Belgian ophthalmic medical device company iSTAR Medical today announced the completion of its Series C funding round, raising €40m. The company develops novel implants for the treatment of glaucoma.
The financing was led by specialised healthcare funders LSP and Gimv, alongside Earlybird and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. In conjunction with the financing, LSP partner Anne Portwich, Gimv partner Bram Vanparys, and Earlybird partner Lionel Carnot will be joining the board of directors at iSTAR Medical.
Existing shareholders including Capricorn Partners, the Walloon Region Investment Fund and the Belgian Federal Investment Fund also participated.
The money will be used to support the development of iSTAR Medical’s micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) MINIject device, as well as its eventual commercialisation in Europe and the US.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of adult blindness globally, affecting more than 92 million people. MIGS is the fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma.
MINIject is designed to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP) associated with glaucoma by enhancing aqueous humour outflow from the anterior chamber of the eye to the suprachoroidal space. The device is made of iSTAR Medical’s patented STAR material, a soft and flexible medical-grade silicone with a micro-porous, multi-channel geometry.
iSTAR Medical revealed that MINIject completed a successful first-in-human trial, demonstrating a mean IOP reduction of 15mm Hg after 18 months. Nearly two-thirds of patients who received the device were also able to stop taking eye drops. The 18-month results of the MINIject study will be officially presented in full detail on 13 September 2019 during Glaucoma Day at the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons congress in Paris, France.
Early six-month results of MINIject in the STAR-I trial were published in June in Ophthalmology-Glaucoma.
iSTAR Medical CEO Micel Vanbrabant said: “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.”