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17 February, 2011 - 14:09 By Staff Reporter

Altacor finalises £3.4m funding


Cambridge-based Altacor, an ophthalmic speciality pharmaceutical company, has closed the second tranche worth £1.9m of a £3.4m equity fundraising.

The cash round was led by Clive Austin of NVM Private Equity and included Enterprise Ventures – through its RisingStars Growth Fund – and existing backer, Beringea.

The first tranche which closed last autumn, was led by Esperante and included The Aspire Fund (managed by Capital for Enterprise Ltd), eight other existing Altacor investors and four further angel backers.

CEO Dr Fran Crawford welcomed the broadening of the shareholder base through the second tranche. She said it reflected confidence in Altacor’s strategy to build a European ophthalmic speciality pharmaceutical company.

Altacor is building a portfolio of differentiated ophthalmic products to be launched over the short to medium term in addition to the already marketed Clinitas range of treatments for Dry Eye.

The company is also pursuing a number of its own proprietary development projects, principally in glaucoma and ocular infection.

Chairman Dr Andy Richards said: “The team at Altacor has made tremendous commercial and technical progress, providing a platform for growth which this investment will allow.

“Ophthalmology is well suited to our speciality pharma approach where focussed R & D and sales teams can engage directly with specialist ophthalmologists.”

Since its inception in 2007 Altacor has progressively built a successful sales presence in the UK and Ireland and is seeing substantial sales growth.

Importantly, it moved swiftly to secure worldwide rights to a platform technology for eye infections, gained orphan designation in the US and EU for a reprofiled drug for use with glaucoma surgery and established, with a US partner, exciting pre-clinical data using a nanotechnology approach for more effective delivery of therapeutics in glaucoma management. The new funding will allow acceleration in both sales and product development activities.

As a further element of its strategy to extend its international reach, Altacor is progressing opportunities with third parties including world-wide in-licensing of products and sales & marketing partnerships.

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