Fort Worth- and Paris-based eye treatment startup raises $30M for further development

Biotech startup Eyevensys, based in Paris and Fort Worth, has raised $30 million in Series B funding.

Eyevensys will use the funding to further its development of non-viral gene therapies for retinal and other ophthalmic diseases.

The startup has a groundbreaking technology that allows the delivery of DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle through an electroporation system.

The company said its technology can turn the eye into a biofactory, allowing the ciliary muscle to express and secrete the therapeutic protein to the back of the eye at therapeutic levels for a duration of greater than 6 months.

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“This funding will assist the further development of our technology and position Eyevensys as an innovator in the field of ophthalmology,” Eyevensys CEO Patricia Zilliox said.

Zilliox once led clinical development at Fort Worth’s Alcon Laboratories. She also worked for Alcon in Paris, where she oversaw its European ophthalmology clinical trials. She joined Eyevensys in 2018.

Eyevenesys recently opened a subsidiary in Fort Worth, where all U.S. operations are managed.

The company’s lead product, EYS606, combines Eyevensys’ proprietary Electrotransfection System to treat patients with chronic non-infectious uveitis. EYS606 is currently in phase I/II clinical trial in the EU and has been granted an Orphan drug designation.

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A Phase 2 trial – Electro Study – will be conducted in the U.S. within the next couple of months, the company said.

“As we launch the Electro Study, our first U.S. clinical trial, Eyevensys will also have an opportunity to connect with ophthalmology opinion leaders in the U.S. to gain further exposure for our groundbreaking technology platform,” Zilliox said.

The company is funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Pureos Bioventures, Bpifrance through the Innobio Fund, CapDecisif, Inserm Transfert Initiative, Pontifax and the Global Health Sciences Fund.

The latest round of funding was also led by five of its existing investors. New investors in the round included the Global Health Sciences Fund [Quark Venture LP and GF Securities] and Pureos Bioventures.

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This will also move the company one step closer to providing a more effective and convenient treatment approach to ease the burden of managing patients with chronic ocular conditions.”