmune's new product offerings are based on a strong and extensive intellectual property portfolio. Arsenal Capital Management (ACM) is a St. Louis-based venture capital group with investments in biotech, medical technology, IT, and consumer goods.

Aptimmune joins other notable ACM biotech investments including Kypha, KEW Group, and Appistry.

'We've monitored Aptimmune's progress through our relationship with Common Place Holdings. I'm pleased this investment validates our approach to invest early in promising companies and provide additional support as growth demands,' said Arsenal managing director Pete Reinecke.

ACM is the sole outside source of funding for seed fund Common Place Holdings (CPH). CPH was an Aptimmune Series AA investor and business advisor.

Fox Ventures is a Champaign-based investment firm that assists companies with consulting, networking, recruitment, and financial resources.

Aptimmune is based in the EntepriseWorks technology business incubator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Located in the heart of the University of Illinois Research Park, EnterpriseWorks' mission is to launch, support, and advance science-based startups that are commercializing disruptive technologies. Since 2003, EnterpriseWorks incubated companies have raised more than $870 in venture capital and angel investment. A 2015 Brookings Institute study of venture capital deal flow has shown that Champaign-Urbana is among the top 20 metros for annual venture capital first fundings on a per-capita basis, with 3.2 times the national average.
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