For immediate release
Exonate closes successful £1.5 million fundraising
Funds to accelerate development of lead product - an eye drop treatment for retinal neovascular diseases
Cambridge, UK – 3rd January 2019: Exonate, an early stage biotechnology company, today announces the successful closing of its fourth financing round, raising £1.5 million.
In addition to the Angel CoFund, the Company received further investment from Australian venture fund Uniseed; University of Bristol Enterprise Fund, managed by Parkwalk; Martlet of Cambridge; Wren Capital; O2h Ventures; as well as further Angel investors. The Company has raised approximately £9 million in total to date.
The funds raised will be used to accelerate the development of Exonate’s lead product, an eye drop for the treatment of retinal neovascular diseases. The Company continues to make substantial progress and in February 2018, achieved a key milestone with the nomination of its preferred compound for pre-clinical development. Development of this lead product is on track to enter clinical trials in the first indication, Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO), in 2020.
Exonate’s strategy is to introduce a revolutionary, game changing topical eye drop for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases. The Company has developed small molecules that inhibit the production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through the selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing. Already these inhibitors have demonstrated superior efficacy as topical agents in preclinical models of wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD).
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Catherine Beech, CEO of Exonate, said: “I am very pleased with the successful closing of this funding round. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our shareholders, both existing and new, for their continued support and belief in our strategy, science and team. Exonate believes that our approach to retinal diseases has the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives by providing greater efficacy of a drug, and an alternative option to the current treatment of injections straight into the eye. The monies raised will enable us to progress the first of our innovative treatments towards clinical development.”
Sarah Buchallet, Marketing
Catherine Beech, CEO
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 437042
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Natalie Garland-Collins / Lucy McKeone
Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on alternative splicing of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in ophthalmology. Exonate’s lead programme is focused on Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DMO, is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula and wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD), which is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and older. The Company is founded on scientific excellence with strong links to Professor David Bates and his lab at Nottingham University specialising in the biology and biochemical pathways of VEGF splice variants.
Exonate have developed small molecules that inhibit production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing. These inhibitors have already demonstrated superior efficacy as topical agents in preclinical models of wet AMD. Through a Wellcome Trust funded project, Exonate will complete an optimisation programme to nominate a pre-clinical candidate drug with optimal characteristics ahead of regulatory toxicology and safety pharmacology studies which will support an application to the regulatory authorities for clinical evaluation. Exonate expects to reach this milestone and enter the clinic in early 2020.
Exonate is led by an experienced, international management team that has previously worked together with cross-disciplinary experience in medicine and drug development, as well as successful fundraising for early stage companies.
About Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO)*:
DMO is the build-up of fluid (Oedema) in a region of the retina called the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognising faces, and driving. DMO is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop DMO and although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens, DMO can happen at any stage of the disease.
About wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD):
Today, wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 years or older and affects more than 30 million patients worldwide, over 200,000 of those in the UK alone. If untreated patients are likely to lose sight in the affected eye within 24 months of disease onset.
The main currently available treatment options for DMO and wet AMD are:
· anti-VEGF antibody drugs – to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in the eye. Unlike small molecule drugs or eye drops these treatments must be injected into the eye once every 1 or 2 months. Resistance can develop to these drugs causing the disease to progress anew.
· Laser surgery – to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye. This type of surgery is only suitable if blood vessel damage is not too extensive and if the abnormal blood vessels aren't close to the fovea, as performing surgery close to this part of the eye can cause permanent vision loss.
· With DMO, Corticosteroids either injected or implanted into the eye, may be used alone or in combination with other drugs or laser surgery to treat DMO.
Please contact Sarah Buchallet at Exonate for further information 01223 437042 firstname.lastname@example.org