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Lausanne-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical startup Oculis has secured €13.8 million in Series B annexe funding round by led Tekla Capital Management, with participation from Nan Fung Life Sciences and existing investors. The startup aims to expand capacity and develop topical treatments for major ophthalmic diseases with the fund.
OCS-01 – counters Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
DME is an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy resulting in swelling (edema) in an area of the retina called the macula. Currently, under clinical trial, OCS-01 has been developed using Solubilizing Nanoparticle Technology (SNP) that enables non-invasive topical treatments for DME and improves their bioavailability in the pertinent eye tissues. Besides, OCS-01 is also an impending treatment for Post-cataract Surgery Inflammation.
OCS-02 – the foremost topical anti-TNF alpha therapy for Dry Eye Disease
Oculis plans to utilise the present funding to develop the novel treatment LME636 (to be renamed as OCS-02), an in-licensed asset from Novartis. Notably, LME636 has already been assessed in three clinical trials along with controlled studies. The studies established promising results for treating inflammatory conditions of the anterior part of the eye, such as Dry Eye Disease. Dry eye occurs when eye surface is not adequately lubricated by tears.
Oculis CEO Dr. Riad Sherif said: “Oculis is evolving and advancing rapidly. With this new fundraising, adding to the CHF20 million we raised a year ago, we have a strong financial position from which to drive our clinical development programs with OCS-01 and LME636/OCS-02 and to advance our portfolio of innovative candidates designed to address serious ophthalmic indications. We welcome our new investors and are delighted with the continued support of our existing investors as we execute our strategy to build a world-class ophthalmic company.”
What is investor’s viewpoint?
Managing Director at Nan Fung Life Sciences, Peter Bisgaard expressed, “I, and the team at Nan Fung Life Sciences, have been extremely impressed with vision and progress made by Oculis in building a company with the potential to significantly improve the treatment of ophthalmic diseases. By developing eye-drop treatments for both front and back-of-eye diseases, Oculis is working to develop safe, effective and comfortable treatments for millions of patients. I look forward to work with the team to contribute towards the Company’s further growth and development.”
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