Vancouver, January 8, 2020 – Quark Venture LP and GF Securities participated in the USD $30 million Series B financing round announced today by Eyevensys, a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing non-viral gene therapies for ophthalmic and retinal diseases. The investment, made through the Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund, is part of the Series B financing round led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund. We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Neena Kadaba, PhD, Director of Science at Quark Venture was appointed as one of the two new Board of Directors members by Eyevensys.
Eyevensys will use the funds to continue the development of its clinical lead candidate EYS606 for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis, including the launch of the Electro Study, a Phase 2 trial conducted in the U.S. which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of EYS606 in patients with active forms of all anatomic uveitis subtypes. Non-infectious intermediate and posterior uveitis (NIU) is the fourth leading cause of blindness and is considered a rare disease afflicting approximately 250,000 patients in North America and Europe.
The funds will also be used to advance the preclinical development of other programs using the platform to target ophthalmic diseases with unaddressed medical needs such as retinitis pigmentosa and wet age-related macular degeneration.
“Our goal is to invest in breakthrough health science technology platforms that can lead to transformational change in addressing urgent and unmet medical needs,” said Ms. Karimah Es Sabar, CEO & Partner, Quark Venture and Director of the GHS Fund. “Eyevensys’ platform enables the production of therapeutic proteins in the eye with clear advantages over traditional methods and has already shown dramatic efficacy in early patients. We believe Eyevensys’ innovative approach can target multiple ophthalmic diseases that impact a significant number of patients”.
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 sustained effective levels for more than six months.
Dr. Patricia Zilliox, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled to have completed this Series B funding round with the strong support from both existing and new investors for the company. This funding will support 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 ground breaking technology platform. 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.”
About Quark Venture
Quark Venture LP is a venture capital company focused on equity financing of innovative biotechnology companies with breakthrough technology platforms. Our strategic goal is to continually support such entrepreneurial biotechnology companies to efficiently improve the technology platform and obtain high-growth value by providing diversified healthcare products or services. Quark’s proven success is achieved through long-term relationships with target companies that share similar technology innovation visions.
For information about Quark Venture or GF Securities visit https://www.quarkventure.com.
About Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund
Global Health Sciences Fund was jointly established by Quark Venture LP and GF Securities in 2016. Global Health Sciences Fund is a health sciences venture fund that invests globally in a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies that are addressing unmet medical needs through innovations in drug development, medical devices, health IT and emerging convergent technologies.
Eyevensys is a private 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 Dr. Francine Behar-Cohen in Paris, uses electroporation to deliver improved proprietary DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle of the eye. This approach facilitates the sustained intraocular production of therapeutic proteins.
Eyevensys’ lead product EYS606 is a potential new treatment for patients with chronic non-infectious uveitis (NIU). EYS606 combines Eyevensys’ proprietary Electrotransfection System 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 is currently in a phase I/II clinical trial in the EU and has been granted an Orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of NIU. The therapeutic potential of EYS606 in patients with active, chronic NIU will be further investigated in Part 2 of the ongoing EYS606-CT1 study in the EU and in a second phase 2 trial, the Electro Study (EYS606-CT2) that will be launched in the US in early 2020.
Eyevensys was founded in 2008. It is headquartered in Paris, France, incorporated and based in the U.S., and is funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Pureos Bioventures, BPIFrance, CapDecisif, Inserm Transfert, Pontifax and GHS Fund.
For more information about Eyevensys please visit www.eyevensys.com.
Media Contact:Kamran Shaikh, 778-846-5406