ATLANTA, GA and DURHAM, NC – Ophthalmic startup Clearside Biomedical and Hatteras Venture Partners announce today that they have launched the company with a $4,000,000 Series A venture financing to fund the initial development of Clearside Biomedical’s ocular microinjection platform and initial clinical testing of Clearside Biomedical’s lead product for Macular Edema and Retinal Vein Occlusion. Clearside Biomedical’s proprietary ocular microinjection platform has been designed to non-surgically deliver drugs to an area of the eye referred to as the suprachoroidal space which allows a novel way of dosing of therapeutics to the tissues of the posterior segment of the eye and retina.
Clearside Biomedical will be led by veteran ophthalmic entrepreneurs Daniel White, President and CEO, and Ben Yerxa, Ph.D., VP, Research and Development, who both have substantial experience in the development and commercialization of products for the eye. Daniel White said, “Clearside Biomedical is delighted to have a partnership with the seasoned Hatteras investment team and their extensive experience in building healthcare companies. Together, we plan to continue the development of Clearside Biomedical’s ocular microinjection platform into important ophthalmic therapeutics by providing retinal surgeons the ability to have an in-office injection procedure for the suprachoroidal space, a tissue space where we have demonstrated improved drug characteristics in vivo when compared to traditional intravitreal injection.”
“Clearside Biomedical is the second investment and first therapeutics investment of Hatteras Discovery, our dedicated seed stage effort within Hatteras Venture Partners’ fourth fund. Clearside Biomedical represents an ideal fit for Hatteras Discovery as the platform technology is highly innovative, based on elegant science and the lead product is expected to be in clinical trials in the US in less than 18 months,” said Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., Venture Partner and Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery and veteran in the field of ophthalmology. In addition to Hatteras Discovery, Clearside is a co-investment of other Funds of Hatteras Venture Partners, as well as a small group of other investors. Hatteras will also have two members on the board, Clay Thorp and Christy Shaffer, who will serve as chair.
Clearside Biomedical’s operating headquarters will be located in Atlanta, GA but will also have a substantial presence in clinical and preclinical development in the Research Triangle Park area of NC and will draw on robust resources and biomedical experience in both regions. “Clearside Biomedical is an example of utilizing new technology to tap into the experience and talents provided in both Georgia and North Carolina to further ensure the successful development of biomedical technologies from discovery to its broad application in the clinic,” said Harold Shlevin, Ph.D., Principal and Bioscience Commercialization Head, Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia Institute of Technology. Clearside Biomedical’s proprietary platform was discovered through a multi-year collaboration from the laboratories of Mark Prausnitz, Ph.D., Regents’ Professor and Love Family Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Henry Edelhauser, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Edelhauser, who has extensive experience in drug development and served as the former President of ARVO commented, “The Clearside innovative microneedle allows for targeted delivery of drugs and proteins into the suprachoroidal space which has only been accessible through surgical techniques in the past. In contrast to standard intravitreal injections, this technique potentially represents a more focused therapy for treatment of retinal diseases.”