WAVRE, Belgium, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- iSTAR Medical SA, a private medical device company developing novel ophthalmic implants for the treatment of glaucoma, today announced the completion of a €40m Series C financing. The financing was led by healthcare specialist funds LSP and Gimv, with participation by Earlybird and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. Existing shareholders including Capricorn Partners, Walloon Region Investment Fund (SRIW) and Belgian Federal Investment Fund (SFPI‐FPIM) also participated. This financing will support the development of iSTAR Medical's MINIjectTM device along the path to commercialisation in Europe and the United States.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of adult blindness globally affecting more than 92 million people. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is the most promising and fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma.
Michel Lussier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at iSTAR Medical, said: "We are delighted to welcome LSP, Gimv, Earlybird and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity to iSTAR Medical, and I would like to thank our existing investors for their continued support. This renowned investor syndicate has a track record of supporting successful, innovative companies and is a strong endorsement of our world-leading technology for glaucoma sufferers."
MINIject, an ab-interno MIGS device, provides a powerful and reliable solution to safely reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) by enhancing aqueous humour outflow from the anterior chamber to the supraciliary space, and has been designed to be a best-in-class MIGS device. Unlike other technologies, MINIject uses the innovative STAR® material, a soft and flexible, medical-grade silicone with a micro-porous, multi-channel geometry.
Data from the first-in-human STAR-I trial for the MINIject device in a standalone setting confirm that MINIject is safe and highly effective in achieving significant IOP reduction, as well as easing medication burden in glaucoma patients.
Michel Vanbrabant, CEO of iSTAR Medical, commented: "iSTAR Medical is setting new frontiers in MIGS treatment of glaucoma. The positive results achieved at 18-month follow-up of our first-in-human trial validates the potential of MINIject in the supraciliary space as the next therapeutic option for glaucoma patients. This financing is a significant milestone for the company and will support the development and commercial launch of MINIject."
In conjunction with the financing, Anne Portwich (LSP), Bram Vanparys (Gimv), and Lionel Carnot (Earlybird) will be joining the Board of Directors at iSTAR Medical.
Bram Vanparys, Partner at Gimv, commented on the news: "We are looking forward to help build iSTAR Medical to become the leading player in the MIGS field. With the support and expertise of a solid, specialized Life Science syndicate, iSTAR Medical now has all the tools to leverage and expand the excellent clinical results of MINIject."
Anne Portwich, Partner at LSP, added: "Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery promises to revolutionise the treatment of glaucoma. We are very pleased to lead the investment in iSTAR Medical. MINIject's innovative design and novel material, combined with the impressive clinical data from the STAR-I trial, demonstrate the potential of this device. We look forward to supporting the experienced management team as it progresses towards the commercialisation of MINIject in Europe and plans for the upcoming US pivotal trial."
Early six-month results of MINIject in the STAR-I trial were published online in June 2019 in Ophthalmology-Glaucoma, the journal of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS). The 18-month results of MINIject will be presented in detail on Friday, 13 September 2019, during Glaucoma Day at the ESCRS congress in Paris, France.
About iSTAR Medical SA
iSTAR Medical SA, headquartered in Wavre, Belgium, is a private, clinical-stage, medical technology company focused on the development of novel ophthalmic implants for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of adult blindness globally, affecting more than 92 million people worldwide. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is the most promising and fastest-growing therapeutic option in the treatment of glaucoma. iSTAR has exclusive rights to the STAR® biomaterial from the University of Washington in Seattle (USA) for ophthalmic use. This provides the foundation for the development of MINIjectTM, designed to be a best-in-class MIGS device. The fast-growing MIGS market is expected to reach $1.1bn worldwide by 2023 (MarketScope 2018 Glaucoma Surgical Device Report).
iSTAR Medical's management team and board have a successful track record in end-to-end product development, with proven clinical, regulatory and market access capabilities. The company is backed by specialised institutional and private investors. For more information, please go to www.istarmed.com
iSTAR Medical's MIGS device, MINIjectTM, provides a safe, effective and sustainable solution to significantly reduce IOP by enhancing aqueous humour outflow from the anterior chamber to the supraciliary space. MINIject takes a new approach to drainage which represents a paradigm shift. Unlike other technologies, MINIject uses the innovative STAR® material, a soft and flexible, medical-grade silicone with a micro-porous, multi-channel geometry. The proprietary STAR material has anti-fibrotic properties, which minimise scarring and maintain implant performance, improving long-term outcomes compared with other MIGS solutions. MINIject has been partially funded by the Walloon Region, Belgium.
LSP is an independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life sciences companies. LSP's mission is to connect investors to inventors, focusing on unmet medical needs. Since the late 1980s, LSP's management has invested in about 100 innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders in the global life sciences industry. With over €2.0 billion ($2.3bn) under management and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is Europe's leading life sciences investor. LSP participates with its LSP Health Economics Fund 2 in this financing. The LSP Health Economics Fund 2 invests in innovative products that can increase the quality of health care, while reducing the cost of care. For more information, please visit: www.lspvc.com
Gimv is a European investment company, listed on Euronext Brussels, with almost 40 years' experience in private equity and venture capital. The company currently has a portfolio of €1.1 billion of investments in around 50 portfolio companies, with combined turnover of €2.75 billion and 14,000 employees. As a recognized market leader in selected investment platforms, Gimv identifies entrepreneurial, innovative companies with high growth potential and supports them in their transformation into market leaders. Gimv's four investment platforms are Connected Consumer, Health & Care, Smart Industries and Sustainable Cities. Each platform works with an experienced team across Gimv's home markets of Benelux, France and DACH, supported by an extended international network of experts. For more information, please visit: www.gimv.com
Earlybird is a venture capital investor focused on European technology companies. Founded in 1997, Earlybird invests in all growth and development phases of a company. Amongst the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources, but also strategic and operational support as well as access to an international network and capital markets. Earlybird manages different funds with focuses on digital technologies in Eastern and Western Europe as well as health technologies. With over €1 billion under management, seven IPOs and 23 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most successful venture capital firms in Europe. For more information, please visit: www.earlybird.com
About BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity, the risk capital company of BNP Paribas Fortis, has been operating in the private equity market in Belgium since the 1980s. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity engages in minority participations and provides mezzanine financing to high-performing, medium-sized companies. Belgian participations of BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity include Studio 100, Novy, Quality Assistance and Point Chaud. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity also manages a portfolio of buy-out and venture capital funds. For more information, please visit: www.companies.bnpparibasfortis.be/privateequity
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Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur
 By 2023, 1.0 million MIGS units will be sold annually, producing revenues of $1.1 billion, a CAGR of over 33% in revenues. Market Scope 2018 Glaucoma Surgical Device Report.
SOURCE iSTAR Medical SA