Ikarovec, a Cambridge, UK-based ophthalmic gene therapy company, raised £2.5m in seed funding.
Backers included investors UKI2S, LifeArc and Parkwalk. In conjunction with the funding, Oliver Sexton, Investment Director at UKI2S, David Holbrook, Head of the Seed Fund at LifeArc, and Dr Cassie Doherty, Investment Director at Parkwalk, joined the baord.
The company intends to use the funds to develop its three earlier stage novel gene therapy products for major ophthalmic indications, build the intellectual property portfolio and establish its own laboratories.
Founded in 2019 by Chief Scientific Officer Dr Peter Widdowson, around intellectual property spun out of Quethera, which he founded and was bought by Astellas in 2018, and also led by Dr Robert Haigh, Executive Chairman, Ikarovec is developing novel gene therapies to treat major ophthalmic indications. Its lead program is a multicistronic gene therapy for diabetic macular edema (DME), to IND-enabling studies. Other programs are targeting wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry AMD and intra-ocular hypertension.