Farmington Hills’ Ocuphire Pharma Closes on $5M in Financing

Ocuphire Pharma Inc., a Farmington Hills-based clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies to treat ophthalmic disorders, has closed on more than $5 million of financing. Proceeds will be used to fund clinical trials of the company’s lead drug candidate, Nyxol.
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eye drops
Ocuphire Pharma Inc. has closed on more than $5 million in financing to fund clinical trials of its Nyxol eye drops. // Stock photo

Ocuphire Pharma Inc., a Farmington Hills-based clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies to treat ophthalmic disorders, has closed on more than $5 million of financing. Proceeds will be used to fund clinical trials of the company’s lead drug candidate, Nyxol.

Nyxol is an eye drop treatment for front-of-the-eye disorders including night vision disturbances, glaucoma, and reversal of mydriasis. Ocuphire is also exploring a fixed-dose combination of Nyxol for the treatment of presbyopia. The medicine includes phentolamine mesylate and an approved alpha-1 and alpha-2 inhibitor, allowing a more efficient 505(b)(2) development pathway for approval.

With safety and efficacy data from five phase one and phase two trials, Nyxol has demonstrated a differentiated product profile that includes moderately reducing pupil size, which leads to improved vision, lower intraocular pressure, and once-a-day dosing.

Nyxol was invented by Dr. Gerald Horn, an ophthalmologist and laser vision specialist in Chicago. Ocuphire acquired the Nyxol asset in 2018 and has since built out its management, board, clinical and manufacturing partners, and medical advisory board.

Ocuphire is enrolling patients for phase two trials in both glaucoma and reversal of mydriasis at sites in the U.S. Clinical results from both are expected later this year. The company is also preparing for its phase three study of Nyxol.

“We are thrilled to have the support of our investors to advance Nyxol in clinical trials,” says Mina Sooch, chair, president, and CEO of Ocuphire. “As of mid-July, we are pleased to report that we have successfully enrolled more than 50 percent of the 40 patients in our ORION-1 glaucoma trial. We are excited about the potential to improve eye health and vision quality for millions of people around the world, particularly meeting the unmet needs of those with progressive, age-related ocular diseases. We are passionate about building Ocuphire into a leading ophthalmic company and adding novel ophthalmic drug candidates to our portfolio.”

Investors include RBI Opportunities Fund, Belle Capital Fund, Grand Angels Fund, First Capital Fund, Michigan Angel Fund, Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center, Ann Arbor Angels, Woodward Angels, Kalamazoo Angels, BlueWater Angels, and others.

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