EyeKor Stares Down $600K to Develop Clinical Trial Software

EyeKor, a developer of software for managing clinical trials of therapeutics for ocular diseases, has raised $600,000 in equity funding from five investors, according to a regulatory filing.

The Madison, WI-based company’s flagship product, called Excelsior, is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that helps researchers collect and interpret ophthalmic data. Excelsior, which in 2013 received 510(k) clearance from the FDA, is specifically designed for image and data management in trials of drug candidates aimed at treating ocular diseases.

Gary Leatherberry, EyeKor’s chief operating officer, says that his company plans to use some of the money “to make key hires, accelerate the development of our software platform, and expand commercial opportunities.”

EyeKor, which seeks to sell to pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations, also plans to obtain FDA clearance for “additional features” of its digital tools, Leatherberry says.

In addition to Excelsior and other software products, EyeKor connects customers with clinical trial design and imaging experts, according to its website.

The company also provides clients access to reading centers—laboratories that grade disease phenotypes and perform other analysis tasks, and report their findings back to sponsors of clinical trials. One such organization, the University of Wisconsin Fundus Photograph Reading Center, is listed as an EyeKor partner on its website. (The fundus is the part of the eyeball located opposite the pupil.)

Another partner is Ocular Services On Demand (OSOD), a Madison-based consulting group that helps with identifying and developing ocular therapeutics and devices. Leatherberry is also chief operating officer at OSOD.

EyeKor, which according to the regulatory filing was launched in 2012, says its services can be used for preclinical programs, as well as phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials.

EyeKor currently has 10 employees, plus “many independent conractors,” Leatherberry says.

Leatherberry says that EyeKor has revenue coming in, but he declined to reveal what total sales were in 2015 or projections for the current year.

The filing, which was made public on Tuesday, lists three EyeKor executive officers in addition to Leatherberry:

Christopher Murphy, co-founder and CEO, is a veterinary ophthalmologist and professor at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also CEO at OSOD, according to that organization’s website.

Yijun Huang, co-founder and chief technology officer, is a senior scientist in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UW-Madison.

Ronald Danis, co-founder and chief science officer, is a physician at UW Hospital and Clinics, as well as a professor of ophthalmology at UW-Madison.

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