PRINCETON, N.J. – February 26, 2019 – Oyster Point Pharma, Inc., a privately held clinical-stage pharmaceutical company with an initial focus on developing novel therapies to treat Dry Eye Disease, today announced a $93 million Series B financing. The round was co-led by Invus Opportunities and Flying L Partners in collaboration with Falcon Vision. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Versant Ventures, as well as new investor Vida Ventures, participated significantly in the round.
“Our team sees immense promise in this investment given Oyster Point’s encouraging clinical evidence, the potential market size, and the leadership team’s extensive experience developing and commercializing ophthalmology therapies,” said Benjamin Tsai of Invus Opportunities. “We believe Oyster Point’s therapies will redefine the standard of care for Dry Eye Disease, a condition that affects millions of people.”
Oyster Point will use the proceeds to support the development of its product portfolio for Dry Eye Disease, explore new treatment areas, and add key talent. The company’s lead product candidates, OC-01 and OC-02, are delivered via an ocular surface-sparing nasal spray designed to stimulate the trigeminal parasympathetic pathway to promote natural tear film production. In Phase 2b clinical studies, patients administered either OC-01 or OC-02 experienced rapid and significant improvements in both the signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Both were well-tolerated with no significant ocular adverse events or drug-related serious adverse events.
“Having spent decades leading and investing in ophthalmology companies, it’s exciting to see continued innovation and leadership in this space, especially in an area of such high unmet need as Dry Eye Disease,” said William Link, Ph.D., of Flying L Partners. “We look forward to supporting the team at Oyster Point as they progress into Phase 3 clinical development, plan for commercialization, and advance additional pipeline assets.”
An estimated 16 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease, a multifactorial condition of the ocular surface.1,2 Loss of tear film homeostasis is a unifying characteristic for all patients with Dry Eye Disease. 2 A healthy tear film protects and lubricates the eyes, washes away foreign particles, contains antimicrobials to reduce the risk of infection, and creates a smooth surface that contributes refractive power for clear vision. Dry Eye Disease can have a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day quality of life, as it can cause a persistent sensation of dryness, stinging, scratching, burning sensations, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and eye fatigue. Despite the high prevalence and the burden of the disease, there remains a significant need for effective therapies.
“We are grateful to our investors for their partnership and look forward to initiating a Phase 3 clinical development program for Dry Eye Disease,” said Jeffrey Nau, Ph.D., M.M.S., President and CEO of Oyster Point. “Our novel approach to empower patients with Dry Eye Disease to stimulate their own natural tears has tremendous potential. This financing will bring us a step closer to offering much needed relief to patients in an area that has limited treatment options.”
About Oyster Point Pharma, Inc.
Oyster Point Pharma is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company leveraging neuroscience to discover, develop, and commercialize novel therapies to treat diseases with high unmet needs. The company’s initial focus is to develop innovative therapeutics to treat the signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease by stimulating the trigeminal parasympathetic pathway to activate the glands and cells responsible for tear film production, known as the Lacrimal Functional Unit. Oyster Point is leveraging a class of molecules called nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists to bind to receptors on the trigeminal nerve, accessible within the nose, to stimulate natural tear film production. For more information visit oysterpointrx.com and follow on Twitter at @OysterPointRx.
About Invus Opportunities
Invus Opportunities is a sister fund to The Invus Group, an equity investment firm founded in 1985 with over $8 billion of evergreen capital. Invus Opportunities is focused on partnering with market-leading management teams and investors in private transactions globally. With our differentiated heritage and capital base, Invus Opportunities brings a complementary dimension to growing companies and investor groups seeking to create lasting value. Invus Opportunities both leads rounds of financing and co-invests in syndicated financings, and currently manages approximately $1.5 billion.
About Falcon Vision
Falcon Vision is an ophthalmology-focused platform supported by KKR. The platform will invest in and manage a diversified portfolio of emerging assets across medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. Falcon Vision’s strategy is to address the need for capital, access to executive talent, and operational guidance to support advancement of innovative products for under-managed ophthalmic diseases and vision preservation. Falcon Vision will collaborate with the team at Flying L Partners to identify and execute new opportunities.
About Flying L Partners
Flying L Partners brings together business and clinical leaders with decades-long track records of building, leading, and funding high-impact ophthalmic technologies. The mission is to identify promising opportunities and accelerate value creation with strategic and operational insights. Flying L Partners focuses on both medical device and biopharmaceutical opportunities with differentiated clinical value propositions, identified regulatory and reimbursement paths, and tangible milestones to crystallize value. The team at Flying L Partners will collaborate with Falcon Vision to identify and execute new opportunities.
About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies. With more than $20 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm’s first fund closed in 1978, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 225 portfolio company IPOs and more than 375 acquisitions. For more information, please visit www.nea.com.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and developing novel therapeutics. With $3 billion under management and offices in the United States, Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and clinical expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in 1999, more than 70 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please visit www.versantventures.com.
About Vida Ventures
Vida Ventures is a next-generation life sciences investment firm founded in 2017 by a group of scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs, and investors passionate about building and funding breakthroughs in biomedicine. Together they form an independent, bold investment group bound together by a simple word – life. Its mission is to bring science to life and advance transformative biomedical innovations that have the potential to make a meaningful difference for patients. Vida has a bicoastal presence and currently manages approximately $295 million. For more information on Vida Ventures, please visit www.vidaventures.com, on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter @Vida_Ventures.