Pixium Vision, a developer of retinal implant systems that aim to restore vision in the blind, has closed a EUR15m series A extension financing led by Sofinnova Partners, which becomes the largest investor.
Bpifrance, through the InnoBio fund, and existing series A investors Omnes Capital and Abingworth also participated.
In conjunction with the financing, Antoine Papiernik at Sofinnova Partners and Chahra Louafi at Bpifrance have joined the Pixium board of directors.
Pixium was co-founded by Dr Bernard Gilly and Prof José-Alain Sahel in November 2011 and built upon a close relationship with the Vision Institute at the National Eye Hospital in Paris. With Pixium, Gilly and Sahel team up one more time with Sofinnova Partners, after the success of Fovea Pharmaceuticals, a company focusing on ocular diseases they created in 2005 and sold to Sanofi in 2009.
The funds raised will be used to advance the development of Pixium's IRIS retinal implant systems for patients who have lost their sight through degenerative conditions of the eye, such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, with the intention of improving their vision.
Gilly says: "Our investors' support will enable us to complete the clinical study with IRIS1, which if positive will allow us to seek regulatory approval in the coming two years. In addition, the funds will be used to drive the development of our next-generation IRIS systems that have the potential to restore sight and enable blind patients to lead much more independent lives. "
Papiernik says: "Over the years we have developed a strong relationship with Bernard Gilly and José-Alain Sahel. After Fovea Pharmaceuticals, which Sofinnova Partners backed right from the beginning, we are thrilled to join Pixium and continue to support such a high quality team. Pixium's innovative technology bears the promise to make a real impact on the lives of these completely blind patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. It is a great privilege to be associated with such a paradigm-shifting company. "