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SutroVax Appoints Veteran Vaccine Experts to Executive Team

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Foster City, CA, October 11, 2017 – SutroVax, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the delivery of best-in-class conjugate vaccines and novel complex antigen-based vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has appointed additional biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry veterans to its executive team, including Alan Kimura, M.D. Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer, Durga Bobba as Chief Business Officer and Aron Stein, Ph.D., as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Quality Assurance.

“With the key additions of Alan, Durga and Aron, we have now assembled an executive team with deep pneumococcal vaccine expertise across the spectrum of development and commercialization,” said Grant Pickering, CEO of SutroVax. “Together, we remain focused on advancing our lead pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate into the clinic and addressing serious infectious diseases through best-in-class conjugate vaccines and novel antigen-based vaccines.”

SutroVax’s broad-spectrum pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is designed to provide expanded protection against circulating strains of pneumococcus and has the potential to replace the current vaccines used in infants and adults, which have worldwide sales of over $7 billion annually. SutroVax has generated pre-clinical proof-of-concept in head-to-head studies with its broad-spectrum PCV compared to current vaccines using well accepted immunological endpoints.

Chief Medical Officer Alan Kimura brings to SutroVax extensive experience from a 28-year drug development career in both large pharmaceutical organizations and small biotechnology companies. He is a veteran in the development and execution of clinical development programs for vaccines and rare disease therapeutics. Dr. Kimura had a prominent role in the development of multiple blockbuster products, including Prevnar® (the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) at Wyeth (now Pfizer Inc.), Bexsero® (the meningococcal Group B vaccine) at Novartis, and Elaprase® for the treatment of Hunter syndrome at Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. (now Shire plc). Prior to joining SutroVax, Dr. Kimura served as Vice President, Clinical Development at Translate Bio and then Senior Medical Director of Global Clinical Development at Shire and Novartis Vaccines. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Kimura served as Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Altus Pharmaceuticals Inc., and also held various positions in clinical research and medical affairs at Transkaryotic Therapies, BioChem Pharma Inc., SmithKline Beecham Biologicals and Wyeth Vaccines. He has authored more than 30 publications and book chapters on vaccines and rare diseases. Dr. Kimura received his M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine; an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis; and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Chief Business Officer Durga Bobba has over 25 years of global commercial biopharmaceutical experience, with leading roles in marketing, product development, alliance management and business development at major pharmaceutical companies including Merck & Co., Inc., Genentech, Inc. (now Roche) and Amgen Inc. During his 15 years at Merck, he held U.S. and global leadership roles that included U.S. brand management, business development and emerging markets with increasing responsibility. As Senior Director of International Commercial Operations, the first head of Alliance Management and later Executive Director for the Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa region, Mr. Bobba had P&L responsibility for the full Merck vaccine portfolio in over 80 markets. Mr. Bobba supported the ex-US launches of Gardasil®, RotaTeq® and Pneumovax 23® (the pneumococcal vaccine recommended for use with Prevnar 13 in adults in the U.S.) and helped Merck Vaccines quadruple annual sales to $4 billion to become the world’s number one vaccine company. In addition to his vaccine experience, Mr. Bobba held leadership positions at Genentech and Amgen, with responsibility for brand decision support and global marketing for products with revenues totaling over $25 billion. Prior to joining SutroVax, Mr. Bobba was most recently the head of marketing for MyoKardia and Vice President, Project Team Leader for Mavacamten, a Phase II orphan drug for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mr. Bobba received a B.B.A. in international business from the George Washington University and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

Mr. Bobba will replace the position held by SutroVax co-founder Ash Khanna, Ph.D., who has served as Chief Business Officer since the company’s formation. Dr. Khanna’s career has spanned the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and venture capital arenas, including as a venture investor. Dr. Khanna was instrumental in the establishment of the company’s early strategy and financing activities. “I’d like to thank Ash for his significant contributions to SutroVax’ founding and progress to date and wish him well in his new role at Pivotal bioVenture Partners,” said Mr. Pickering.

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs & Quality Assurance Aron Stein has 30 years of product development with responsibility for multiple drug approvals in both large and small companies. Prior to SutroVax, Dr. Stein served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Bavarian Nordic A/S, a public Danish-based vaccine company developing viral-vector vaccines for use in infectious disease and immuno-oncology. While at Bavarian Nordic, Dr. Stein established the global regulatory function in the U.S. and E.U., led the successful negotiation with Health Authorities on the registration requirements for Imvamune®, a smallpox vaccine and for Prostvac, an immunotherapy for prostate cancer, and oversaw the commissioning of a new manufacturing facility. Prior to Bavarian Nordic, Dr. Stein served in Vice President roles in Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), Abbott Laboratories, and Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to that, he held leadership roles responsible for Regulatory Affairs at Pfizer and DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals. Strategic FDA initiatives involved partnering with FDA to develop CDER guidance and reintroduction of marketed products (Abbokinase®). Dr. Stein directed the regulatory strategies that led to the rapid registration for multiple drug products including Doxil®, Viagra®, Tikosyn®, and supplements for Diflucan®, Zoloft®, and Zithromax®. Dr. Stein earned his B.S. and Ph.D. at Texas A&M University.

