Eyestem raises $6.4 million, a breakthrough Dry AMD treatment in the horizon

Eyestem raises $6.4 million, a breakthrough Dry AMD treatment in the horizon

Cell therapy company, Eyestem has raised $6.4 million (Rs 51 crore) in a Series A round. The company’s patented flagship product, Eyecyte-RPE, is an experimental treatment for Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD), and it has additional medicines in development for the treatment of other fatal illnesses that impact people. 

“We started Eyestem with the sole purpose of being able to create cell therapy products at scale for diseases that devastate a large number of people in India and the world. The support of major Indian pharma companies who share our vision endorses our strategy of developing affordable innovation for patients worldwide. Post this funding, we will remain focussed on solidifying our cell therapy platform and moving our flagship product for Dry AMD through early clinical trials of an international standard.” Dr Jogin Desai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eyestem said,

Eyestem Cell-therapy is innovative

The company claims Patients with early-stage macular degeneration can regain vision with EyeCyte-RPE, which repairs damaged retinal pigment epithelial cells. Patients with later-stage macular degeneration can halt visual loss. The allogenic product is used surgically, has international and Indian patents, and is administered. In cooperation with CDSCO and the US FDA, the company plans to submit a first-in-human trial application for the product within a year.

Rajeev Nannapaneni, CEO, NATCO Pharma Limited, said, “We are very happy to be associated with Eyestem for its innovative work that services unmet needs of patients that have high impact for quality of life”.

Dr Ramesh Byrapaneni, Managing Partner of Endiya Partners said, “Endiya partners is delighted to back such strong, globally competitive innovative startups and participate in the current funding round. The addition of leading pharma and biotech investors on our cap table is a great validation of the world class science that Eyestem is pursuing, which can change millions of lives globally.”

Founded in 2016 by an experienced team of clinical research, regenerative medicine and ophthalmology experts, Eyestem is advised by a board and has built collaborations with other leaders in related scientific disciplines in India, the UK, Japan, and the United States. The long-term vision is to develop a scalable cell therapy platform to treat incurable diseases and democratize access to these newer technologies globally.

Existing investors Endiya Partners and Kotak Private Equity also participated in this Bengaluru based firm funding round, valuing Eyestem at $46.4 million (Rs 371 crore) post money.

The funding round was led by three pharma major–Biological E Limited (BE), Alkem, NATCO, and Anurag and Karan Bagaria, promoters of Kemwell Biopharma