Ocunova Secures $500 Thousand From Two Firms to Pursue Dry Eye Treatment for Diabetic Patients

February 9, 2018: By Jon Swedien

Two Pennsylvania investment groups announced Feb. 5 that they have made a $500 thousand joint investment in Ocunova Inc., a spinout from the Penn State University College of Medicine.

Ocunova’s drug candidate, OCU-001, is designed to affect the underlying cause of dry eye disease in diabetes patients, Ocunova CEO Michael Shine said.

A study published in 2014 in the American Diabetes Association’s journal, Diabetes Care, indicated that half of all diabetes patients suffer from dry eye. Study authors noted that nerve disease is a common complication of diabetes, and the most common form, polyneuropathy, can damage corneal nerves, hindering a person’s ability to make tears and slowing the blink rate, causing tears to evaporate.

Ocunova will use the funding to develop OCU-001, the organizations said.

The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania (LSGPA) and Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP made the joint investment.

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