Eyevensys said today that it took a Series A round to $10 million (€9 million) after an extension led by Pontifax Venture Capital.
The Paris-based biotech said it plans to use the funds to secure clinical development of EYS606, its lead candidate for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis. Its EyeCET technology is the 1st non-viral product that allows sustained production of therapeutic proteins 6 to 12 months after injection, according to Eyevensys.
The electro-transfection injection system is designed to deliver plasmids that encode for the production of anti-TNFα in the ciliary muscle of the eye. TNFα is a cytokine, a cell-signaling molecule, that’s deployed during an immune response and plays a role in intraocular inflammation.
The sustained release of anti-TNFα will help control the inflammation characteristic to non-infectious uveitis, according to Eyevensys. The company plans to start an open-label, Phase Ib study in ophthalmological centers in France and the UK by the end of 2016 to assess the efficacy of its candidate.
“We are grateful that Pontifax, a leading health-care dedicated venture fund, alongside our existing investors, share our excitement about the potential of EyeCET’s technology to deliver long-lasting treatment to address a wide range of ophthalmic diseases,” CEO Raffy Kazandjian said in prepared remarks. “This extension funding supports our clinical strategy on EYS606 and will also allow us to start to unlock the potential of our pre-clinical pipeline.”
“Delivering drugs to the eye is one of the major challenges in the ophthalmology area. Eyevensys’ innovative EyeCET technology brings a truly novel approach to treating ophthalmic diseases with the potential to offer significant clinical benefit as well as improved patient convenience. We are looking forward to supporting the Eyevensys team, with the guidance of the founder, Professor Francine Behar-Cohen, in developing innovative therapies to treat complex ophthalmic diseases,” added Ohad Hammer of Pontifax Venture Capital, who joined the Eyevensys board after it closed the Series A round.