About SutroVax

SutroVax is an independent vaccine platform and development company whose mission is to deliver best-in-class conjugate vaccines and novel complex antigen-based vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. SutroVax conjugate vaccines are developed utilizing the Company’s exclusive rights to Sutro Biopharma’s Xpress CF™ Platform, a cell-free protein synthesis technology. The platform represents a major advancement over conventional conjugate vaccine production methods, by enabling precise and consistent conjugation of antigens to site-specific locations on a protein carrier that do not impede T-cell help resulting in higher-potency conjugates. SutroVax is utilizing these more potent conjugates to develop a broader-spectrum PCV product. For more information, visit www.sutrovax.com.

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Contact:

Julie Rathbun
Rathbun Communications
206-769-9219
julie@rathbuncomm.com

SutroVax Announces Closing of $64M via Series B Financing

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  • Announces achievement of pre-clinical proof-of-concept with lead program: Potential best-in-class pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Advancing lead into IND-enabling development to obtain clinical proof-of-concept

Foster City, CA, March 21, 2017SutroVax, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the delivery of best-in-class conjugate vaccines and novel complex antigen-based vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced the closing of a $60 million Series B financing. The financing was led by new investors Frazier Healthcare Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners, and included participation from all existing investors: Abingworth, Longitude Capital, Roche Venture Fund and CTI Life Sciences Fund. In addition to Series B funds raised, the Company’s existing investors are investing an additional $4 million in SutroVax.

SutroVax will use the proceeds from this financing to advance its lead pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which prevents invasive pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, and accelerate the Company’s antigen discovery and early-stage development efforts in other disease areas. SutroVax’s broad-spectrum PCV is designed to provide expanded protection against circulating strains of pneumococcus and has the potential to replace the current vaccines used in infants and adults. SutroVax has generated pre-clinical proof-of-concept in head-to-head studies with its broad-spectrum PCV compared to current vaccines using well accepted immunological endpoints.

“The closing of this round, which was highly competitive and oversubscribed, is an important milestone for SutroVax and reflects the significant achievements we have made in developing a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine product candidate with the potential to disrupt a market with annual sales of over $7 billion,” said Grant Pickering, CEO of SutroVax. “This financing enables us to advance our lead PCV program into the clinic and expand our R&D, clinical development and manufacturing organizations.”

SutroVax conjugate vaccines are developed utilizing the Company’s exclusive rights to Sutro Biopharma’s Xpress CF Platform, a cell-free protein synthesis technology. The platform represents a major advancement over conventional conjugate vaccine production methods, by enabling precise and consistent conjugation of antigens to site-specific locations on a protein carrier that do not impede T-cell help resulting in higher-potency conjugates. SutroVax is utilizing these more potent conjugates to develop a broader-spectrum PCV product.

“Frazier Healthcare Partners has followed SutroVax’s progress since its founding and is delighted to make SutroVax its first vaccine investment,” stated Patrick Heron, Managing General Partner.

Tachi Yamada, M.D., Frazier Venture Partner, former President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program and former head of GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda Pharmaceuticals R&D added, “SutroVax’s lead product candidate and technology platform has the potential to deliver the next generation of vaccines for major infectious diseases including pneumococcal disease.”

“We are pleased to make SutroVax the pioneer investment from Pivotal bioVenture Partners, our recently closed inaugural fund. I am delighted to join with the preeminent group of life sciences investors backing the company,” said Tracy Saxton, Ph.D., Managing Partner. “We are excited by the Company’s differentiated approach and ground-breaking progress in developing a potential best-in-class pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to provide coverage of circulating pathogenic strains outside of the current standard of care.”

As part of the financing, Patrick Heron and Tracy Saxton will join the SutroVax Board of Directors.

About Frazier Healthcare Partners

Founded in 1991, Frazier Healthcare Partners is a leading provider of growth and venture capital to healthcare companies. With nearly $3.0 billion total capital raised, Frazier has invested in over 170 companies, with investment types ranging from company creation and venture capital to buyouts of profitable lower-middle market companies. The firm’s Growth Buyout team invests in healthcare and pharmaceutical services, medical products and related sectors. The Life Sciences team invests in therapeutics and related areas that are addressing unmet medical needs through innovation. Frazier has offices in Seattle, WA and Menlo Park, CA, and invests broadly across the US, Canada, and Europe.

About Pivotal bioVenture Partners

Pivotal bioVenture Partners is a newly launched, San Francisco-based venture capital firm investing in early stage biotechnology companies. Pivotal closed a $300 million fund, and its investment strategy is centered on identifying companies developing differentiated science from discovery to early clinical development with the potential to deliver transformative therapies. The Pivotal team includes experienced life science investors and entrepreneurs with a track record of venture investing and scientific acumen.

About Pneumococcal Disease and the Pneumococcal Vaccine Market

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. This infection can cause a wide range of serious illnesses including pneumonia, meningitis and blood stream infection as well as ear and sinus infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 900,000 Americans suffer from pneumococcal pneumonia each year and up to 400,000 hospitalizations occur in the US.  In addition, about 18,000 older adults die each year from pneumococcal disease in the U.S. The market-leading vaccine is a 13-valent PCV, Prevnar 13®, that has worldwide sales of approximately $6 billion annually yet does not protect against a significant number of circulating strains of pneumococcus causing invasive disease in adults and children. In the U.S., the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends all children aged two months to five years and immunocompromised children aged six years and older be vaccinated with Prevnar 13®.  In addition, the ACIP recommends all adults aged 65 years and older and immunocompromised adults aged 19 years and older be vaccinated with Prevnar 13®and Pneumovax®, a 23-valent non-conjugate vaccine with over $600 million in annual sales.

About SutroVax

SutroVax is an independent vaccine platform and development company whose mission is to deliver best-in-class conjugate vaccines and novel complex antigen-based vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. The company is leveraging its exclusive license to Sutro Biopharma’s Xpress CF platform to perform cell-free protein synthesis and site-specific conjugation for the field of vaccines. For more information, visit www.sutrovax.com.

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Contact:
Julie Rathbun
Rathbun Communications
206-769-9219
julie@rathbuncomm.com

SutroVax raises $22M in Series A

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Vaccine Spin-off from Sutro Biopharma to Utilize Site-Specific Conjugation Technology

South San Francisco, CA, July 23, 2015 – SutroVax, a recently established biopharmaceutical vaccine company, today announced the completion of a $22 million Series A financing. SutroVax is developing vaccines for infectious disease targets, with an initial emphasis on best-in-class conjugate vaccines, using an exclusive license to Sutro Biopharma’s Xpress CF™ and Xpress CF+™ platforms for cell free protein synthesis and site-specific conjugation respectively.

The Series A financing was led by Abingworth, the international investment group, with participation from Longitude Capital, Roche Venture Fund and CTI Life Sciences Fund. SutroVax will use the funds to advance multiple vaccines in its pipeline through pre-clinical proof of concept.

Grant Pickering, CEO of SutroVax said “Our platform technology is already industrialized and uniquely enables precise site-specific conjugation and production of protein antigens that are beyond the reach of current technologies. We intend to develop best-in-class vaccines to address an array of high-impact infectious diseases.”

Conjugate vaccines comprise the largest segment of the vaccine industry with annual sales of approximately $8 billion across multiple licensed indications, including pneumococcus, meningitis, and H flu. By far the largest of those indications is the pneumococcus market with annual sales of nearly $6 billion. Despite the successes to date, there are not only a significant number of additional bacterial strains that have yet to be incorporated into current conjugate vaccines, but also many infectious diseases that have yet to be addressed using this potent modality.

“Abingworth is pleased to work with the talented team at SutroVax and this prestigious group of co-investors” commented Kurt von Emster, Managing Partner of Abingworth.

As part of the financing, Kurt von Emster will become interim Chairman at SutroVax. In addition, Patrick Enright and Dr Tracy Saxton from Longitude Capital and Roche Venture Fund respectively will join Grant Pickering and William Newell, CEO of Sutro Biopharma, on the board of directors.

“It’s gratifying to see another high-value cache of applications gain momentum leveraging the platform and its well-developed infrastructure, including our large-scale cGMP facility,” commented William Newell, CEO of Sutro Biopharma.

About SutroVax: SutroVax is an independent vaccine platform and development company that was spun-out of Sutro Biopharma. The company will leverage Sutro’s Xpress CF and Xpress CF+ platforms for cell-free protein synthesis and site-specific conjugation to develop novel vaccines for an array of disease targets. SutroVax was founded by Grant Pickering, Jeff Fairman Ph.D. (VP Research) and Ash Khanna Ph.D. (Chief Business Officer) and received initial funding from Sutro Biopharma and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

About Xpress CF+: Xpress CF+ is a proprietary cell-free protein synthesis platform that enables site-specific incorporation of multiple non-natural amino acid substitutions at precisely defined positions in proteins that enable attachment of chemical moieties, including polysaccharide antigens, via click chemistry. Incorporation of non-natural amino acids for conjugation using Xpress CF+ has been applied to antibody drug conjugates and multi-specific antibody-based therapeutics for cancer therapy, including immuno-oncology therapies by Sutro Biopharma. It has also been industrialized to large-scale production under cGMP conditions and has been the subject of multiple major collaborations with select pharmaceutical and biotech companies.