FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German biotech firm BioNTech has secured $325 million in a private financing round to boost its cancer immunotherapies pipeline, the company said on Tuesday.

Two-thirds of the money raised came from new investors, BioNTech said in a statement, adding that it would use the funds for research and development as well as its manufacturing infrastructure.

Earlier this year, people close to the matter told Reuters the company had hired banks to prepare an initial public offering which could value it at $4 billion.

Asked about the impact of the fresh funds on its plans to potentially float the company, a company official said BioNTech was still examining various financing options, reiterating earlier statements by the company.

In a first financing round in January 2018, the company secured $270 million.

BioNTech specializes in so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules that instruct human cells to produce therapeutic proteins that trigger an immune response against cancer or infectious diseases. It also works on gene therapies and nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy.

The company said the Struengmann family, which sold its generic drugs business Hexal to Novartis in 2005 and is already invested in BioNTech, was also among the donors in the second round of financing. It added that the family remained the main shareholder.

(Reporting by Patricia Weiss; Writing by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Michelle Martin)