Ivantis' $46.5M Series B will propel multiple trials for a tiny eye stent

The Hydrus Microstent is about the size of an eyelash.--Courtesy of Ivantis

Ivantis and its eyelash-sized eye stent to treat glaucoma have attracted some fresh investor love. The Irvine, CA, company drew in an additional $14 million in financing that has now swelled its Series B to a whopping $46.5 million.

Funding is expected to back, in part, an ongoing U.S. pivotal trial for Ivantis' Hydrus Microstent, which recently moved from its initial safety phase to an expanded testing phase. The company said the funding could take it through the U.S. approval process, though the money will also support two other trials now underway.

In announcing the financing, Ivantis President and CEO Dave Van Meter said that the company's unusually strong Series B "is a strong testament to the global market opportunity, our team, and above all, the technology, most notably our compelling clinical data and strong intellectual property position."

Van Meter's comments follow some encouraging clinical trial news that came out in July involving Ivantis' HYDRUS II study of 100 European patients with mild to moderate glaucoma. The results showed that Hydrus helped lower intraocular pressure after one year in patients who had cataract surgery. In-eye pressure dropped by 20% or more in 92% of trial subjects, and patients were 50% less likely to need topical ocular treatments versus control group patients, Ivantis disclosed.

Surgeons insert Hydrus into the eye using a minimally invasive procedure. Hydrus helps relieve eye pressure by restoring natural outflow for built-up fluids, something that can be blocked or collapse in glaucoma patients.

Vertex Ventures and GBS Ventures contributed the new cash infusion. Ivantis' overall round amounts to a sizeable investor syndicate. Beyond the two we've mentioned, Ascension Ventures, EDBI and MemorialCare Innovation Fund also participated. As well, the company relied once again on two returning investors that are among the biggest venture capital operations around: NEA and Delphi Ventures. Ivantis launched in 2007.

- read the release

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