iSTAR Medical SA, a private medical device company developing novel ophthalmic implants for the treatment of glaucoma, has announced the closing of a €10 million Series B equity financing.
Existing shareholders including Capricorn Venture Partners and Walloon Region Investment Fund (SRIW) contributed to the round, which was joined by new investors Belgian Federal Investment Fund (SFPI-FPIM), Fond Européen des Matériaux, Start-Up and several private investors.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness globally according to the World Health Organization, affecting more than 80 million people. About 2.5 million people worldwide are blind because of glaucoma. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is the most promising and fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma.
Based on its innovative, proprietary STAR material, iSTAR Medical is developing a pipeline of devices to treat glaucoma. The STAR material enhances biointegration, fluid drainage and conformability to patient anatomy with substantial clinical benefits and an improved patient experience. STARflo, the company’s first generation device, has had highly positive feedback from key opinion-leading physicians involved in clinical trials to date.
Leveraging its experience and expertise, iSTAR Medical is developing MINIject, a MIGS device designed to deliver enhanced ease of use and improved long-term outcomes compared with other MIGS solutions. The Series B proceeds will support the completion of MINIject product development and fund its European CE-Marking clinical study.
Michel Vanbrabrant, CEO of iSTAR Medical, said: “MINIject represents a significant achievement in our company’s history. It leverages our clinical experience with the STAR biomaterial, combined with the insights of international scientific experts who helped us to develop this micro-invasive solution, and has the potential to become best in class. I would like to thank our existing investors for their continued support and welcome our new investors to the company. This funding is a validation of our vision, technology and management’s ability to successfully execute the strategy.”
Michel Lussier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at iSTAR Medical, commented: “This new funding milestone will enable the next major step for iSTAR to finalise clinical development and commercialization of a next-generation, micro-invasive glaucoma surgery device. MINIject offers the potential of an efficacious treatment for a disease that is a major cause of blindness globally.”
iSTAR Medical’s MINIject is designed to significantly reduce intra-ocular pressure (IOP) by enhancing aqueous humour outflow from the anterior chamber to the suprachoroidal space. Implantation is swift and predictable using an injecting mechanism in a single-step procedure. MINIject’s STAR material is made of soft and flexible medical-grade silicone which conforms to the eye anatomy.
Its porous geometry promotes biointegration of surrounding tissue into the material to increase drainage efficacy with time. Anti-fibrotic properties minimize scarring and increase implant durability. MINIject provides a safe, effective and sustainable solution which optimises the natural drainage pathway.