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The Eyes Have It According to Recent VC Funding Patterns

September 15, 2014
A recent Wall Street Journal analysis of venture capital investment trends since 1999 reveals which human body parts are experiencing the biggest rise in funding. The report was based on data from thousands of financings of startups from 1999 through the first half of 2014, provided by VentureSource, a database owned by Dow Jones & Company. And while many would assume the funding was largely pumped in to cardiovascular disease, they would be wrong.

“The answer in recent years has been the eyes and ears, as investors have poured money into treatments for diseases causing blindness, hearing loss and other diseases affecting an aging population.”

According to the report, “Startups that address eye problems drew $848.9 million last year, making eyes the organ that was most attractive to venture capital in 2013. Venture investors have kept up the pace this year, sinking $442.7 million into vision disorders in the first half. Investment has surged because of rising demand for better treatments and technological advances that are making improvements possible.”

Investors and business development professionals looking to discover the next breakout star in the ophthalmology space should look no further than the upcoming BIO Investor Forum, October 7-8 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.   A handful of companies in this therapeutic category are scheduled to present, including:

  • Apex Therapeutics – A biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel pharmaceuticals for treatment of cancer and ocular disease

  • Bell Biosystems – A synthetic biology company whose vision is to pioneer the use of synthetic organelles to accelerate product development through discovery, innovation and collaboration

  • GrayBug LLC – GrayBug is developing a continuum of proprietary micro – and nanoparticle controlled release technologies and implants for major ocular disease indications including wet AMD an dGlaucoma

  • Makindus Inc. – A specialty pharmaceutical company committed to developing, manufacturing and distributing high-quality medicines to patients, healthcare providers, payers and governments, specifically focused on MI-100, a legacy product for Stargardt’s disease (also known as juvenile macular degeneration)

  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticals - NovaBay Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing its proprietary and patented Aganocide® compounds. Aganocides are novel, broad-spectrum, fast-acting, synthetic anti-infectives designed to mimic the body’s defense against infection. They are active against bacteria, fungi and viruses, and are being developed to treat and prevent a wide range of local, non-systemic infections with a low likelihood of developing bacterial resistance.


A preliminary list of presenting companies can be found here.

To learn more about the 13th Annual BIO Investor Forum, including registration and program information, please visit here.