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$17M Raised for COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing

May 12, 2020

GreenLight Biosciences raises $17M financing round to accelerate large-scale manufacturing of future COVID-19 vaccines

GreenLight’s mRNA technology can greatly accelerate the creation of COVID-19 vaccine, and be manufactured in large quantities

BOSTON, May 12, 2020 
GreenLight Biosciences today announced it has closed an oversubscribed $17M special purpose funding round from new and existing investors to build out its scalable mRNA production capability targeting the production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to expanding its manufacturing capacity, GreenLight is developing several differentiated mRNA vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This initiative is an integral part of the company’s expansion into life sciences, which include efforts to develop a large-scale vaccine platform targeting seasonal and pandemic influenza, and rapid response to emerging viruses, such as the novel coronavirus.

mRNA-based vaccines offer the potential to address pandemics because of shorter pre-clinical development times compared to traditional vaccines. This has allowed GreenLight to quickly prepare a set of COVID-19 vaccine candidates for laboratory and pre-clinical evaluation of their safety and efficacy.

“GreenLight’s team and technology make them uniquely positioned to quickly bring large-scale, practical solutions to market for rapid pandemic response.”

Mike Liang / Partner / Baird Capital

This round of funding is aimed at establishing a scaled process under current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), capable of supporting clinical development and enabling the production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine using GreenLight’s proprietary bioprocessing technology. Participating investors include Flu Lab, Xeraya Capital, and Baird Capital.  

“GreenLight’s team and technology make them uniquely positioned to quickly bring large-scale, practical solutions to market for rapid pandemic response,” said Mike Liang, Partner at Baird Capital. “GreenLight’s approach promises the billions of doses needed with significantly faster manufacturing times than other technology platforms. Baird Capital believes GreenLight has the potential to be a critical part of us getting back to a healthy, functioning economy in the shortest possible time, and we are proud to support this team of talented scientists and researchers in their efforts.”

With this latest round of funding, GreenLight is accelerating the research and development of its fully integrated mRNA production capability and product platform. Currently, there is limited global capacity to supply mRNA doses in mass quantities. With global experts predicting the potential need for billion of doses of vaccine, GreenLight is building the scalable biomanufacturing capacity to quickly address the needs of a pandemic response.

“Our mRNA manufacturing platform has the potential to produce any mRNA vaccine candidate at a global scale and affordable cost.”

Dr. Andrey Zarur / CEO / GreenLight Biosciences

“An effective vaccine against COVID-19 is the only realistic means to stave off the spread of COVID-19 and enable a re-start of our global societies and economies. mRNA based vaccines offer the best approach for a fast response,” said Dr. Andrey Zarur, CEO of GreenLight. “Our mRNA manufacturing platform has the potential to produce any mRNA vaccine candidate at a global scale and affordable cost. It is our responsibility to rapidly establish our cGMP manufacturing process to enable broad production of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. In addition, we are developing novel mRNA sequences to ensure we will be able to effectively respond to this crisis. Our vaccine platform and COVID-19 efforts are a significant component of our broader efforts in human health, where we are pursuing solutions against a number of critical global health needs. Our mission is to enable the global and affordable production of mRNA solutions.”

mRNA acts as an intermediary between the genetic information in DNA and the amino acid sequence of proteins. Unlike existing vaccines, which typically use weakened or dead forms of a pathogen or recombinant proteins, mRNA vaccines carry instructions such that injected cells themselves produce the target antigen, simulating a viral infection and stimulating immune responses against the pathogen. 

About GreenLight Biosciences
GreenLight is a bio-performance company with a unique, cell-free production platform that delivers high-performing RNA solutions to human, plant and animal challenges. GreenLight develops RNA products for plant and life science applications, and collaborates with industry leaders to advance vaccine development, pandemic preparation, crop management, and plant protection. The cutting-edge, natural platform delivers higher-quality RNA at a lower cost and higher speed than was ever before possible. The GreenLight team values diversity, inclusion, and equality and promises to use collaboration to remain scientifically imaginative and passionately focused on making a difference in the world.