A Medical Device Daily
EyeGate Pharma (Paris), a company pioneering the use of iontophoresis technology to non-invasively deliver therapeutics for ocular indications, reported that it has closed on a $2 million extension of its Series B venture round, bringing the total of the financing to $12 million.
This additional funding comes from the Nexus Group (Waltham, Massachusetts) and brings the total venture investment in EyeGate to $16 million.
The first tranche of EyeGate’s Series B round was co-led by Innoven Partenaires and existing investor Ventech (both Paris). EyeGate originally reported that it planned to secure funding for up to $10 million, and in keeping the round open for potential U.S. venture firms to become part of the syndicate it secured another $2 million in funding.
As part of the transaction, Thomas Hancock, principal of the Nexus Group, will be joining EyeGate’s board.
“EyeGate has built an impressive ocular delivery platform with a strong intellectual property position that will address large markets with unmet medical needs,” said Hancock. “This platform fits well into the broader therapeutic ophthalmology space and has the potential to deliver a pipeline of commercially attractive compounds. It also provides significant opportunities for partnering.”
“The EyeGate II delivery system represents a much needed safe and non-invasive alternative to ocular injections, implants or eye drops for drug delivery with higher localized concentration to the front and back of the eye,” said Stephen From, president/CEO of EyeGate. He said the additional round “will help to accelerate EyeGate Pharma’s clinical candidate for severe uveitis, which will be delivered using the EyeGate II Delivery System, into the clinic in the second half of 2007.”
EyeGate was founded in 1998 with technology licensed from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami (Miami, Florida). EyeGate’s transscleral — meaning across the sclera, or white protective outer membrane of the eye — iontophoresis technology, the EyeGate II delivery system, can be applied to deliver a wide range of therapeutics to both the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye.
The company said an 89-patient pilot study, using the company’s first-generation device, demonstrated “exceptional patient tolerance with a significant decrease in inflammatory markers and a concurrent increase in visual acuity.”
In other financings news:
• Health Care Property Investors (HCP; Long Beach, California) reported that it has priced a public offering of 6.77 million shares of its common stock. HCP has granted the underwriters a 10-day option to purchase another 1.02 million shares of common stock. The shares will be offered on an at-the-market basis pursuant to an effective registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay amounts outstanding under HCP’s credit facilities and for general corporate purposes.
The sole underwriter for the offering is Goldman, Sachs & Co.
HCP invests directly or through joint ventures in healthcare facilities.
• Female Health (Chicago) reported a program to repurchase up to 1 million shares of its common stock. The program will remain in place for a period of one year.
The company’s board approved this program because it said it believes the market has undervalued the company’s stock and that implementing a repurchase program represents a good use of its surplus cash.
The company said it will continue this program during the 12 months period as long as it believes its stock is undervalued.
Female Health manufactures the FC Female Condom, primarily distributed by public health organizations and donor groups in more than 90 developing countries. It says that the device is the only FDA-approved product controlled by a woman that offers dual protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy.