OcuTerra Raises $35 Million Financing for Phase 2 Study of Diabetic Retinopathy

OcuTerra Raises $35 Million Financing for Phase 2 Study of Diabetic Retinopathy

November 10, 2021

OcuTerra Therapeutics has completed a $35 million Series B fundraising round.

The money raised will go toward the OTT166 phase 2 study in patients with moderate to severe nonproliferative and mild proliferative diabetic retinopathy, known as DR-EAM (Diabetic Retinopathy - Early Active Management).

The research is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

In Phase 1b clinical trials, OTT166 eye drops have shown safety, tolerability, and clear clinical evidence of biological activity in individuals with diabetic retinopathy and wet AMD.

OTT166 is a novel small molecule selective integrin inhibitor that OcuTerra has purpose engineered to have the required physiochemical characteristics to be able to reach the retina from eye drop application.

OTT166, which is designed to be delivered by the patient at home, has the potential to revolutionize the therapy paradigm by allowing for earlier, noninvasive treatment to preserve vision and prevent progression, hence delaying or obviating the need for intravitreal injections.

“OcuTerra is well-positioned to transform the treatment landscape for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in working age adults in America,” Kerrie Brady, Chief Executive Officer of OcuTerra, said in a company news release.

For these individuals, the current standard of care is to 'watch and wait' until their vision deteriorates due to diabetic macular edema or the illness develops to the proliferative stage, at which point medically intensive and invasive eye injections and/or laser treatments are used.

“Our mission is to transform the standard of care with OTT166 to offer a noninvasive, easy to administer, effective treatment that can be prescribed earlier in the disease course by a broader range of eye care providers to avoid sight-threatening complications, stop disease progression and potentially avoid invasive treatments,” Ms. Brady added.

“OTT166 offers potential significant benefit for patients, caregivers and eye care practitioners by providing a non-invasive treatment option for people suffering from diabetic retinopathy,” said Carl Regillo, MD, FACS, Chief of the Retina Service at Wills Eye Hospital and Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University.

OcuTerra Adds Paul M. Karpecki to its Scientific Advisory Board

OcuTerra also announced that Paul M. Karpecki, OD, FAAO, has been appointed to its Scientific Advisory Board.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Karpecki join our Scientific Advisory Board as we move forward with the development of OTT166,” said David Tanzer, MD, ophthalmologist and Chief Medical Officer of OcuTerra.

“I am thrilled to join the Scientific Advisory Board of OcuTerra and represent the voice of Doctors of Optometry who manage over 70% of all patients with diabetic retinopathy in the U.S.,” said Dr. Karpecki.

“Working closely with my fellow advisors from the retina and anterior segment ophthalmology communities, I am very excited about the development of OTT166, a topical drug candidate to prevent diabetic retinopathy disease progression and loss of visual function.”