Queen’s University Belfast spinout Re-Vana Therapeutics is focused on the future of treating chronic eye diseases.

Privately-held specialty therapeutic and drug delivery company Re-Vana Therapeutics has raised $3.25m (€2.9m) in pre-Series A financing.

The pre-series A round was oversubscribed by more than $1m and closed in two tranches. The first tranche of $2.08m was led by ExSight Ventures, with participation from InFocus Capital Partners and existing UK investors, including TechStart Ventures, Clarendon Fund Managers and Qubis Ltd. Visionary Ventures led the second closing round of $1.17m, with additional investment from existing investors.

“Financing from new and existing investors during this challenging time is a testament to the potential of Re-Vana’s technologies”

Founded in 2016 Re-Vana is a technology spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast. The company is developing sustained release ophthalmic therapeutics that can reduce the frequency of intravitreal injections required to treat a wide range of retinal diseases, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

The Re-Vana platform has the potential to deliver at least 4 to 6 months sustained delivery of a large molecule biologic, including anti-VEGF therapies. Re-Vana’s technology could spur a new generation of glaucoma medications that may reduce or eliminate the need for eye drops by delivering small molecules for six-to-nine months or longer.

The future of eye treatment

In addition, Re-Vana’s technology may enable the development of a new class of therapeutic products built on the company’s proprietary photocrosslinked sustained-release technology. Re-Vana has also secured the rights to a novel nanoparticle polymer-based drug delivery technology for ophthalmic applications.

In conjunction with this financing, Re-Vana’s board of directors and scientific advisory teams have been further enhanced. The board of directors has been strengthened by the appointment of Garrett Hamontree of Visionary Ventures and James Murray of ExSight Ventures, as well as board observers Robert Avery, MD, of Visionary Ventures and Ron Weiss, MD, of InFocus Capital Partners. Dr. Avery of Visionary Ventures will join Firas Rahhal, MD, and Michael Nissen, MD, both of ExSight Ventures, on Re-Vana’s scientific advisory board.

“Financing from new and existing investors during this challenging time is a testament to the potential of Re-Vana’s technologies for sustained delivery of both biologic and small molecule therapeutics,” said Michael O’Rourke, president and of Re-Vana Therapeutics.

“We are especially fortunate to have three highly respected, US ophthalmic-focused investors join our board. Their proven knowledge and expertise in ophthalmology will be an invaluable addition to Re-Vana as we initiate pre-clinical development and expand our strategic partnerships.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 3 June, 2020

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