Syndicate raises €18 million for glaucoma drug development programme

Sep 15, 2011

Amakem has raised €18 million to go towards the development of highly potent kinase (ROCK) inhibitor AMA0076.

Amakem has raised €18 million to go towards the development of highly potent kinase (ROCK) inhibitor AMA0076.

The novel kinase inhibitor is effective in avoiding side effects such as hyperaemia and reducing intraocular pressure (IOP). AMA0076 reduces IOP by increasing outflow through the trabecular meshwork. It has been developed through Amakem's 'Localized Drug Action' platform, which aims to treat a specific organ in the body and is then deactivated before it spreads to other parts of the body.

Nico Vandervelpen, head of Life Sciences at LRM, said, "Kinases are crucial mediators of many disease pathways but they are found throughout the body presenting a significant risk of toxicity unless systemic exposure is controlled. Amakem’s technology addresses this problem and is ideally suited for generating novel new drug candidates for local application, and particularly in eye disease."

Series A funding was led by Forbion Capital Partners and Crédit Agricole Private Equity, Vesalius BioCapital and Life Sciences Research Partners. Jack Elands, CEO of Amakem, said, "Existing treatments for glaucoma are not effective for all patients and other ROCK inhibitors in development have shown dose-limiting side effects, particularly hyperaemia. This substantial fundraising from experienced investors reflects the promise of our approach and will enable us to make real progress by advancing our lead candidate through to clinical proof-of-concept.”

Mr Vandervelpen added, "Amakem matches the quality of science with the experience of its management team and we look forward to continuing to work with them as they bring forward new treatments for a number of very important diseases.”

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