Okogen Raises $10 Million in Series A Round for Viral Conjunctivitis Candidate

March 9, 2018: By Joan McKenna

Okogen announced Feb. 27 that it raised $10 million in a Series A financing to advance OKG-0301, its lead candidate for viral conjunctivitis (pink eye).

The San Diego-based company describes OKG-0301 as an ophthalmic formulation of ranpirnase, a potent ribonuclease with established broad-spectrum antiviral properties.

Brian M. Strem, CEO, said the funding would support initiation of a Phase II clinical trial before the end of 2018.

The company’s focus is on infectious ocular diseases where treatments are either not available or unsatisfactory. A second targeted disease is cytomegalovirus retinitis.

Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, a collaboration between Australian pension funds, research institutes, and the Australian and New Zealand governments, provided the funding.

Okogen also announced the appointment of Quinton Oswald to the firm’s board. Oswald is president and CEO of Notal Vision. Previously, he was president and CEO at Neurotech Pharmaceuticals and SARcode Bioscience. Oswald also held executive level roles at Genentech, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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