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GEN News Highlights : Jan 4, 2011

PanOptica Raises $30M in Series A and Licenses Neovascular AMD Candidate

Drug acquired from OSI Pharmaceuticals is expected to start clinical studies in ophthalmology during 2012.

Ophthalmology firm PanOptica raised $30M in a Series A financing round, and acquired worldwide ophthalmic rights to a clinical-stage small molecule selective VEGF inhibitor from OSI Pharmaceuticals. The Series A financing was led by SV Life Sciences and Third Rock Ventures.

The newly acquired drug candidate, designated PAN-90806, will be developed as a topical treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (neovascular AMD), a disorder which PanOptica points out is currently treated using anti-VEGF injections into the eye. PAN-90806 has previously been evaluated in clinical studies for oncology indications, and in preclinical studies in ocular angiogenesis models, topically administered PAN-90806 suppressed the formation of new blood vessels, PanOptica points out. The firm projects starting a Phase I clinical study for the ophthalmology indication during 2012.

Established in 2009, PanOptica’s goal is to acquire IND or near-IND stage assets and mature them to clinical proof of concept. The Series A investment will allow the firm to push on with clinical trials and expand its pipeline, notes Paul Chaney, co-founder, president, and CEO at PanOptica. “We’re thrilled to have completed our Series A financing, which enables us to advance PAN-90806 through Phase II clinical trials, complete a licensing deal for a second compound and develop it through Phase II, and select a third asset, which we’re actively seeking.”