Early stage biotechnology company targeting ophthalmology and potentially pain and cancer
Funding to develop treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD)
Cambridge, UK, Monday 5th October 2015 – Exonate, an early stage biotechnology company, today announced they have successfully closed their latest funding round including investment from the Angel CoFund. This brings the total amount raised by Exonate to just under £800,000 to date. The investment will be used to fund development of Exonate’s first therapeutic area of interest – an eye drop for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration as a potential alternative to the current treatment by eye injections.
Exonate has an experienced international management team, with a wealth of clinical and start-up experience. The team is led by Dr Catherine Beech, Chief Executive Officer, who spoke of her excitement at closing this funding round: “I am very pleased to announce that we have successfully closed this round of funding. Exonate’s pre-clinical data is proving to be very powerful and we have a clear aspiration to successfully deliver medicines in areas of unmet need. The funding will enable us to grow our data package in the hope that our molecules, as easily administered eye drops, will change the lives of patients with wet Age-Related macular degeneration, and potentially other areas such as cancer, in the future.”
Tim Mills, Investment Director, Angel CoFund commented: “We are really pleased to be backing Catherine and the exceptional team she has built up with Exonate. The funding round will play an important role in helping them develop a vastly improved treatment for age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of loss of vision) and improve the quality of life of sufferers. The Angel CoFund looks to support high-growth teams who are creating solutions with the potential to change industries, and Exonate are certainly an exciting company to watch in this space.”
Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech, company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). The Company has a growing investor base led by Nottingham Angels Network, University of Nottingham and IP Group. It aspires to successfully deliver medicines in areas of unmet need, such as ophthalmology, pain, nephropathy and cancer, by targeting diseases through regulation of VEGF isoforms/variants that are both protective and disease promoting. Exonate’s lead program is focused on wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration, known as wet AMD, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and older. The Company is founded on scientific excellence with strong links to Prof. David Bates and his lab at Nottingham University specialising in the biology and biochemical pathways of VEGF splice variants.
Exonate is led by an experienced, international management team that has worked together previously, successfully raising capital for start-ups and early stage companies over many years. Management has cross-disciplinary experience in medicine, finance, drug development and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. CEO Catherine Beech, OBE, has over 25 years biotech/pharma experience including 12 years in big pharma leading development programs in cardiovascular, Parkinson’s disease and HIV. Exonate is her fourth role as CEO of an emerging biotech company and also has extensive experience as a non-executive board director.
About wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD):
Today, wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 years or older and affects more than 30 million patients worldwide, over 200,000 of those in the UK alone. If untreated, patients are likely to lose sight in the affected eye within 24 months of disease onset.
The main currently available treatment options for wet AMD are:
• Anti-VEGF antibody drugs – to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in the eye. Unlike small molecule drugs or eye drops these treatments must be injected into the eye once every 1 or 2 months. Resistance can develop to these drugs causing the disease to progress anew.
• Laser surgery – to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye. This type of surgery is only suitable if blood vessel damage is not too extensive and if the abnormal blood vessels aren’t close to the fovea, as performing surgery close to this part of the eye can cause permanent vision loss.