Oculis raises CHF15.5m in extended funding round to expand portfolio

RegeneRx & Lee's Pharm accelerating eye treatment in China
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Ramona Heim

Oculis has raised a further CHF15.5 million in an extension of its Series B financing round, announced in January 2018, bringing the total raised to CHF35.5 million.

The extension round was led by funds managed by Tekla Capital Management and included Nan Fung Life Sciences, both new investors, as well as Oculis’ current investors.

The funds will be used to expand the company’s portfolio through strategic in-licensing, and to advance the development of its emerging pipeline of novel topical (eye drop) treatments for major ophthalmic diseases.

Key among its clinical candidates is OCS-01 (formerly OC-118), currently in clinical trials in patients with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and in preparation to enter clinical development for post-surgery ocular inflammation.

Oculis will also use the funds to develop its newly in-licensed asset LME636 from Novartis, a topical anti-TNF alpha antibody.

Efficacy and safety of LME636 (to be renamed OCS-02) have been evaluated in three clinical trials including controlled studies under IND by Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research.

The studies demonstrated a promising profile for treating inflammatory conditions of the anterior segment of the eye, including Dry Eye Disease and offers Oculis the opportunity to address unmet medical needs of patients with potentially the first topical anti-TNF alpha therapy for ophthalmic indications.

In conjunction with this fundraising, Henry Skinner,Senior Vice President at Tekla Capital Management, is joining the Oculis Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director.