Seattle vaccine startup taking on pharma giant GSK with shingles shot raises $26M

Cuervo, a Seattle-based vaccine startup, raised $26 million in a funding round with participation from RA Capital Management, Adjuvant Capital, and founding investor GC Biopharma, a South Korean biopharma company.

Cuervo is developing a vaccine against shingles to produce a better safety profile and equivalent effectiveness, challenging pharma giant GSK’s Shingrix vaccine. The company recently completed enrollment of 678 people in phase 2b of trials comparing its CRV-101 shot to the Shingrix. Trial results measuring safety and immunological outcomes are due in early 2023.

“We see significant commercial potential for a shingles vaccine that could match the clinical profile of Shingrix,” said Andy Acker, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors. “CRV-101 has the potential to demonstrate a favorable tolerability profile with comparable immunogenicity to Shingrix.”