Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of loss of vision all over the world.
Indian data reveals a prevalence rate of AMD Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) ranging from 1.2 % to 4.7 %.
Dry AMD is the largest cause of incurable blindness in people above 60 and affects roughly 170 million people worldwide.
Eyestem, a Bengaluru-based cell therapy company, Researched and moved one step closer in finding a treatment for Dry AMD and announced successful animal experiments for its flagship product.
Eyestem has raised $6.4 million (Rs 51 crore) in a Series A round led by three pharma majors: Biological E Limited (BE), Alkem, NATCO, and Kemwell Biopharma promoters Anurag and Karan Bagaria.
Eyecyte-RPE, the company’s patented flagship product, is an experimental treatment for Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD) and the company has other products in the pipeline for the treatment of incurable diseases affecting humanity. EyeCyte-RPE replaces damaged retinal pigment epithelium cells and is designed to restore sight for patients in early stages of Macular Degeneration or arrest loss of vision for those in later stages. The product is allogenic, administered by a surgical procedure and is patented in India and abroad. The company intends to file for a first in human trial for the product within a year in consultation with CDSCO and US FDA.
Endiya Partners and Kotak Private Equity, both existing investors, also participated in this round, valuing Eyestem at $46.4 million (Rs 371 crore) post-money.
Eyestem was founded in 2016 by an experienced team of clinical research, regenerative medicine, and ophthalmology experts. It is advised by a board of directors and has established collaborations with other leaders in related scientific disciplines in India, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States. Long-term goals include developing a scalable cell therapy platform to treat incurable diseases and democratizing global access to these newer technologies.
Eyestem is eager to help people who are suffering from Dry Age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, a key genetic cause of blindness in kids. Eyestem has the sole purpose of being able to create cell therapy products at scale for diseases that devastate a large number of people in India and around the world.
Will Eyestem be able to bring a revolution in treating Dry AMD through cell therapy ?