NEW YORK – Vyriad on Tuesday said it has raised an additional $29.5 million in an expanded Series B funding round led by agricultural genetics entrepreneur Harry Stine of Stine Seed Farms.
Mayo Clinic, Mirae Asset, Regeneron, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, and other high-net-worth individuals contributed funds to the round. In 2019, the company raised $24.4 million in the original Series B round. According to Vyriad, it has raised more than $100 million since 2015.
Vyriad is developing two engineered oncolytic viruses, a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and an attenuated measles virus, with biomarker strategies and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The company is also working on theranostics and algorithms for predicting the best treatment regimens for patients.
In a Phase II trial, Vyriad is studying its engineered VSV, Voyager-V1, with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Libtayo (cemiplimab) in PD-L1-positive patients with non-small cell lung cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, endometrial cancer, and melanoma. Vyriad is also evaluating Voyager-V1 in a Phase II trial with Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in patients with refractory NSCLC and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and Voyager-V1 alone in a Phase I dose-escalation trial.
In a Phase I trial, the company is exploring the safety and tolerability of its attenuated measles virus product. Several other Phase I investigator-sponsored studies of those products are ongoing.
Yale University licensed its intellectual property to Rochester, Minnesota-based Vyriad and Profectus BioSciences, enabling recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses to be used as a delivery vehicle for vaccine antigens and as oncolytic viruses. The two companies signed a collaboration agreement in 2016 to develop oncolytic vesiculovirus vaccines for advanced stage cancers. Vyriad also grew its pipeline and platform technologies through licensing agreements with StingInn, Imanis Life Sciences, and Tessa Therapeutics.
In conjunction with the funding, Vyriad said that James Hampton, a genetics and genomics expert at Buena Vista University, will join its board of directors.