Dopavision closes EUR12m Series A Round
Dopavision, a company pioneering the development of digital therapeutics, has closed a EUR12 million Series A financing round. Seventure Partners led the round and was joined by Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the Company's existing shareholders such as Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Ababax Health, significantly broadening the Company’s shareholder base of leading international life science investors.
Myopia is recognised as a public health concern and is the leading cause of correctable visual impairment, expected to reach a global prevalence of 50 per cent by 2050. The condition manifests as blurring of distant objects due to image focusing in front of the retina instead of falling on the retina, most often caused by excessive elongation of the eyeball during growth. Severe cases are associated with sight-threatening conditions, including glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy.
Halting disease progression in children and young adults at present is regarded as the most promising intervention approach to prevent severe impairments at a later age. Dopavision´s mission is to support this myopia control strategy by providing transformative treatments and addressing the disease at an early stage, providing medical benefits for later years of life.
The proceeds will be used to fund the clinical development of MyopiaX, the Company’s lead product in childhood myopia, with the goal to demonstrate its safety and efficacy in clinical studies and advance this innovative treatment to market to improve the lives of millions of myopic children. The breakthrough technology targets children and young adolescents, leveraging a patented, light-based technology that stimulates specific photosensitive cells of the retina, which in turn modulate retinal dopamine, a key neurotransmitter involved in eye growth. The Company has demonstrated proof-of-mechanism in preclinical models and exploratory human studies. MyopiaX has the potential to become the first digital therapy to control childhood myopia. It is designed to achieve a medical effect while children play exciting games or use educational digital content and can be conveniently integrated into their daily routine. It runs on standard digital devices and is easy to use for children under minimal supervision of their parents.
Moreover, the funding will be dedicated to additional product development activities in order to provide innovative digital treatments for children leveraging games, educational or cognitive training applications, and potentially broaden the Company´s pipeline to new indications. The Company also intends to continue to recruit and build a team of people passionate about using digital innovation to improve the lives of children and adults.
"We are excited that Seventure Partners and Novartis Pharmaceuticals have decided to support Dopavision as new investors in the Series A round," says Dr Hamed Bahmani, co-founder and managing director of Dopavision. "The extensive use of smartphones is suspected to worsen childhood myopia but stopping children from using them is unrealistic. Therefore, we have decided to transform the use of digital devices into a beneficial therapeutic activity. Our first-of-its-kind MyopiaX combines ease of use with an exciting user experience that promotes adherence to the therapy with the goal of addressing this serious medical condition already at a young age."
"Novartis is committed to advancing transformational treatments – including digital therapeutics – to people of all ages living with visual impairment," says Jill Hopkins, Global Development Head, Ophthalmology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
"Dopavision is pursuing a unique digital therapeutic approach to achieve a significant clinical benefit," said Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner of Seventure Partners. "This is the first real digital therapeutic for childhood myopia – a non-invasive, patient-friendly approach that will not only transform the global ophthalmology market, but also provide a breakthrough for affected children by improving their sight and quality of life from an early age onwards. Moreover, the technology has great potential for other disease indications as dopamine plays a key role in many physiological processes. Dopavision therefore excellently fits into our strategic commitment to develop groundbreaking digital health solutions."