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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

detrimental effects of plasma kallikrein on the retina occur independently of VEGF, which has been an area of intense recent interest as a target for treating DME. However, while intravitreal VEGF inhibitors have shown clear benefit in clinical trials through reducing macular edema and increasing visual acuity, a large proportion of DME patients do not respond fully to VEGF treatment. KalVista's approach targeting plasma kallikrein inhibition therefore has the potential to add to the treatment options for sufferers of DME including those that are non-responsive to VEGF inhibitors.

KalVista is supporting the therapeutic expertise with a management team with proven experience in bringing small molecules from discovery through the clinic to commercialisation. This team is led by Andrew Crockett as CEO and includes the former discovery group from Vantia Therapeutics. This group developed the extensive library of proprietary plasma kallikrein inhibitors, including the lead compounds that now form the basis of KalVista's discovery platform.

The KalVista board of directors will include Graham Boulnois of SV Life Sciences as Chairman, Martin Edwards of Novo A/S as Non-executive Director and Andrew Crockett as CEO.

Dr Lloyd Paul Aiello, Director of Joslin's Beetham Eye Institute and Co-founder of KalVista, commented on today's announcement: "Diabetic macular edema remains one of the major challenges in ophthalmology, and is a leading cause of visual loss in the developed world. While new advances such as VEGF inhibitors are a breakthrough in treatment, current evidence demonstrates that a substantial number of patients with DME do not respond fully. I believe KalVista's approach, targeting a novel non-VEGF pathway, could represent a further important step in treating this condition."

Graham Boulnois of SV Life Sciences and Chairman of KalVista's board of directors, said: "The exciting discoveries regarding plasma kallikrein
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SOURCE KalVista Pharmaceuticals
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