Swiss startup Oculis raises €13.8 million for its eye drops to treat ophthalmic diseases

Oculis-startup

Lausanne-based biopharmaceutical startup Oculis develops novel, topical treatments for major ophthalmic diseases. It has just raised €13.8 million in a Series B extension round led by Tekla Capital Management, with participation from Nan Fung Life Sciences and previous investors, bringing the total amount raised by the company to €31.6 million.

The funds will be used to expand the company’s portfolio and advance the development of its emerging pipeline of topical treatments for ophthalmic diseases.

Oculis primarily produces eye drops for conditions like Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), a build up of fluids in the retina due to leaking blood vessels resulting in vision impairment, as well as for post-surgery ocular inflammation. Its key candidate for treatment, OCS-01, is currently in clinical trials.

Oculis will also use the funds to develop the new treatment LME636 (to be renamed OCS-02) which it has in-licensed from Novartis, and has already been evaluated in three clinical trials including controlled studies. The studies demonstrated that the LME636 shows promise for treating inflammatory conditions of the anterior segment of the eye, such as Dry Eye Disease.

Dr. Riad Sherif, CEO of Oculis, commented: “Oculis is evolving and advancing rapidly. With this new fundraising, adding to the €18 million we raised a year ago, we have a strong financial position from which to drive our clinical development programs with OCS-01 and LME636/OCS-02 and to advance our portfolio of innovative candidates designed to address serious ophthalmic indications. We welcome our new investors and are delighted with the continued support of our existing investors as we execute our strategy to build a world-class ophthalmic company.”

Peter Bisgaard, Managing Director at Nan Fung Life Sciences, added: “I, and the team at Nan Fung Life Sciences, have been extremely impressed with vision and progress made by Oculis in building a company with the potential to significantly improve the treatment of ophthalmic diseases. By developing eye-drop treatments for both front- and back-of-eye diseases, Oculis is working to develop safe, effective and comfortable treatments for millions of patients. I look forward to working with the team to contribute towards the Company’s further growth and development.”

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