Series B financing will enable phase III studies for glaucoma treatment


Aerie Pharmaceuticals has completed $30 million of series B funding to finance the advance of its glaucoma product portfolio.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals has completed $30 million of series B funding to finance the advance of its glaucoma product portfolio.

The clinical-stage biotechnology company plans to use the proceeds to further the development AR-12286, a selective Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor for the treatment of glaucoma, into phase III trials by the end of 2011. AR-12286 improves liquid outflow via the trabecular pathway by lowering intraocular pressure. Positive results were reported after a phase IIb trial last September.

Osage University Partners and life sciences venture capital firms Clarus Ventures and Sofinniova Ventures were involved in the funding with existing investors Alta Partners and TPG Biotech.

Dennis Henner, PhD, managing director at Clarus Ventures and a member of Aerie's Board of Directors, said: "The more we learn about the unique, clinical benefits of AR-12286, the more enthusiastic we are about its prospects as an important and differentiated glaucoma treatment, both as monotherapy and in combination with existing glaucoma drugs."

Dr Anand Mehra, partner at Sofinnova Ventures and also part of Aerie's Board of Directors said: "Despite the fact that glaucoma is a progressive disease, there has not been a drug with a new mechanism of action approved in the glaucoma field since the mid-nineties. Patients often need several drugs to control their disease, and physicians have limited options with these older mechanisms. We believe that AR-12286's new MOA, strong efficacy, excellent tolerability and once daily dosing can provide real value to patients at risk of losing their vision."

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