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KalVista Pharmaceuticals Launched With £8 Million in Series A Funding to Develop Novel Class of Drugs for Diabetic Macular Edema
Date:8/23/2011

SOUTHAMPTON, England, August 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

KalVista Pharmaceuticals ("KalVista"), a new ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME), has raised £8 million in a series A round from leading life sciences investors Novo A/S and SV Life Sciences.

The Company is developing novel, small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors, which represent a new approach to the treatment of DME, a leading cause of adult visual loss in developed countries and a major unmet medical need. KalVista's advanced pre-clinical product pipeline is targeting both intravitreal injection and oral administration routes. KalVista acquired these inhibitors plus all relevant intellectual property from Vantia Therapeutics.

KalVista's scientific founders include world-leading experts in ophthalmology, diabetes and diabetes-related complications, Dr Lloyd Paul Aiello and Dr Edward P. Feener. Dr Aiello is Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Joslin's Beetham Eye Institute and Inaugural Chair of the National Eye Institute Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. Dr Feener is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Investigator in Vascular Cell Biology at the Joslin Diabetes Center, where his team led the discovery of plasma kallikrein in the vitreous fluid from people with DME and has shown that inhibition of plasma kallikrein decreases pathological retinal vascular permeability in pre-clinical studies. Dr Aiello has guided the clinical development programs for a wide range of recent ophthalmology drugs, and has been a lead investigator in the trials determining the benefit of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) inhibitors for the treatment of DME.

Plasma kallikrein is a circulating serine protease that represents an attractive drug target as it is believed to be central to the pathogenesis of DME within the diseased retina, but is not essential for normal function. The
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SOURCE KalVista Pharmaceuticals
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