Company

Australian biotech receives $20 million investment

{{quote-a:r-w:400-I:2-Q:“Using our novel therapy, Azura has generated promising results in a phase 1 study in MGD sufferers.”-WHO:Marc Gleeson, Azura CEO}}The funding came in part from Australia and New Zealand’s largest life science investment fund, the $480 million Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, managed by venture capital firm Brandon Capital Partners. Orbimed, TPG Biotech, and Ganon Capital were other contributors to the company’s windfall, which will allow it to move into its next clinical stage in the development of new treatments for MGD.Azura CEO Mr Marc Gleeson said the injection of funds meant he was confident the company would be able to provide the world’s first effective treatment for MGD sufferers.“Meibomian gland dysfunction is responsible for at least 70% of dry eye cases and affects about 300 million people worldwide, yet despite significant efforts, there are no pharmaceutical treatments available for this condition. Using our novel therapy, Azura has generated promising results in a phase 1 study in MGD sufferers,” he said.“Australia has an attractive regulatory environment for early-stage clinical trials and the government’s R&D tax incentive, which sees eligible companies undertaking research and development in Australia, receive a refundable tax offset, helps preserve valuable capital.{{quote-a:l-w:400-I:3-Q:“Historically a lack of investment funding in the life sciences sector has resulted in Australian medical discoveries leaving our shores to gain access to the capital required for further development.”-WHO:Dr Chris Nave, MRCF CEO}}“Azura Ophthalmics was established in Israel, which is highly-renowned for its innovation ecosyst. The company is now looking to take advantage of Australia’s clinical research excellence and the incentives that support investment in Australian innovation,” Gleeson added.Following initial clinical success with their lead compound, Azura Ophthalmics will undertake Phase 2a clinical testing of this new formulation in approximately 120 patients with MGD. All research, development and clinical trials undertaken by Azura will be done in Australia.“Australia is an accepted world leader in medical research. However, historically a lack of investment funding in the life sciences sector has resulted in Australian medical discoveries leaving our shores to gain access to the capital required for further development,” MRCF CEO Dr Chris Nave said.“The government’s R&D tax incentive and the introduction of the $500 million-dollar Biomedical Translation Fund are addressing this probl and are attracting foreign life science companies like Azura Ophthalmics to Australia, stimulating the industry locally, creating jobs and keeping our talented clinicians and scientists, and their research, in Australia.”