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ForSight Vision5 ropes in $15M in Series C financing to develop its intraocular therapy

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ForSight Vision5 raised $15 million in a Series C financing and completed enrollment of a Phase II clinical study to support the development of its noninvasive ocular implant therapy for eye diseases.

H.I.G. BioVentures led the round, and previous investors such as Morgenthaler Ventures, Versant Ventures and Technology Partners also contributed funding. ForSight plans on using the funds to develop its Helios eye insert and other products for glaucoma, dry eye and allergy, the company said in a statement.

"I am thrilled to have the support of H.I.G. BioVentures and our returning investors as we continue to advance our Helios insert and other product candidates through major technical and clinical milestones," ForSight CEO John Maroney said in a statement. "Our investors have shown deep confidence in our team and programs with this level of commitment."

The California-based company also completed enrollment of more than 160 subjects in a randomized, active controlled Phase II study of its Helios insert for patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The insert rests on the surface of the eye under the eyelids and slowly releases medication. More than 2.7 million patients in the U.S. have open-angle glaucoma, and the population is expected to exceed 4 million patients by 2030, according to data on the company's website.

ForSight's ocular insert could provide an alternative to traditional treatment methods and address a broader spectrum of chronic eye diseases, Professor James Brandt, the study's lead investigator, said in a statement.

ForSight is not the only company eyeing the ocular implant market. Liquidia Technologies launched in 2013 with a $25 million Series A funding round to develop an extended-release glaucoma treatment that could last for several months after one injection. Earlier this year, Irvine, CA-based Ivantis completed a $46.5 million round to fund an ongoing pivotal trial of its Hydrus Microstent, an eyelash-sized insert that helps relieve intraocular pressure.

Companies across the pond are also developing their own intraocular products. In November 2013, Belgian medical device startup iSTAR Medical SA raised $5.4 million in Series A financing to back further clinical studies of its ophthalmic implant for glaucoma. Australian medical device maker PolyActiva secured $9.5 million in a Series B round to develop its drug-coated intraocular implants to treat glaucoma and other severe eye infections.

- read the release

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