Israeli co Azura Ophthalmics raises $16m


The Tel Aviv based company's dry eye treatment is preparing for a Phase IIa trial, having shown efficacy in an initial clinical proof of concept study.

Israeli clinical stage biotech company Azura Ophthalmicstoday has announced that it has closed a $16 million Series B financing round led by a syndicate of OrbiMed, TPG Biotech and Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialization Fund with participation from existing investor Ganot Capital. The investment comes at a key time of growth and will enable the Tel Aviv based company to advance development of drug therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) to the next stage of clinical research.

Azura Ophthalmics has also announced that Anat Naschitz, OrbiMed; Heather Preston, TPG Biotech and Chris Nave, Brandon Capital will join the board of directors alongside Guy Katsav, Ganot Capital, Marc Gleeson, and Yair Alster.

MGD patients represent one of the largest and most underserved segments in ophthalmology. If left untreated, MGD will alter the tear ?lm, causing eye irritation, in?ammation, and severe Dry Eye Disease (DED). The Tel Aviv based company's treatment is preparing for a Phase IIa trial, having shown efficacy in an initial clinical proof of concept study.

Meibomian glands are in the upper and lower eyelids and are responsible for producing the oily layer that forms the outermost layer of the tear film. This oil (lipid) layer, in conjunction with the watery layer of the tear film work together to maintain clear vision and ocular health. An intact lipid layer ensures tears do not evaporate and keeps the eyes moisturized and nourished. If this layer is disturbed, it leads to tears evaporating too quickly, drying out the ocular surface and resulting in damage to the front of the eye, discomfort, and a significant reduction in both quality of life and productivity.

“Our leadership team has had tremendous success, not only in ophthalmology start-ups, but also specifically in dry eye drug development and commercialization. The appointment of Charles Bosworth brings the necessary clinical and dry eye experience to our innovative approach to MGD. We are pleased to have such an accomplished healthcare leader join the team,” said Marc Gleeson, Chief Executive Officer. “With the support of our syndicate of investors and Ganot Capital we’re able to significantly expand our clinical efforts and attract the right talent and experience to execute our vision of providing treatment to those suffering from this disease.”

“This latest round of financing validates the strength of our team’s accomplishments to date and will fuel Azura’s unique and innovative approach to treating dry eye,” said Eugene de Juan, one of the founders. “We are now poised to further develop our clinical studies to demonstrate the drug’s efficacy and seek regulatory clearance.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 10, 2017

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