Eyestem, a Bengaluru-based cell therapy company, announced raising ₹51 crore in a Series A round led by three pharma companies- Biological E. Ltd (BE), Alkem, NATCO, and Anurag and Karan Bagaria, promoters of Kemwell Biopharma. 

Existing investors include Endiya Partners and Kotak Private Equity, who also participated in this round, valuing Eyestem at ₹371 crore after the new investment. 

“We started Eyestem with the sole purpose of being able to create cell therapy products at scale for diseases that affect many people in India and the world. Post this funding, we will remain focused on solidifying our cell therapy platform and moving our flagship product for Dry AMD through early clinical trials of an international standard,” said Dr. Jogin Desai, founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Eyestem.

Product range

Its product range includes Eyecyte-RPE, which is an experimental treatment for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD), EyeCyte-RPE, which replaces damaged retinal pigment epithelium cells and is designed to restore sight for patients in the early stages of macular degeneration or arrest loss of vision for those in later stages, and the products for the treatment of incurable diseases are in the pipeline, said the company.

Ramesh Byrapaneni, Managing Partner, Endiya Partners said, “The addition of leading pharma and biotech investors on our cap table is a great validation of the world-class science that Eyestem is pursuing which can change millions of lives globally.”

Human trial

It also intends to file for a first in human trial for the product within a year in consultation with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO ) and US Food and Drug Administration. Eyestem was established in 2016 and aims to develop a scalable cell therapy platform to treat incurable diseases and democratise access to these newer technologies globally.