China's Clover raises $230 million, plans vaccines for COVID-19 variants

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a developer of coronavirus vaccines, has raised $230 million from investors, including Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings, it said on Tuesday, as it develops vaccines for variants.

Clover, which has been developing a vaccine using an immune response-boosting ingredient made by U.S.-based Dynavax Technologies Corp, plans to start mid- to late-stage clinical trials in the first half of 2021.

In a statement, it said the proceeds of the fund-raising would be used to develop vaccines targeting the virus and other diseases, as well as cancer therapies.

“We are working on broadly protective coronavirus vaccine approaches for variant strains of interest,” a spokeswoman said, without identifying the specific strains of SARS-CoV-2 to be targeted by the firm’s new candidates.

The latest round of fund-raising, co-led by Temasek and GL Ventures, an affiliate of Asia-focused private equity Hillhouse Capital, brings Clover’s total capital raised in the last 12 months to more than $400 million.

Clover said it had also started production planning for potentially hundreds of millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year.

Its global trial is backed by non-profit group the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

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