Stoic Venture Capital biopharmaceutical investee company Exonate has begun clinical trials of an eye drop treatment for retinal vascular disease such as macular degeneration and diabetic macular oedema, in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson.
If successful, Exonate’s eye drop treatment could significantly improve the lives of millions of people living with retinal vascular disease.
Stoic Venture Capital is the Co-Investment Fund of Uniseed, a commercialisation fund which focuses on financing early-stage companies that emerge from Uniseed’s member universities.
The initial work to discover the molecule used in the trial was at the University of NSW in collaboration with Exonate.
Stoic Venture Capital Partner Dr Geoff Waring said Exonate was an example of how venture capital was helping Australian research grow into international leaders in the biopharmaceutical field.
“Exonate is an example of how venture capital and universities can work together to commercialise important research that addresses the critical health needs of our aging society like macular degeneration,” Dr Waring said.
“Stoic Venture Capital is excited to assist Exonate on its journey towards clinical trials that are now being conducted at centres across Australia including UNSW.”
Exonate is domiciled in Cambridge England. Investment by Stoic Venture Capital and Uniseed, has supported research and development at UNSW.
Exonate’s eye drop treatment could provide a safer, more effective and less painful alternative to the only treatment currently available which involves injections into the back of the eye.
Retinal vascular diseases such as macular degeneration are the main cause of adult blindness in developed countries.
One out of every 20 people aged 65 years and over live with macular degeneration in Australia. This increases with age to approximately one in seven people aged 85 years and over.
“Exonate’s partnership with a pharmaceutical giant such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals reinforces Stoic Venture Capital’s specialisation in commercialisation of university research,” Dr Waring said.
Exonate is one of 9 healthcare companies in Stoic Venture Capital’s total portfolio of 17 companies:
• Cardihab (Digital cardiac rehab);
• Ena Therapeutics (Enhancing immunity to fight respiratory diseases);
• Certa Therapeutics (Drug for treating kidney disease);
• Kinoxis (Addiction rehabilitation);
• Occurx (Drug to treat eye damage from diabetes);
• Que Oncology (Breast cancer treatment side effects);
• Ferronova (Magnetic nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis); and
• Q-Sera (Blood collection).