China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products today announced a transaction in which Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital have invested $15 million in Sinovac Research and Development Co., Ltd. (“Sinovac R&D”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinovac, to further the development of an inactivated vaccine against COVID-19 named CoronaVac. The two investors each loaned USD $7.5 million in the form of a convertible loan that bears interest, or, at the investor’s election, converts into 7.5% of the total equity interest of Sinovac R&D.
“Our proven track record of successful vaccination development has allowed us to make excellent progress on CoronaVac, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and the funding from Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital will provide us with the necessary resources to continue our work at this unprecedented pace,” said Mr. Weidong Yin, Chairman, President and CEO of Sinovac. “We are proud to be on the frontlines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and appreciate the support of Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital as well as cooperation from all levels of the Chinese Government, who have been essential in allowing us to move forward at full speed with the development of CoronaVac without compromising our high safety standards and procedures.”
Sinovac has made significant process in the development of CoronaVac. Preclinical results regarding CoronaVac were recently published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Science in an article noting that the vaccine candidate is safe and provides protection to rhesus macaques (monkeys) through an animal challenge study.
Sinovac received approval from governmental authorities to conduct both Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials in China. The Phase I clinical trial, which evaluates the safety, tolerance, and preliminary immunogenicity of CoronaVac, commenced in April. After preliminary observation of the safety profile of CoronaVac in the Phase I study, the Phase II clinical trial commenced in May. The Phase II clinical trial evaluates the immunogenicity and safety of CoronaVac in a larger population in order to define dosage, regimen and immunization schedule. Sinovac is constructing a commercial vaccine production plant that is expected to manufacture up to 100 million doses of CoronaVac annually.
Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor, and Han Kun Law Offices and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisors to the Company in connection with the transaction.