Immune Design Rakes In Another $11M From Prior VC Round

10/5/11Follow @xconomy

Seattle-based Immune Design has quietly pulled in another $11 million in venture capital. That new cash represents the second installment of a Series B financing that the company announced last July, when it was said to be worth as much as $32 million total.

Immune Design, the developer of new vaccine technology, disclosed the new financing in a regulatory filing that has been updated to say the Series B round could be worth as much as $34 million over time. Last July, the company pulled in $12 million, and now it has boosted the total financing up to $23.4 million in this round, according to the filing. The company didn’t issue a press release on the financing, but CEO Carlos Paya confirmed that the financing comes as a second tranche of the Series B financing. To date, Immune Design has pulled in $41.4 million between its first two rounds of venture capital.

The company has been one of the best financed biotech startups in Seattle, since it was founded in June 2008. Immune Design was founded by Nobel laureate David Baltimore of Caltech, Steve Reed of the Infectious Disease Research Institute, and Larry Corey, now the president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It has raised its dough from a big name group of investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Alta Partners, and ProQuest Investments.

Immune Design CEO Carlos Paya

The vision of the company is based on developing two key technologies for vaccines. First, it’s aiming to create new synthetic compounds, called adjuvants, that boost the effectiveness of vaccines. Second, it is developing delivery technology that’s designed to trigger a specific immune defense against a certain invaders (like flu) instead of a more generalized immune reaction like the ones made by vaccines of today.

Paya, who joined Immune Design in April after a stint at Elan in South San Francisco, didn’t say what milestone the company hit to trigger the second tranche of financing. Immune Design’s biggest deal to date was a partnership struck last year with AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit, in which the bigger company is getting access to an Immune Design adjuvant to enhance experimental vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections.

The late Ralph Steinman, the Rockefeller University biologist who won the Nobel Prize this week for his discovery of dendritic cells that alert other immune system cells to infections, was a member of the Immune Design scientific advisory board.

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