RARE Daily

Univercells Scores Up to $54 Million Investment from KKR

February 19, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Univercells, a provider of next-generation bioprocessing for the production of gene and cell therapies, said it secured up to $54 million (€50 million) in financing from Gamma Biosciences, a new investment platform supported by the global investment firm KKR.

The investment will be used to fund a newly created subsidiary of Univercells focused on accelerating the industrialization and commercialization of Univercells’ manufacturing technologies.

With the new financing, Univercells said it will focus on scaling its platform technology with a comprehensive approach to streamline production, fund innovation, enable new product and application development, and drive commercial acceleration. The investment is intended to support continued expansion into the fast-growing gene therapy segment, including new developments that will enable a range of best-in-class solutions for viral manufacturing.

“KKR and Gamma will open access to an unparalleled global network, enabling accelerated production and delivery of the NevoLine and scale-X technologies and driving commercialization,” said Hugues Bultot, CEO of Univercells. “This investment builds on existing grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health Investment Fund, and European Investment Bank, and secures our ability to create value for the market with speed, efficacy and reliability.”

Both the scale-X bioreactor portfolio and the NevoLine biomanufacturing platform have been designed and commercially validated to reduce dramatically the footprint, capital, and operational expenditures required to produce a variety of biologic and viral products. The investment is driven by a shared desire to make these breakthrough technologies more readily accessible and positively impact global health via effective, cost-controlled production solutions.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020. Once the transaction is complete, Univercells’ remaining business will concentrate on developing a portfolio of vaccines and biosimilars to be delivered at an affordable price and establishing its services offering.

Photo: Hugues Bultot, CEO of Univercells

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