Medical device startup Corinthian Opthalmic, which is developing a novel drug delivery device for the eye, has raised $4 million in equity financing.
The fundraiser attracted 11 investors and concludes a round that the Raleigh company launched in April, according to securities filings.
This latest round follows $2.2 million in equity financing raised in January. At that time, Corinthian President Skip Ballou said that his company was seeking a licensing deal or partnership with a pharmaceutical company that could use Corinthian’s technology for drug delivery.
Corinthian has developed a technology intended to replace the traditional eye dropper. An eye dropper is not very accurate in delivering its payload and the drops can be received by the eye as an irritant, triggering tears that wash it away. Ballou has said his company’s technology more accurately and effectively delivers drugs to the eye. On April 30, Corinthian filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark “Whisper” for a drug delivery for ophthalmic applications.
If Corinthian aims to show its device is “substantially equivalent” to the traditional eye dropper, it could be evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for marketing clearance under its 510(k) regulatory pathway. But if the agency considers it a new device, Corinthian could be required do more tests.
While it’s unclear which regulatory pathway Corinthian will need to pursue in order to get marketing approval from the FDA, a $4 million fundraise suggests Corinthian has not yet landed a development partner for the medical device and the company is preparing to pursue development on its own, at least for now.
According to securities filings, Corinthian’s board of directors includes Fred Eshelman, founder and former chairman and CEO of Wilmington, North Carolina clinical research organization PPD and Ernest Mario, who served on PPD’s board of directors.