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Exonate’s CEO, Dr Catherine Beech to speak at The Commonwealth Innovation Forum (TCIF), Brisbane 2018

Posted on 4 Apr 2018

Cambridge, UK – 3 April 2018: Exonate an early stage biotechnology company, today announces that its CEO Dr Catherine Beech will speak at The Commonwealth Innovation Forum (TCIF) in Brisbane on Thursday 5th April 2018.

The forum will coincide with the Commonwealth Games being held in Queensland and will explore innovation into new therapeutic products and treatments, and the outcomes that create renewable and environmentally responsible sources of fuels and products.

Catherine will join the panel entitled ‘The Women of Commonwealth: Driving Innovation’, which will be an interactive discussion exploring the opportunities businesses have when dealing with stakeholders in Commonwealth Nations. The forum will draw speakers from across the Commonwealth Nations and leverage the presence of the Commonwealth dignitaries who will be visiting at that time.


Throughout the discussion, Catherine will draw on her experience in founding, growing and investing in early stage companies to commercialise novel technologies in the life sciences. Catherine is the co-founder and CEO of Exonate a UK biotechnology company which using small molecules discovered  in the University of New South Wales , Australia, to develop a revolutionary, game-changing eye drop for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases including diabetic macular oedema (DME) and wet AMD,  the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.

The aim of the TCIF is ‘to understand that innovation is truly our common wealth – and explore how to best work together to share wealth’. This year, TCIF runs from Thursday 5th – Friday 6th April 2018 and is based at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia.

Dr Catherine Beech, Chief Executive Officer, commented

“It is an honour to be invited to speak at the TCIF and specifically on a panel highlighting the important contribution that women innovators and entrepreneurs bring to improving healthcare across the globe, an area I am passionate about and have dedicated my career to. Current treatment for diseases like wAMD is expensive, effective in less than 40% of patients, and injected directly into the eye monthly.  At Exonate, we want to profoundly improve the lives of those suffering from vision loss and we believe that our technology has the potential to produce formulations that are administered as eye drops; which will not only offer improved quality of life for patients, but also at a much lower administrative cost.  TCIF offers Exonate the opportunity to meet truly inspirational innovators from across the Commonwealth and to talk about the importance of women driving science and leading businesses.”

A copy of the discussion will be available on Exonate’s website after TCIF closes. For further information on the meeting and to view the full programme please visit the TCIF website:


Exonate Limited
Tel:  +44 (0) 1223 437042
Louise Shave, Marketing

FTI Consulting
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Mo Noonan / Lucy McKeone

About Exonate

Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in areas of unmet need, such as ophthalmology, pain, nephropathy and cancer.  Exonate’s lead programme is focused on Diabetic macular oedema (DME). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME 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 (DME)*

DME 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. DME is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop DME and although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens, DME can happen at any stage of the disease.

About wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD)

Today, wAMD 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 current standard-of-care treatment options for DME and wAMD are

Anti-VEGF antibody drugs – to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in the Unlike small molecule drugs or eye drops, these treatments must be injected into the eye once every 1-2 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.
With DME, Corticosteroids either injected or implanted into the eye, may be used alone or in combination with other drugs or laser surgery to treat DME


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