Ripple’s EpidelÒ technology platform is founded on a discovery that drugs can be engineered into controlled release pharmaceuticals without the use of polymers or excipients. The proprietary prodrugs have unique properties that allow them to be processed into standalone drug delivery implants (e.g. intravitreal implants and micro/nanoparticles) or as coatings on medical devices. The implants and coatings undergo surface erosion to give zero order drug release kinetics and are highly engineerable (e.g. different forms, shapes, and sizes) to tailor drug dose and duration for the specific indication of interest.
Ripple’s lead program – IBE-814 IVT – is an intravitreal dexamethasone prodrug implant targeting diabetic macular edema (DME) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). RIPPLE-1, a Phase II trial evaluating IBE-814 IVT, has been initiated in Australia and New Zealand with the first patient treatment expected in early 2021.
The licensing deal with TOI includes a significant upfront payment, sizeable clinical and regulatory milestones and double-digit royalties. As part of the Licensing Agreement, TOI will also manage and finance the Phase III pivotal trials for IBE-814 IVT.
The Series A Financing is being led by TOI with participation by existing investor Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and management with an initial tranche of $14.8M which closed on December 10th. Ripple is looking to raise an additional $7.2M in a second tranche which will close in March 2021. These additional funds will support investment in pipeline opportunities and continued technology platform development.
“Despite COVID-19, we have made significant progress with both IBE-814 IVT and our ophthalmology product pipeline since the spin-out of Ripple back in January. The Licensing Agreement with TOI underscores the potential commercial value of a sustained release steroid for DME and RVO and validates the strength of our EpidelÒ technology platform” stated Tom Reeves, President and CEO of Ripple Therapeutics. “Théa is an ideal partner for IBE-814 IVT given their extensive experience in ophthalmology and successful track record in bringing innovative products to market. We’re also honored that TOI is leading our Series A financing and appreciate the ongoing support of BDC in this financing round as well.”
“Théa Open Innovation was founded precisely for this type of collaboration and investment”, stated Jean-Frédéric Chibret, President of Laboratoires Théa. “Our mission is to identify, evaluate, and develop innovative ophthalmic and eye care solutions in partnership with companies like Ripple and to provide the funding required to conduct clinical trials. We have been very impressed by the Ripple team and the progress they have made with IBE-814 IVT. We look forward to working together to bring this sustained delivery technology to patients.”