EyeGate Raises $22.6M In Venture Funding

blueeyeEyeGate Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specializing in therapeutics for ocular diseases, has raised $22.6 million in Series D funding.  The money will be used to further the company’s development of EGP-437 to treat dry eye syndrome. EGP-437 is a corticosteroid solution that was shown to reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome in a Phase II clinical trial.

The centerpiece of Waltham, Mass.-based EyeGate’s pipeline is its proprietary EyeGate II delivery system.  EyeGate II uses a method called iontophoresis, in which a low-level electrical current is used to increase the permeability of cells so that drugs may more easily reach affected tissue.

Dry eye syndrome is characterized by a reduced quantity of tears,  eye irritation, dryness and visual disturbances.  This common condition affects an estimated 20 to 40 million people in the United States. In a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, patients with dry eye syndrome reported that their symptoms interfered with everyday activities such as reading, work, computer use and driving.

Other companies working in this space include Tubilux Pharma, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, ISTA Pharmaceuticals and Novagali. TearLab Corporation is developing a point of care test for the quick diagnosis of dry eye syndrome.

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