iSTAR Medical SA, a private medical device company developing novel ophthalmic implants for the treatment of glaucoma, today announced the completion of a €40m Series C financing. The financing was led by healthcare specialist funds LSP and Gimv, with participation by Earlybird and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. Existing shareholders including Capricorn Partners, Walloon Region Investment Fund (SRIW) and Belgian Federal Investment Fund (SFPI‐FPIM) also participated. This financing will support the development of iSTAR Medical’s MINIjectTM device along the path to commercialisation in Europe and the United States.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of adult blindness globally affecting more than 92 million people. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is the most promising and fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma.
Michel Lussier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at iSTAR Medical, said: “We are delighted to welcome LSP, Gimv, Earlybird and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity to iSTAR Medical, and I would like to thank our existing investors for their continued support. This renowned investor syndicate has a track record of supporting successful, innovative companies and is a strong endorsement of our world-leading technology for glaucoma sufferers.”
MINIject, an ab-interno MIGS device, provides a powerful and reliable solution to safely reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) by enhancing aqueous humour outflow from the anterior chamber to the supraciliary space, and has been designed to be a best-in-class MIGS device. Unlike other technologies, MINIject uses the innovative STAR® material, a soft and flexible, medical-grade silicone with a micro-porous, multi-channel geometry.
Data from the first-in-human STAR-I trial for the MINIject device in a standalone setting confirm that MINIject is safe and highly effective in achieving significant IOP reduction, as well as easing medication burden in glaucoma patients.
Michel Vanbrabant, CEO of iSTAR Medical, commented: “iSTAR Medical is setting new frontiers in MIGS treatment of glaucoma. The positive results achieved at 18-month follow-up of our first-in-human trial validates the potential of MINIject in the supraciliary space as the next therapeutic option for glaucoma patients. This financing is a significant milestone for the company and will support the development and commercial launch of MINIject.”
In conjunction with the financing, Anne Portwich (LSP), Bram Vanparys (Gimv), and Lionel Carnot (Earlybird) will be joining the Board of Directors at iSTAR Medical.
Bram Vanparys, Partner at Gimv, commented on the news: “We are looking forward to help build iSTAR Medical to become the leading player in the MIGS field. With the support and expertise of a solid, specialized Life Science syndicate, iSTAR Medical now has all the tools to leverage and expand the excellent clinical results of MINIject.”
Anne Portwich, Partner at LSP, added: “Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery promises to revolutionise the treatment of glaucoma. We are very pleased to lead the investment in iSTAR Medical. MINIject’s innovative design and novel material, combined with the impressive clinical data from the STAR-I trial, demonstrate the potential of this device. We look forward to supporting the experienced management team as it progresses towards the commercialisation of MINIject in Europe and plans for the upcoming US pivotal trial.”
Early six-month results of MINIject in the STAR-I trial were published online in June 2019 in Ophthalmology-Glaucoma, the journal of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS). The 18-month results of MINIject will be presented in detail on Friday, 13 September 2019, during Glaucoma Day at the ESCRS congress in Paris, France.
About iSTAR Medical SA
iSTAR Medical SA, headquartered in Wavre, Belgium, is a private, clinical-stage, medical technology company focused on the development of novel ophthalmic implants for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of adult blindness globally, affecting more than 92 million people worldwide. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is the most promising and fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma. iSTAR has exclusive rights to the STAR® biomaterial from the University of Washington in Seattle (USA) for ophthalmic use. This provides the foundation for the development of MINIjectTM, designed to be a best-in-class MIGS device. The fast-growing MIGS market is expected to reach $1.1bn worldwide by 2023 (MarketScope 2018 Glaucoma Surgical Device Report).
iSTAR Medical’s management team and board have a successful track record in end-to-end product development, with proven clinical, regulatory and market access capabilities. The company is backed by specialised institutional and private investors. For more information, please go to www.istarmed.com