The immunotherapy developer Batu Biologics has successfully raised $100,000, using an alternative fundraising approach for the biotech sector, the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, to fund the development of the first anti-angiogenic cancer vaccine for lung cancer.
The company started raising funds via the crowdfunding campaign in June, with proceeds being used for preclinical studies to test its flagship immune therapy ValloVax, as well as to submit it to the FDA for approval. ValloVax is a lung cancer vaccine that stimulates an immune response specifically against tumor associated blood vessels. The company is working towards eventual approval of the drug, and plan on submitting an Investigational New Drug application to the FDA during the first quarter of 2015.
“Batu Biologics would like to thank the generous donors to the campaign” said the President and Chief Executive Officer of Batu Biologics, Samuel Wagner. “As a life science company attempting a donation-based crowdfunding effort was a risky proposition. However the success of this campaign is testament to the public enthusiasm for the significant steps in this company’s development of our non-toxic biological therapeutics. We are committed to maximizing progress with the funds that have been donated by our loyal supporters.”
The company announced that the campaign was a success and that they believed other companies would try crowdfunding as an alternative funding approach. “A new generation of entrepreneurs are taking ownership and looking for alternative strategies to successfully grow their companies without losing ownership share. We are trying to build this business hold onto our intellectual property and counter the traditional way things are done in the biotech sector,” added Wagner.
Batu Biologics is focused on the development and commercialization of allogeneic cell therapies in the area of immune modulation. The current production of the vaccine is based on the idea of creating or breaking immune tolerance.
“We have a small team of dedicated individuals who are committed to moving ValloVax closer to becoming a promising option for those suffering from lung cancer” explained Wagner about the team who is developing the vaccine. “This motivation combined with the rapid advancement of technology to evaluate a patient’s immune response will allow Batu Biologics to swiftly move to the forefront of innovative cancer treatments that improve patients’ quality of life.”