New funding for University spin-out treating vision loss

 Exonate 445
16 Dec 2016 10:00:00.000

University of Nottingham spin-out business, Exonate, has secured new investment to accelerate the development of an eye drop for the treatment of wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 years or older and affects more than 30 million people worldwide, with over 200,000 being based in the UK alone. If untreated, patients are likely to lose sight in the affected eye within 24 months of the onset of the disease.

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Exonate’s strategy is to maintain its focus on the delivery of ophthalmology products for diseases of the back of the eye and to expand its science base to address other disease areas including cancer. The company believes that its approach to wet AMD can provide significant improvements for patients.

£1.5m investment
This is the company’s third round of funding and was supported by investment from the University of Nottingham as well as the Angel Co Fund.  The round also welcomed new investment from Australian venture fund Uniseed; University of Bristol Enterprise Fund, managed by Parkwalk; Martlet of Cambridge; Wren Capital as well as further Angel Investors. This brings the total amount raised at this round by Exonate to just under £1,500,000.

Exonate has an experienced international management team, with a wealth of clinical and start-up experience. Commenting on the announcement, Dr Catherine Beech, CEO of Exonate, said: “I am very pleased at the successful close of this funding round. Exonate’s early data is very promising and we have a clear aspiration to successfully deliver medicines in areas of unmet need. The funding will enable us to progress our currents programmes to develop drugs that can be easily administered as eye drops, improve adherence and benefit patients.”

Delivering a massive impact on treating vision loss
Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property and Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, added: “We are delighted to be investing and continuing our support for Exonate. The unique intellectual property created at the Universities of Nottingham and Bristol alongside medicinal chemistry from the University of New South Wales has the potential to deliver a massive impact on one of the major causes of vision loss.

In addition, the company aspires to use its technology to develop medicines to treat other major diseases including cancer, bringing significant benefits to society and industry”.

For more details about Exonate, visit 

To find out more about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

About Exonate
Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech, company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). The Company has grown significantly in the last year as it welcomes investment and input from an increasing Global market. Exonate undertakes medicinal chemistry in laboratories in the University of New South Wales and in January 2017 will welcome John Kurek from Uniseed to its Board of Directors. Exonate continues to be funded from the University of Nottingham and also has links with the University of Bristol. Exonate continues to have strong links with Cambridge Angels and have offices based in Cambridge, laboratories in Nottingham and collaborations with laboratories in India.

It aspires to successfully deliver medicines in areas of unmet need, such as ophthalmology, pain, nephropathy and cancer, by targeting diseases through regulation of VEGF isoforms/variants that are both protective and disease promoting. Exonate’s lead program is focused on wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration, known as wet AMD, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and older. The Company is founded on scientific excellence with strong links to Prof. David Bates and his lab at Nottingham University specialising in the biology and biochemical pathways of VEGF splice variants.

Story credits

For more details about this story, please email Dr Andy Naylor, IP Portfolio Manager at The University of Nottingham, or tel: +44(0)115 84 66196
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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Published Date
Wednesday 19th December 2018

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