Re-Vana Therapeutics is a new pharmaceutical and drug delivery company focused on the development and commercialisation of revolutionary long-acting biodegradable drug delivery platforms to treat chronic eye diseases. These diseases include some of the world’s major causes of blindness and visual acuity disturbance, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Re-Vana Therapeutics completed its raise in September 2017, overfunding to £1,104,593.23.
Every five seconds someone, somewhere, in the world, goes blind. In the UK alone, 100 people a day begin to lose their sight. Re-Vana Therapeutics seeks to stop this by developing its innovative ophthalmic drug delivery system, a system that is biodegradable and requires less frequent procedures per patient – lowering both discomfort and the risk of complications arising.
Chief amongst Re-Vana’s medical targets are Glaucoma and Macular degeneration – diseases that the World Health Organisation has labelled priority eye diseases.
Re-Vana Therapeutics is life science spin-out from Queen's University Belfast.
In October 2017, Re-Vana Therapeutics entered into a collaboration with Nicox to work on the Next Generation of Stand-alone nitric oxide (NO)-donors in a Novel Sustained Release Ophthalmic Formulation.
Michael O'Rourke, President & CEO of Re-Vana Therapeutics said of the collaboration:
The Nicox team has built a strong dataset demonstrating the role of nitric oxide in the reduction of IOP. We believe that our biodegradable photo-crosslinked sustained delivery technology, EyeLief(TM), in combination with Nicox's novel technology, has the potential to serve as an effective therapeutic approach to lowering IOP to prevent the progression and development of glaucoma.
You can read the full story here.
CEO Michael O'Rourke brings extensive global ophthalmology industry experience and has been involved in drug delivery for over 30 years across the ophthalmology, periodontal and pulmonary markets. His unique ocular drug delivery experience includes launching the world’s first intraocular drug delivery technology in Europe, Vitrasert, and the world’s second, Retisert, in the USA. Earlier stages of his career have also involved a strong sales and marketing aspect.
Michael has both presented and published on drug delivery within ophthalmology at congresses and within respected journals. He is a past Chairman of The Foundation Board for The Lions Eye Institute, guest speaker on strategic planning at the University of Tampa Florida and was part-time marketing lecturer at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham, UK.
To learn more about Michael’s background and motivation for developing drug delivery within opthalmology, read the blog.
The lead investor
The round is led by an investment from TechstartNI, a Northern Ireland-based VC fund specialising in early-stage investing and managed by Pentech Ventures. Alongside TechstartNI, it operates a micro-seed fund that is more generalist in its focus. Sandy McKinnon, a partner at Pentech, is representing the lead investment.
Sandy is experienced in, and enjoys working with, early-stage companies from start-up/spin-out, through growth, to exit. Sandy has been active for the last 16 years in 'full life-cycle' investing; fundraising through to exits of a number of companies. He has been helping commercialise technology from universities for the majority of his adult life.
What investors say
'Re-Vana offers a potentially significant opportunity to deliver both small and large complex molecules from 2-12 months, offering a major step forward in treating eye diseases. The proprietary photo-cross linked technology is both novel and innovative and will in my opinion generate much interest within the ophthalmic community.'
– Baruch D Kuppermann, MD PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine