Orasis Advances Presbyopia Candidate to Phase 3 Clinical Trials
HERZLIYA, Israel, September 10, 2020 – Orasis Pharmaceuticals, an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on developing an innovative pharmaceutical solution for the treatment of presbyopia symptoms, today announced the closing of a $30 million Series C financing. The financing was co-led by new investor Bluestem Capital and returning investor Visionary Ventures, with participation from other returning investors Sequoia Capital, SBI (Japan) Innovation Fund, Maverick Ventures Israel, LifeSci Venture Partners and additional investors. Tyler J. Stowater, partner and vice president of Bluestem Capital, will join the Orasis Board of Directors in conjunction with the financing.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Orasis’ lead eye drop candidate for the treatment of presbyopia symptoms through completion of its Phase 3 clinical trials. The funds will also be used for pre-commercialization activities ahead of potential product launch.
“This successful funding round completes the capitalization for the Phase 3 clinical trials and fuels the initial growth strategy for commercialization,” said Elad Kedar, chief executive officer of Orasis. “We aspire to make near vision clear again for people with presbyopia by empowering them with an unparalleled solution, an eye drop that will provide them with comfort and control of their near vision. We are very grateful for and highly encouraged by the validation from a diverse range of investors, including the co-lead investors Bluestem Capital and Visionary Ventures, and our returning investors. Our product candidate has demonstrated excellent efficacy, safety and comfort profiles in previous clinical studies and we look forward to initiating our Phase 3 clinical trials to further evaluate the effectiveness of the product in the near future.”
Tyler J. Stowater, partner and vice president of Bluestem, added, “With almost two billion people in the world living with presbyopia, the market potential for a novel, non-invasive option is highly anticipated by eyecare providers and patients. We have high confidence in the Orasis team, to successfully complete its clinical program, and apply their informed commercial approach, which will make Orasis a leader in the presbyopia space.”
Presbyopia is the loss of ability to focus on near objects as a result of the natural aging process. It occurs mostly after the age of 40 when the crystalline lens of the eye gradually stiffens and loses flexibility. There are almost two billion people globally and more than 120 million people in the U.S. living with presbyopia. People with presbyopia experience blurred vision when performing daily tasks that require near visual acuity, such as reading a book, a restaurant menu or messages on a smartphone. Presbyopia cannot be prevented or reversed, and it continues to progress gradually. All existing treatment options are either cumbersome or invasive, presenting a significant unmet need for quality of life improvement for people with presbyopia.
About Orasis Pharmaceuticals
Orasis is an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company committed to making near vision clear again for people with presbyopia. Orasis’ novel proprietary formulation, designed to achieve an optimal balance between efficacy, safety and comfort, has the potential to position the company as an emerging leader in the presbyopia space. Orasis is based in Herzliya, Israel. For more information, visit https://www.orasis-pharma.com and connect with us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/orasis-pharmaceuticals/.
About Bluestem Capital
With more than 95 years of collective experience, Bluestem Capital is a private equity and venture capital firm with 25 portfolio companies. Healthcare is a leading investment area for the firm, with continued emphasis on eyecare innovation. For more information, visit https://www.bluestemcapital.com.
About Visionary Ventures
Visionary Ventures is a leading venture capital fund investing in pharmaceuticals and devices for the optometric vertical. The firm has over 75 key opinion leaders in ophthalmology and optometry who invest, advise and provide unique insights into the best opportunities for eyecare. By building a team of specialists, professionals and industry leaders at the forefront of innovation, Visionary is able to leverage a unique, competitive advantage to our venture investments. For more information, visit https://visionaryvc.com.