Nanotechnology company Liquidia Technologies has received a $10 million equity investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support vaccine development and commercialization.
The financing follows the announcement last month of a collaborative agreement with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, which is working with Liquidia to develop next-generation malaria vaccines using the Morrisville, N.C.-based company’s nanotechnology methods.
Liquidia’s proprietary “PRINT” technology allows for control of particle size, shape and chemistry to optimize the delivery of medicine to cells of the human body. The technology also makes the nanoparticle manufacturing process consistent and scalable, which makes new vaccines more economically viable, according to the company (PDF).
MVI also has ties to the Gates Foundation. It was established in 1999 through a $168.7 million Gates Foundation grant. The Gates investment in Liquidia is part of an initiative committing $400 million to deepen the impact of the foundation’s work. These efforts include the use of financial tools such as low-interest loans, loan guarantees and equity investments to finance the work of select organizations that fall within its focus areas.
“This unique investment partnership will help us advance vaccine development as part of our commitment to help research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries,” Gates Foundation infectious diseases team deputy director Doug Holtzman said in a prepared remarks.
Privately held Liquidia has now raised nearly $60 million in equity financing, including a $25 million series C round that closed last April. Its investors include venture capital firms Canaan Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Morningside Venture Investments Limited, Pappas Ventures and Firelake Capital, as well as Wilmington, N.C.-based contract research organization PPD (NYSE:PPDI).