One of Queen’s technology spin-out companies, Re-Vana Therapeutics, has attracted £10m of investment for research into sight-threatening eye disease.
The company’s innovative method of sustained-release therapeutics can replace regular invasive treatment, increasing the quality of care for patients.
The investment comes from a financing round led by Visionary Ventures with additional US investors ExSight Ventures, InFocus Capital Partners and existing UK investors TechStart Ventures, Co Fund NI and Qubis Ltd.
In conjunction with this financing, Re-Vana’s Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board have been further strengthened by the appointment of Robert Avery MD of Visionary Ventures to the Board of Directors and Michael O’Rourke as Board Chair.
Speaking about the investment, Michael O’Rourke, President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair of Re-Vana Therapeutics said: “Financing from new and existing investors during this challenging time is a testament to the potential of Re-Vana’s technologies for sustained delivery of biologic therapeutics.
We are especially fortunate to have received financing from multiple, highly-respected, US ophthalmic-focused venture capital firms and UK investors. Their proven knowledge and expertise in ophthalmology are invaluable additions to Re-Vana as we accelerate the development of our biologic therapeutics pipeline and expand our strategic partnerships.”
Re-Vana was cofounded by Professor Raj Thakur and Queen’s University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor David Jones. Welcoming the multi million pound investment, Professor Jones said: “This multi million pound investment reflects the expertise and innovation that Northern Ireland generates and we are delighted that Re-Vana can continue its ground breaking work in ophthalmology.
Queen’s University is a driver of innovation and talent and we are proud of our research and academic excellence as societal and economic drivers in Belfast, Northern Ireland and across the globe.”
Professor Raj Thakur added: “There has been a longstanding challenge in maintaining the necessary drug levels to treat a range of ocular diseases without frequent administrations. Our novel concept of photocrosslinked drug delivery systems means the need for intravitreal injections can be greatly reduced, decreasing the burden on patients and healthcare systems”.
Re-Vana was established to focus on the development of internal therapeutics as well as external strategic collaborations with industry and, to date has raised more than $17.75M to support the development of sustained release biologics.”
On behalf of Queen’s QUBIS has supported over 100 spin-out companies which raise millions of pounds of investment, creating thousands of jobs. QUBIS CEO Brian McCaul said: “We are proud to have helped form Re-Vana, becoming their first investor and continuing to show our support in each round. To see this company attract investment for so many US based specialist Ophthalmology funds is a testament to the innovative potential of Queen’s research and Northern Ireland innovation capability.”