PARIS & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eyevensys, a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing non-viral gene therapies for ophthalmic diseases, today announces it has raised $12M in a Series B Plus funding round. Korea Investment Partners is leading the Series B Plus financing and existing investors will also join the round.
The financing will support Eyevensys’ accelerated development of its EYS809 program for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in the eye. The condition accounts for approximately 90 percent of all AMD-related blindness. Additionally, the company will advance its EYS611 program targeting geographic atrophy (GA) and retinitis pigmentosa.
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 to sustainably treat major eye diseases. 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.
Eyevensys has validated its electrotransfection technology in the clinic through its EYS606 program for non-infectious uveitis, a sight-threatening intraocular inflammatory condition characterized by inflammation of the uvea. This same Electrotransfection System will be used to deliver relevant therapeutic proteins to the eye for Eyevensys’ other EYS809 and EYS611 programs.
“We're thrilled to announce this funding round, which will help us move forward in our mission to develop life-changing solutions for patients with debilitating eye diseases,” said Dr. Patricia Zilliox, CEO of Eyevensys. “We are also excited to have the support of Korea Investment Partners and our existing investors as we pivot to refocus on our additional programs focused on wet AMD and retinitis pigmentosa. This funding will allow us to demonstrate that treating ophthalmic conditions doesn’t have to be invasive and risky, and that our approach is more convenient than other intraocular drug delivery approaches.”
Sangwoo Lee, Managing Director of Korea Investment Partners, said: “Eyevensys’ non-viral gene therapy platform is both highly innovative and meets important medical needs. We are thrilled to join Eyevensys in advancing its mission to treat eye diseases.”
Wedbush PacGrow acted as the exclusive placement agent for the Series B Plus financing.
About Korea Investment Partners
Korea Investment Partners (KIP) is South Korea’s leading venture capital and private equity firm with over 35 years of experience investing in bold and innovative entrepreneurs who want to change the world. KIP manages over 20 venture and private equity funds with over $3.3 billion AUM. The company operates globally from its Seoul headquarters office with other locations in the US, China, and Singapore.
Eyevensys is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing its innovative technology to enable the sustained intraocular production of therapeutic proteins to treat a broad range of ophthalmic diseases.
The Eyevensys technology, developed by Pr. Francine Behar-Cohen, uses electroporation to deliver proprietary DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle of the eye. This approach induces the sustained intraocular production of therapeutic proteins.
Eyevensys is advancing a dual gene plasmid, EYS809, expressing two therapeutic proteins, a potent VEGF inhibitor and an endogenous protein with anti-angiogenic and antifibrotic properties for the treatment of wet AMD which also has the potential be a treatment for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and central retinal vein occlusion.
Eyevensys is also developing EYS611, a treatment for the later stages of dry AMD and for retinitis pigmentosa and potentially other retinal degenerative conditions including glaucoma. The treatment encodes for a potent iron chelator with antioxidant and endogenous neuroprotective properties. In animal models, the treatment has been shown to be safe and effective at slowing the degeneration of retinal structure and preserving function. EYS611 has been granted Orphan drug designation for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa in the EU and in the US.
Additionally, Eyevensys has developed EYS606 as a potential new treatment for patients with chronic non-infectious uveitis (NIU). The therapy has been used to validate the proprietary Electrotransfection System, which in the case of EYS606, is combined with plasmids encoding for the production of a potent fusion protein which neutralizes the activity of TNFα, a cytokine that has been shown to play a pivotal role in mediating intraocular inflammation in NIU. EYS606 has been granted an orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of NIU.
Eyevensys was founded in 2008. The company has offices in Paris, France and the U.S. The company is funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Pureos Bioventures, Bpifrance through the Innobio Fund, Karista, Inserm Transfert Initiative, Pontifax and the Global Health Sciences Fund.
For more information about Eyevensys, please visit www.eyevensys.com.