Questioners probed the fine points during Iveric Bio Inc.’s conference call, but news proved unmistakably good with Zimura (avacincaptad pegol) in geographic atrophy (GA), and shares of the firm (NASDAQ:ISEE) closed Sept. 6 at $15.70, up $6.26, or 66%, on positive top-line data from Gather 2, the firm’s second phase III study.
Taiwan’s Brim Biotechnology Inc. announced a capital raise of $18 million to advance its lead candidate, regenerative peptide therapy BRM-421, to phase III trials for dry eye syndrome. It’s designed to offer relief from dry eye symptoms by stimulating proliferation and differentiation of stem cells to repair damage to the cornea. “Our goal is restoration and repair of the damage caused by DES,” said Brim founder and CEO Haishan Jang.
Ophthalmic therapy and device developer Alcon SA, of Geneva, further strengthened its portfolio by buying Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $770 million in equity. Aerie’s financial guidance for its glaucoma franchise puts net product revenue at $130 million to $140 million for all of 2022.
Opthea Ltd. has secured nondilutive funding to complete phase III development and commence commercialization of its wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) treatment OPT-302, in a $170 million agreement with Launch Therapeutics, an operating company set up earlier this year by the private equity group Carlyle to manage biotech investments. Under the terms of the deal, Launch will now commit $120 million in three instalments at fixed time points, with an option to invest a further $50 million.
Positive data from Unity Biotechnology Inc.’s phase II study of UBX-1325, a senolytic BCL-XL inhibitor for treating diabetic macular edema, boosted the stock out of the penny range. Shares of the South San Francisco-based company’s stock (NASDAQ:UBX) rose sharply, 54% on Aug. 12, to $1.31 each.
The phase III miss disclosed Aug. 11 by Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co. Ltd. subsidiary Kubota Vision Inc. in Stargardt disease put more eyes on the rare, inherited, juvenile-onset form of macular degeneration, for which nothing is approved.
Researchers are closer to better diagnosing and treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD) after discovering new genetic signatures of the disease by reprogramming stem cells to generate high-resolution disease models.
Frontera Therapeutics Inc. raised $160 million in a series B funding round to develop its lead gene therapy product candidate for retinal disease, FT-001, for which INDs have been approved by the U.S. FDA and China NMPA.
China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved Ocumension Therapeutics Ltd.’s and Eyepoint Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drug-device combination product, Yutiq (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant), for chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye.
Kriya Therapeutics Inc. has raised a $270 million series C financing to further develop its pipeline of gene therapies for treating cancer, ophthalmological problems, and rare and chronic diseases. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has greatly expanded its employee roster, from about seven people to around 160 people, since its $80 million series A in May 2020 and scaled its learning-enabled tech and cloud computing abilities. It also further solidified its technology, manufacturing, R&D, and therapeutics units, something it plans to continue with the series C money.