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Oxford University spinout Vaccitech gets £20m from backers including GV


Oxford University spinout Vaccitech has raised £20m from investors including Alphabet’s venture arm GV.

The biotech startup, which is working on a universal flu vaccine, also raised from Sequoia – a backer of both Snap and Uber.

Vaccitech also received investment from Oxford Sciences Innovation, an incubator tasked with taking research from the university to market.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Vaccitech’s chief executive Tom Evans, commented on the inefficiencies of existing flu vaccines: “The older you get, the less effective they are.” Evans is the former global head of Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceuticals giant.

Professors Adrian Hill and Sarah Gilbert, the scientists behind the startup’s proprietary technology, have created a vaccine to boost the body’s defences against a part of the virus common to most strains of flu.

The startup will now use the cash raised to undertake a 2,000 person study in Oxford.

If successful, Vaccitech’s universal flu vaccine could be available within five years.

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