Queen's spin-out Re-Vana eyes further growth with $3m funding tranche

Gary McDonald Business Editor

QUEEN'S University spin-out Re-Vana Therapeutics has closed a $3.25 million financing round which will help it further develop specialised optical products, while at the same time enhancing its board of directors.

Re-Vana's drug delivery systems provide long-term benefits for patients suffering from eye diseases that lead to blindness, and its solution also saves the NHS considerable cost on treatment.

Founded 2016 and which an office in Florida as well as Belfast, the company said the funding round was over-subscribed by more than $1 million and closed in two tranches.

The first tranche of $2.08 million was led by ExSight Ventures, with participation from InFocus Capital Partners and existing UK investors including TechStart Ventures, Clarendon Fund Managers, The Syndicate Room and Qubis, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s,

Visionary Ventures led the second closing round of $1.17 million, with additional investment from existing investors,and it meant Re-Vana became the first company in which all three specialised US ophthalmic funds have invested in the same firm.

The proceeds will advance proof-of-concept development for Re-Vana’s EyeLief and OcuLief biodegradable technologies for the delivery of biologic and small molecule therapeutics, as well as enable expansion of the company’s research and development team.

In conjunction with the financing, Re-Vana’s board of directors and scientific advisory teams have been further enhanced, with the appointment of key personal from its latest investors.

“Financing from new and existing investors during this challenging time is a testament to the potential of our technologies for sustained delivery of both biologic and small molecule therapeutics,” said Re-Vana chief executive Michael O’Rourke.

“We are especially fortunate to have three highly respected US ophthalmic-focused investors join our board. Their proven knowledge and expertise in ophthalmology will be an invaluable addition to Re-Vana as we initiate preclinical development and expand our strategic partnerships.”

Brian McCaul, chief executive of Qubis, added: “On behalf of the UK investors, we are excited to continue our investment into Re-Vana. The company has demonstrated significant progress since our first investment in 2017 and we look forward to supporting the team going forward.”

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