Singapore: EDBI & Vertex Ventures-backed Ivantis closes $25m Series C

A human eye. Pixabay

Ivantis Inc., developer of the Hydrus Microstent device designed to lower eye pressure for glaucoma patients, has closed a $25 million Series C financing round led by new investor RA Capital Management. The round also included new investor Mérieux Développement.

Other existing investors that participated in this round include New Enterprise Associates, Delphi Ventures, Foresite Capital, Ascension Health Ventures, GBS Ventures, and MemorialCare Innovation Fund. Singapore government investment arm EDBI as well Vertex Ventures, the VC firm backed by Temasek Holdings, are investors in the company.

The funds will extend Ivantis’ runway into 2020 and will support US commercialisation of the Hydrus Microstent upon its anticipated 2018 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

According to Peter Kolchinsky, Portfolio Manager & Managing Director, RA Capital Management, a key competitive advantage of the device is that it is targeted to Schlemm’s canal. Surgery focused on this region has been suggested to be a potential ‘holy grail’.

In an official statement, Kolchinsky said, “Having mapped out every glaucoma treatment technology in the world, we had long suspected that Ivantis was on the verge of a tremendous breakthrough. In collaboration with our highly knowledgeable co-investors at Mérieux Développement, our diligence confirmed that Ivantis has run world-class clinical trials that, in our assessment, clearly demonstrated that Hydrus Microstent offers the best combination of efficacy and safety in the history of glaucoma devices.”

The use of the microstent enables straightforward surgery that can reportedly be performed independently of cataract surgery, melding the durable efficacy of an implanted device with the ubiquity of laser.

Currently, the US trial is evaluating Hydrus Microstent in glaucoma patients who are undergoing cataract surgery, with the device being used both in cataract surgery and in standalone glaucoma surgery internationally.

The Hydrus Microstent, roughly the size of an eyelash, is a next generation MIGS device that is placed through a minimally invasive, microsurgical procedure and is designed to reduce eye pressure by re-establishing the patient’s natural outflow pathway. Most often, glaucoma patients have both a blockage and a collapse of the natural outflow pathway.

The microstent relies on a multi-modal mechanism to create a large opening through the traditional source of flow blockage, known as the “trabecular meshwork,” and then dilating and scaffolding the conventional pathway through which fluid exits the eye (known as Schlemm’s canal), providing expanded access to the collector channels.

Data compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that in the US, more than 20 per cent of the 3.5 million patients undergoing cataract surgery have a concurrent diagnosis of glaucoma, representing approximately 700,000 patients per annum who are potential candidates for the investigational treatment in the US.  WHO estimates suggest that by 2020, 32 million cataract surgeries will be performed globally, several million of which will have glaucoma.

“We are pleased to complete this financing, which we expect will fund Ivantis well beyond the Hydrus Microstent launch, and at the same time we warmly welcome RA Capital Management and Merieux Developpement to our multinational syndicate of valued investors,” said Dave Van Meter, President and CEO of Ivantis. “With well-earned reputations for deep diligence and a commitment to their portfolio companies, we couldn’t ask for better partners for this next exciting stage of our company’s evolution.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.