BioTech Oxular raises £27m to treat diabetic eye disease

Posted on March 4, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

diabetic macular edema

An Oxford BioTech has raised £27 million to treat diabetic macular edema. 

The investment into Oxular, led by specialist life sciences investor Forbionwill fund Phase 2 human clinical studies evaluating its 12-month treatment for the eye disease affecting people with diabetes. 

DME is a serious retinal disease that affects 24 million people globally and is the leading cause of blindness in young adults in developed countries.  

A key challenge facing patients with DME is the need for frequent clinic visits for repeated treatment injections. To address this, OXU-001, an innovative, sustained-release formulation of dexamethasone, provides up to 12 months’ treatment effects following a single administration.  

Dexamethasone is a well-known, safe and effective treatment for inflammatory retinal diseases, including DME. 

Oxular’s products include Oxuspheres, a drug-containing biodegradable polymer system, designed as an adjustable, sustained release formulation, and Oxulumi, a semi-automated ocular administration device utilising an advantageous route of administration to deliver therapeutics for the treatment of retinal diseases.  

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Forbion is a dedicated European life sciences venture capital firm that manages over €1.7 billion of investments and works closely with entrepreneurs to build life sciences companies that will change the future of medicine. In the financing, Forbion were joined by existing investors IP Group, NeoMed, and V-Bio Ventures.  

“We are pleased to add such a renowned investor as Forbion to our already supportive investor base, including IP Group, NeoMed, and V-Bio Ventures,” said CEO Thomas Cavanagh.  

“These are experienced healthcare investors who see the potential of Oxular’s disruptive technology and innovative treatment approach – which is, tissue-specific delivery of potent drug products that safely provide up to 12-months’ treatment durability for retinal disease.  

“Through longer-lasting treatments and better efficacy, safety and delivery we aim to offer retinal patients truly life-changing solutions to their unmet needs.” 

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Proceeds from the financing will also accelerate development of Oxular’s early-product pipeline, while building its team to support future clinical trials and expanded R&D activities. The company plans to progress a novel treatment for Retinoblastoma into Phase 2 human clinical studies in 2022.  

Dr. Dmitrij Hristodorov, Principal at Forbion, will join the Oxular board. 

Oxular has built an exceptional platform that has the potential to unlock the full therapeutic potential of potent molecules and significantly improve patients’ lives by providing safe, efficacious and convenient treatment options,” he said.  

We are pleased to lead this financing round and look forward to seeing the progress that the team at Oxular makes over the coming years, in both its clinical and preclinical programs.” 

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