Invirsa has announced the completion of a $7.7 million Series B financing in April this year. The financing round was led by CincyTech, an Ohio-based venture firm, with participation from Rev1 Ventures, JobsOhio Growth Capital Fund, and JumpStart Ventures.
The funds will be utilized to advance Invirsa's lead product candidate, INV-102, in the treatment of conditions related to DNA damage. Specifically, the funds will support a series of Phase 2 studies targeting acute infectious keratoconjunctivitis, dry eye disease, and Fuchs corneal dystrophy, as well as preparations for Phase 3 trials.
“The recent Series B funding is a significant milestone for Invirsa, which allows us to advance the clinical development of INV-102, a topical eye drop that has completed initial testing in dry eye patients (Phases 1 and 2a). Dry eye continues to be an important market with a significant unmet medical need," said Dr. Robert Shalwitz, Chief Executive Officer of Invirsa. “The recent investment led, by CincyTech with other Ohio life science investment funds, provides strong validation of our vision and approach."
CincyTech's Life Sciences Partner, John Rice, added, "There are an estimated 7 to 8 million people in the US alone with dry eye who lack a suitable therapeutic for their condition. As a result, there is a significant need for new, well-tolerated treatment options. We look forward to continuing working with Invirsa's management team to advance INV-102's clinical development for dry eye and other ocular conditions.”
INV-102 is a novel therapeutic for ocular conditions derived from a naturally occurring small molecule. This treatment modulates the activity of crucial pathways involved in the DNA damage repair response and cellular stability. The first pathway is the protein p53, commonly referred to as "the guardian of the genome," while the second pathway is Pax6, critical for maintaining cellular stability, particularly in the eye.
In vitro experiments have shown that INV-102 reduces cellular injury and death caused by adenovirus, the primary virus associated with infectious conjunctivitis, as well as other sources of DNA damage. Furthermore, in vivo studies have demonstrated its superior efficacy in various animal models.