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DealStreetAsia

Singapore Temasek invests in COVID vaccine testing company

German BioNTech raises $250m from the sovereign wealth fund and others

Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek has targeted multiple biotechnology companies for investments.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Nasdaq-listed BioNTech, which is testing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, said Monday it has raised $250 million from Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek and other accredited investors in a private placement.

"We are pleased to welcome Temasek on board as a new shareholder. We believe their long-term investment approach, global presence, and deep experience in the biotechnology field are a good fit," Ugur Sahin, the German-based BioNTech's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.

The placement included around $139 million in ordinary shares and $112 million in four-year mandatory convertible notes, the company said in the statement.

The private placement investors will receive 2.60 million ordinary shares with a 180-day lock-up agreement, while the convertible notes have a 4.5% coupon and a conversion premium of 20% over the reference price, the statement said. The deal is expected to close in August.

BioNTech focuses on patient-specific immunotherapies to treat cancer and infectious diseases; the company is developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for infectious diseases.

In May, BioNTech and Pfizer announced they had dosed the first U.S. participants in a phase 1-2 clinical trial for a vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month, BioNTech signed a 100 million euro ($112 million) debt financing deal with the European Investment Bank in a move to boost its manufacturing capacity to be able to quickly supply the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Singapore state-owned investment company has targeted multiple biotechnology companies for investments this year.

Temasek's other biotechnology health care investments have included KAHR Medical, an Israeli biopharmaceutical company developing a novel drug platform. The $18 million investment in KAHR Medical, which was made in February, was led by Mirae Asset Venture Investment; Temasek invested via Pavilion Capital.

In March, Temasek led a $70 million round in Shanghai-based Abbisko Therapeutics, which is developing novel cancer therapies.

In April, Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures participated in a $170 million investment round in ElevateBio, a U.S.-based cell and gene therapy firm.

In May, Temasek led a $65 million investment round in SQZ Biotechnologies, a U.S.-based clinical-stage cell therapy company which also is expanding into infectious diseases.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

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

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