Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Bridgewater, N.J.-based biotechnology company that develops medical innovations in ophthalmology, has closed $30m in Series B financing.
The round was co-led by Clarus Ventures and Sofinnova Ventures, with participation from Osage University Partners and existing backers Alta Partners and TPG Biotech.
The company intends to use proceeds to continue to develop the broad product portfolio in glaucoma and advance its lead product, AR-12286, a selective Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, into Phase 3 trials by the end of 2011. AR-12286 is designed to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) by improving outflow of fluid via the trabecular pathway. Additional Phase 2 studies are planned for 2011.
In conjunction with the financing, Dennis Henner, PhD, Managing Director at Clarus Ventures, joined Aerie’s Board of Directors.
Led by President and CEO Tom van Haarlem, MD, the company is also pursuing several pipeline programs including, AR-13324, the first of a novel glaucoma drug class discovered at Aerie with a unique dual-mechanism. A platform technology of conjunctival inserts is also being advanced to the clinic. This technology is targeting a mechanism for long-term delivery of drugs that has the potential to offer efficacy comparable to daily prescription eye drops, while addressing the therapeutic challenges involved with patient compliance in glaucoma therapy.