Eyevensys announced that it has completed a $30 million Series B financing. The company will use the funds to continue the development of its clinical lead candidate EYS606 for the treatment of chronic noninfectious uveitis (NIU), including the launch of its Electro Study. This phase 2 trial, to be conducted in the US, will evaluate the safety and efficacy of EYS606 in patients with active forms of all anatomic uveitis subtypes. The funding will also advance the preclinical development of its other therapeutic proteins targeting ophthalmic diseases with unaddressed medical needs, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) EYS606 is currently in a phase 1/2 clinical trial in the EU and has been granted an orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of NIU.
In conjunction with the financing, Eyevensys has added to its Board of Directors. Neena Kadaba, PhD, Director of Science at Quark Venture LP, joined the board, as well as Dominik Escher, PhD, Managing Partner at Pureos Bioventures, and former founder and CEO of ESBATech, an ophthalmology biotech company acquired by Alcon in 2009, which developed the recently approved Beovu, a new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.
Eyevensys has also recently opened a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary in Fort Worth, Texas. All US operations will be managed from this location, though the Eyevensys headquarters will remain in Paris.
The Eyevensys technology is a non-viral gene therapy ocular drug delivery platform that uses an Electrotransfection System to deliver DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle. This turns the eye into a biofactory, allowing the ciliary muscle to express and secrete the therapeutic protein to the back of the eye at therapeutic levels for a duration of greater than 6 months.
“We are thrilled to have completed this Series B funding round with the strong support from both existing and new investors for the company,” Dr. Patricia Zilliox, Chief Executive Officer, said in a company news release. “This funding will assist the further development of our technology and position Eyevensys as an innovator in the field of ophthalmology.”
“As we launch the Electro Study, our first U.S. clinical trial, Eyevensys will also have an opportunity to connect with ophthalmology opinion leaders in the U.S. to gain further exposure for our groundbreaking technology platform,” Dr. Zilliox said. “This will also move the company one step closer to providing a more effective and convenient treatment approach to ease the burden of managing patients with chronic ocular conditions.”
The round was led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and included participation from existing investors Pontifax, Bpifrance, CapDecisif, and Inserm Transfert, as well as new investors, the Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund (Quark Venture LP and GF Securities) and Pureos Bioventures.