Bill Gates invests 15 million in Walloon biotech Univercells

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Bill Gates invests 15 million in Walloon biotech Univercells







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The Walloon biotech Univercells specializing in the development of low-cost vaccines has raised new funds of around fifty million. Among its investors, a fund linked to the Gates Foundation, which has already helped Univercells on several occasions, L’Echo reported on Wednesday.

The list of investors includes Adjuvant Global Health Technology Fund, a fund originally linked to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which alone contributes 15 million euros. This is not the first time that the billionaire philanthropist galaxy has taken an interest in Univercells, which it has already supported with several direct donations from its Foundation and with an investment through the GHIF impact fund.

Second largest fundraiser of the year

This fundraising is the second most important of the year in the biotech sector, after that carried out by iTeos Therapeutics (114 million) a few months before its IPO on the Nasdaq. According to daily information, the amount of 50 million would also not be final.

Contacted, Univercells officials did not comment.

Among the other new supporters of Univercells are many large Belgian investors who are not necessarily – or not at all – regulars in the biotechnology sector. The list, qualified as ‘very impressive’ by a specialist, also includes the public investments SFPI (federal), SRIW (Walloon region) and Sambrinvest (Charleroi).

A revolutionary platform

Founded in 2013 by Hugues Bultot (CEO) and José Castillo (Technical Director), Univercells has developed a revolutionary production platform for vaccines.

Last March, the project of the founders of Univercells saw its agenda again shaken up, with the launch of a vaccine project against Covid-19. Walloon biotech has entered into a strategic collaboration with the German companies Leukocare and the Italian ReiThera for the development and large-scale manufacture of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. This vaccine, still under development, could eventually be produced in the new Univercells facilities at the Jumet site.

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