Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into the pharma industry. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked startups working on ophthalmic drugs.
Global Startup Heat Map: 5 Top Startups Developing Ophthalmic Drugs
The 5 pharma startups you will explore below are chosen based on our data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. This analysis is based on the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering over 1.3 million startups & scaleups globally.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the 5 startups our Innovation Researchers curated for this report. Moreover, you get insights into regions that observe a high startup activity and the global geographic distribution of the 202 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Oculis works on Topical Treatments
Eye drops are commonly used to rinse eyes and keep them moist. They also offer a reliable delivery mechanism for a range of ophthalmic conditions. These include glaucoma, dry eye, pink eye as well as allergies. Pharma startups are developing treatments to expand the ease of topical treatment to other ophthalmic diseases.
Swiss startup Oculis uses its solubilizing nanoparticle (SNP) technology to enhance drug solubility in the aqueous tear fluid. OCS-01, the startup’s lead candidate, is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). Additionally, the startup’s pipeline includes topical treatments for post-cataract surgery inflammation, uveitis, and dry eye.
Ocuphire Pharma develops an Intravitreal Formulation
Intravitreal drug delivery is a common approach for the treatment of retinal diseases such as endophthalmitis and uveitis. The approach uses an intravitreal injection following the local anesthesia of the eye and eyelids. The technique is safe for repeated injections over several years. To further advance the approach, pharma startups are developing novel intravitreal formulations that have fewer side effects and higher efficacy.
Ocuphire Pharma is a US-based startup commercializing therapies for eye disorders. The startup’s lead intravitreal formulation, APX2009, is undergoing preclinical development for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). The startup is also working on formulations to treat diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema.
SparingVision focuses on Gene Therapy
Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) such as retinitis pigmentosa and choroideremia cause a gradual loss of vision, leading to complete blindness. As with many other inherited disorders, gene therapy offers a way to correct the disease-causing mutations. The therapy is usually directly administered into the gene. And unlike most other regions of the body, the eye is immune-privileged and does not produce an immune response to the therapy.
French startup SparingVision works on novel therapies to treat inherited retinal diseases. The startup’s lead gene therapy, SPVN06, introduces two neurotrophic factors in patients with severely damaged photoreceptors. The therapy uses an associated-adenovirus (AAV) vector and is administered via subretinal injection.
SemaThera builds Bispecific Therapeutics
Bispecific therapeutics have more than one target, even from different pathways, and present an exciting approach for unmet clinical needs. For example, semaphorins, a class of secreted proteins, are emerging as novel druggable targets for vasodegenerative and vasoproliferative eye diseases. Pharma startups are investigating bispecific therapeutics for the treatment of ocular disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and DME.
Canadian startup SemaThera develops bispecific therapeutics targeting semaphorin 3A. ST-102, the startup’s lead bispecific trap, is in preclinical development for the treatment of DME. The startup’s pipeline also includes drugs for the treatment of AMD and diabetic neuropathy.
PinotBio offers Targeted Therapeutics
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects millions of people globally and is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. While current treatments help manage its progression, there are no known treatments that reverse the damage caused by glaucoma. Therefore, pharma startups are investigating a range of delivery platforms and formulations to develop targeted therapeutics to treat glaucoma.
South Korean startup PinoTBio offers targeted therapies for ophthalmology and oncology. The startup’s proprietary technology modifies and configures nucleoside analogs to develop targeted therapeutic agents. PinotBio’s pipeline includes therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, as well as solid tumors, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
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