Dame Kate Bingham celebrates 'amazing' $3 billion deal for EyeBio

In a landmark deal for the biotech industry, EyeBio, a London-based startup co-founded by Dame Kate Bingham, has been acquired by US pharmaceutical giant Merck, known in Britain as MSD, for up to $3 billion (£2.36 billion). .

This acquisition is poised to revolutionize blindness treatments.

Merck has committed to an initial payment of $1.3 billion (£1 billion) for EyeBio, with an additional payment of $1.7 billion depending on the achievement of certain milestones. The rapid success of EyeBio, which has raised just $130 million since its inception in August 2021, has been described as 'astonishing' by Dame Kate Bingham.

Bingham's venture capital firm, SV Health Investors, founded EyeBio in partnership with scientists David Guyer and Tony Adamis. Since its inception, Dame Kate has been chairman of the company, leveraging her high-profile profile as one of the key figures behind the successful rollout of the UK's Covid-19 vaccine.

Dame Bingham was instrumental in leading the UK's Vaccine Taskforce in early 2020 and earned a Damehood for her efforts to secure Covid-19 vaccines, allowing Britain to become the first Western country to start vaccinating in late 2020 of its population. this role at the end of 2020 and returned to her position at SV Health Investors as managing partner.

The acquisition by Merck is expected to accelerate the development of EyeBio's innovative treatments for eye diseases. EyeBio's primary focus has been on diabetic macular edema and age-related macular disease, two of the most common causes of blindness in the Western world. Dame Kate told the Financial Times that the company's drugs have the potential to “revolutionize the treatment” of these conditions.

David Guyer, Chief Executive and President of EyeBio, highlighted the benefits of the acquisition: “As a subsidiary of Merck, EyeBio will be positioned to leverage the resources and infrastructure necessary to drive the clinical, regulatory and commercial development of this candidates and help bring them to patients around the world.”

Merck's acquisition of EyeBio is in line with its strategy to improve its drug pipeline, especially now that the patent on the successful cancer drug is about to expire. This deal not only represents a major advancement for EyeBio, but also underlines the critical role of innovative biotech companies in transforming healthcare outcomes.

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