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GreenLight Biosciences raises $17m from Malaysia fund for vaccine

US company earmarks new money for 'affordable' coronavirus treatment

Muslims disperse after they were warned by police outside the closed National Mosque while celebrating the Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan amid the coronavirus outbreak in Kuala Lumpur.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- U.S.-based bio-performance company GreenLight Biosciences has raised an additional $17 million from new and existing investors, including Malaysian private investment company Xeraya Capital, Baird Capital and global investment company Flu Lab, according to a media statement.

The investment was made through Greenlight Pandemic Response, a special purpose vehicle of GreenLight Biosciences, Xeraya Capital CEO Fares Zahir told DealStreetAsia.

The fund will be used to establish a scaled process under current good manufacturing practices, supporting clinical development and production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine using GreenLight's proprietary technology.

Currently, GreenLight is accelerating research and development of its integrated messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, production capability and product platform, which has limited global supply. GreenLight is building scalable manufacturing to quickly respond to the pandemic.

In addition to expanding capacity, GreenLight is developing several differentiated mRNA vaccine candidates against the novel coronavirus. So far, mRNA has not received approval for human use despite its efficacy on animals

"It's an investment toward the world having access to an affordable COVID-19 vaccine. A bet that mRNA will play an important part in human vaccines," Zahir said.

mRNA vaccines have the advantage of being relatively safe because they contain no actual virus, with shorter preclinical development times as well. Thus, the whole cycle -- from development to testing and deployment -- is shortened.

mRNA acts as an intermediary between the genetic information in DNA and the amino acid sequence of proteins.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on corporate investment activity in Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the company.

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