DME firm raises £8 million in series A funding

August 31, 2011

New ophthalmic company KalVista Pharmaceuticals has generated £8 million from series A contributed by Novo A/S and SV Life Sciences.

New ophthalmic company KalVista Pharmaceuticals has generated £8 million from series A contributed by Novo A/S and SV Life Sciences.

KalVista specializes in the development of novel, small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors- a potentially successful diabetic macular oedema (DME) treatment. Plasma kallikrein is a circulating serine protease believed to be the central pathogenesis of DME.

The company's pre-clinical products include both the intravitreal injection and oral administration methods. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an area of particular interest for the treatment of DME. However, the majority of patients do not fully respond to VEGF treatment- meaning kallikrein inhibitors are ideal as an additional treatment option.

Dr Lloyd Paul Aiello, Director of Joslin’s Beetham Eye Institute and Co-founder of KalVista, explained: “While new advances such as VEGF inhibitors are a breakthrough in treatment, current evidence demonstrates that a substantial number of patients with DME do not respond fully. I believe KalVista’s approach, targeting a novel non-VEGF pathway, could represent a further important step in treating this condition.”

Graham Boulnois of SV Life Sciences and Chairman of KalVista’s board of directors, said: “The exciting discoveries regarding plasma kallikrein inhibition and its potential as a new approach to treating DME have created a significant opportunity. We believe that in KalVista we have put in place all the necessary scientific, clinical and drug discovery and development expertise, and sufficient funding, to capitalize on this opportunity and create a highly differentiated and valuable company.”