Biotech Azura Ophthalmics said today that it closed a $16 million Series B round led by a syndicate of OrbiMed, TPG Biotech and Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialization Fund. Existing investor Ganot Capital also participated in the round.
The investment is slated to support Azura’s development of a drug for a leading cause of dry eye disease – meibomian gland dysfunction.
The Israel-based company’s chief executive, Marc Gleeson, spent 14 years at Allergan (NYSE:AGN) as VP of global marketing for ophthalmology. The company’s latest personnel change involved recruiting another former Allergan employee – Charles Bosworth, who now serves as Azura’s CMO.
“Our leadership team has had tremendous success, not only in ophthalmology start-ups, but also specifically in dry eye drug development and commercialization. The appointment of Charles Bosworth brings the necessary clinical and dry eye experience to our innovative approach to MGD. We are pleased to have such an accomplished healthcare leader join the team,” Gleeson said in prepared remarks.
“With the support of our syndicate of investors and Ganot Capital we’re able to significantly expand our clinical efforts and attract the right talent and experience to execute our vision of providing treatment to those suffering from this disease.”
“This latest round of financing validates the strength of our team’s accomplishments to date and will fuel Azura’s unique and innovative approach to treating dry eye,” co-founder Eugene de Juan added. “We are now poised to further develop our clinical studies to demonstrate the drug’s efficacy and seek regulatory clearance.”
The company’s MGD therapy is moving into a Phase IIa trial, after it demonstrated efficacy in a clinical proof-of-concept trial.