BIOPHTA secures €6.5M Seed funding for eye disease treatment tech

BIOPHTA's ophthalmic insert simplifies eye treatment with a seven-day, medicated ophthalmic insert.
BIOPHTA secures €6.5M Seed funding for eye disease treatment tech

BIOPHTA, a preclinical biotech company developing technology for the treatment of eye diseases, has just closed a €6.5 million Seed round to bring its patented technology to clinical development. 

With a first program in the treatment of Glaucoma (Phase 1 in 2025) and a second program in Macular Edema (Phase 1 in 2026), BIOPHTA is currently targeting the two leading causes of blindness. 

Each year, approximately 1.3 million people worldwide become blind and another 36 million become severely visually impaired. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 billion of the world's cases of vision impairment could be prevented by adhering to currently available treatment regimens of self-administered daily eye drops or invasive intraocular injections.

However, the under-treatment rate in ophthalmology is still high, with about half of the patients not adhering to their treatment regimens for eye diseases.

BIOPHTA overcomes adherence issues encountered with traditional eye drops, as well as the high cost and invasiveness of frequent and painful intraocular injections. 

Its unique topical, noninvasive, and self-administered therapy provides continuous drug micro-dosing for 7 days, improving the efficacy of eye treatments. 

Breakthrough biopolymers tech 

BIOPHTA has developed a new standard of care for ocular diseases based on its “thiomer” biopolymers technological platform. Its ophthalmic insert (3mm diameter mini-tablet) is simply placed on the surface of the eye as easily as a contact lens.

Once applied, BIOPHTA’s ophthalmic insert transforms into a hydrogel pellet that stays in place on the eye without moving, and delivers a continuous and controlled low dose of drug for 7 days.

It disrupts both front-of-the-eye as well as retina treatments. 

“With this funding, we are taking a major step towards the clinical validation of our technology in Glaucoma and then in Macular Edema. Our ambition does not stop here, and we remain fully dedicated to bringing sight-saving therapies to all patients in need of simple and efficient treatments,” said Jean Garrec, founder and CEO of BIOPHTA. "

UI Investissement, Elaia, and GO Capital led the round as well as Unither Pharmaceuticals and  HTL Biotechnology. 

François Fournier, CEO  of HTL Biotechnology and Eric Goupil, CEO of Unither Pharmaceuticals commented: 

“We are delighted to support BIOPHTA and bring our respective expertise to this disruptive innovation in ophthalmology, which will improve patients' lives.” 

Just the beginning for ocular disease treatment

The ophthalmic insert technology could also help treat allergic conjunctivitis), dry eye syndrome, post-cataract surgery, and age-related macular degeneration. 

BIOPHTA was co-founded in 2020 by pharmacists, Jean Cuiné (Universities of Strasbourg and  Monash) and Jean Garrec (Universities of Rennes I and Paris V). 

BIOPHTA has received the EIT Health Headstart award from the European Union, the Healthy  Longevity award from the US Academy of Medicine, the i-Lab prize by the French Ministry of  Research, awardee of the innov’UP Leader PIA by France 2030 and Région Île-de-France, as well as the Gold Medal from the Boston biotechnology summit. 

With its first program in the treatment of Glaucoma (Phase 1 in 2025, $8.7 billion market) and a second program in Macular Edema (Phase 1 in 2026, $9.6 billion market), BIOPHTA is currently targeting the two leading causes of blindness worldwide. 

Lead image: Joe Stavely.

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