Novaliq pulls in $18.1M for ocular delivery tech

Novaliq's drug delivery platform that helps poorly soluble drugs dissolve more easily in eye drops got a push from a sizable investment. The company plans to use the cash to advance its lead product to Phase I clinical trials.

The German company pulled in $18.1 million in its fifth round of financing, bringing the total amount raised to $35.2 million, which has come exclusively from entrepreneur Dietmar Hopp's Dievini Hopp Bio Tech Holding. The newest round will primarily serve to bring CyclaSol, the company's clear liquid eye drop based on the delivery technology semifluorinated alkanes (SFAs), into clinical trials by the first quarter of 2014.

Because other solutions are oil-and-water-based due to the poor solubility of the active ingredient cyclosporine, they can cause blurred vision. With the use of the SFA platform, Novaliq claims CyclaSol is more stable and eliminates the need for preservatives.

"A core feature of our platform is that we can dissolve poorly soluble drugs, instead of having to prepare emulsions," said Novaliq chief business officer Dieter Scherer in an email to FierceDrugDelivery. "Like in the case of CyclaSol, as the name indicates, it is a clear solution in contrast to emulsions of other approaches."

Dry eye syndrome is a disorder of the tear film and affects an estimated 25 to 30 million people over the age of 40 in the U.S. and more than 300 million worldwide.

- here's the release

Special Report: Dietmar Hopp - Fierce's 10 top biotech billionaires