RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a biotechnology company focused on the
discovery and development of medical innovations in ophthalmology,
today announced the closing of a $30 million Series B financing.
Clarus Ventures and Sofinnova Ventures co-led the round, with
participation from Osage University Partners, and existing
investors Alta Partners and TPG Biotech.
Aerie expects to use proceeds from this financing to fund
continued development of Aerie’s broad product portfolio in
glaucoma and advance the company’s lead product, AR-12286, a
first-in-class selective Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, into Phase 3
trials by the end of 2011. AR-12286 is designed to lower
intraocular pressure (IOP) by improving outflow of fluid via the
trabecular pathway. Aerie reported positive top-line data
from a Phase 2b trial with AR-12286 last September. Additional
Phase 2 studies are planned for 2011 to further elucidate the
unique clinical benefits of AR-12286.
“We are gratified and encouraged by this strong show of support
from an outstanding group of leading life sciences investors,” said
Tom van Haarlem, MD, President and CEO of Aerie. “Glaucoma is still
the second leading cause of visual disability and blindness in the
world today. We are excited about the potential for Aerie’s
compounds to offer multiple, improved and differentiated treatment
options for millions of patients suffering from this widespread,
In conjunction with the financing, Dennis Henner, PhD, Managing
Director at Clarus Ventures, joined Aerie’s Board of Directors.
Anand Mehra, MD, Partner at Sofinnova Ventures joined the
board in September of 2010.
“The more we learn about the unique, clinical benefits of
AR-12286, the more enthusiastic we are about its prospects as an
important and differentiated glaucoma treatment, both as
monotherapy and in combination with existing glaucoma drugs,”