Biotech firm EBS signs eyecare deal in China
Expansion in sight: David Quigley, left, and Graham Bell
Edinburgh Biosciences (EBS) has signed an international licensing and equity investment deal in China as the company aims to take cataract treatment from the operating theatre to the high street.
The deal with China’s Haoguang, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boye Biotech, comes ahead of a £5 million of Series A fundraising round. The company has already raised about £3 million.
Over 20 million cataract operations took place worldwide in 2020, and the technology being developed by the EBS team via its LED technology provides an alternative to surgery by non-invasive treatment and a significant reduction in cost per patient.
It says it can make cataract treatment delivery up to 90% quicker at significantly lower cost by taking cataract treatment from operating theatres to a high street clinical setting – while helping to alleviate global hospital waiting lists that have been exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
EBS is targeting the European, UK and China markets in its first phase of commercialisation, and plans to sell its technology to clinical optometry and ophthalmology providers, and other eye and healthcare industry players.
CEO Graham Bell previously led corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions at NASDAQ-listed University of Dundee spin-out Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, while Chairman David Quigley, a qualified optometrist and joint venture partner with Specsavers Opticians in Scotland, also chairs Optometry Scotland tasked with representing the community eyecare sector to the Scottish Government.
EBS was founded by Professor Des Smith, a leading Scottish bioscience entrepreneur, who remains on the board.
Mr Bell said: “EBS is positioned to revolutionise cataract treatment, first in the European, UK and China markets, and then worldwide. The technology we have developed will change the pathway of care for cataract patients.”
EBS is in active discussions with a number of UK and international regulatory bodies, has a number of patents in place or pending, and expects to double headcount this year.
The series A investment round process is being managed by Manchester-based advisory firm, Oyster Venture Partners, which specialises in supporting the life science, healthcare and healthtech sectors.