Mazen, an animal health company developing novel oral vaccines, announced today the closing of its Series A round of over $11M. The round was led by Fall Line Capital and joined by all the Seed investors, including Next Level Ventures, Kent Corporation, Ag Startup Engine, Ag Ventures Alliance, ISAV and Summit Ag. In addition, new investors, AgFunder, 1330 Investments, Addison Laboratories, SLO Seeds Ventures and Cal Poly Ventures also participated in the financing.
Vaccination of livestock prevents disease and decreases losses; however, injectable vaccination can be costly and difficult to administer. Mazen offers a transformative vaccine technology where the animals don’t even know they are being vaccinated. By administering the vaccine with feed, we eliminate challenges associated with finding labor to administer injectable vaccines and other issues such as broken needles in the animal or accidental vaccination of the worker. Oral vaccines allow for cost effective disease prevention with improved animal welfare.
“I am thrilled to have Fall Line Capital lead our Series A round. They believe in our experienced team and transformational technology – and share our vision for aggressive growth”, said Jenny Filbey, CEO of Mazen. “I am also delighted to have all our Seed investors continue to support us both financially and in the community. We have a great group of investors.”
Mazen’s oral vaccines are produced via recombinant protein production in corn. The technology platform leverages many years of breakthrough R&D led by John Howard, Mazen. Co-Founder and world-leading expert in recombinant protein production in plants. The vaccines developed using this technology promise to be substantially more cost-effective and convenient than traditional injectable vaccines for livestock and companion animals.
“Our investors are seeing the tremendous potential of the technology platform to deliver better vaccines more efficiently,” said Filbey. “In fact, the technology can help achieve better animal health through disease prevention – rather than treatment – and improve economics, stewardship and sustainability.”
Mazen’s lead oral vaccine in development for the prevention of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) is currently undergoing pivotal efficacy studies required for USDA approval. The company is also scaling up commercial manufacture of the vaccine. Mazen’s pipeline has advanced with ongoing proof-of-concept studies for coccidiosis in poultry and a third proprietary product in development, also for poultry. The Series A funds will be used to support launch of the PEDV product, development of pipeline products, addition of new products to the pipeline, as well as adding new members to the team.
Eric O’Brien, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fall Line Capital commented, “Mazen is at the forefront of molecular farming technologies that leverage plants as natural production factories for recombinant proteins and other high value molecules. This novel approach has huge advantages in cost versus precision fermentation in expensive bioreactors or more traditional vaccine production methods. We are excited to partner with Mazen as they pioneer a whole new category of sustainable technologies in animal health.”