Biotech Investing

Avalanche Biotechnologies, Ocata Therapeutics and pSivida are small-cap biotech companies that are contributing to treating ophthalmic diseases.

The biotech industry is incredibly large and wide reaching, and as a result it can be easy for investors to become paralyzed by choice.
In an effort to break down this complex industry, here the Investing News Network profiles three small-cap biotech companies that are focused on ophthalmic diseases. All three of the companies have market caps of less than $400 million, and are actively developing treatment options for eye diseases.
Market cap and share price information is accurate as of close of day December 3, 2015.

Avalanche Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:AAVL)

Market cap: $258.11 million; current share price: $9.24
Avalanche Biotechnologies is a small-cap biotech company that focuses on creating gene therapies for patients with sight-threatening ophthalmic diseases. The company has used Ocular BioFactory, its gene therapy platform, to create a pipeline of product candidates, including AVA-101, AVA-201 and AVA-311. AVA-101, Avalanche’s lead product candidate, is intended to treat wet age-related macular degeneration.

Ocata Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OCAT)

Market cap: $358.71 million; current share price: $8.49
Ocata Therapeutics is a small-cap biotech company that develops and commercializes regenerative ophthalmology therapeutics. Some of the company’s advanced products are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of Stargardt’s macular degeneration, dry age-related macular degeneration and myopic macular degeneration.
The company is also developing pre-clinical terminally differentiated cell therapies for the treatment of other ocular disorders. And while its focus is certainly in the realm of ophthalmology, Ocata has also branched out into autoimmune, inflammatory and wound-healing disorders.


Market cap: $114.73 million; current share price: $3.87
pSivida develops sustained-release drug-delivery products for treating eye diseases. In particular, the company offers treatments for back-of-the-eye diseases. For instance, its lead development product, Medidur, is intended to treat posterior uveitis. The product is currently in Phase III clinical trials.
The company is also in pre-clinical development for Durasert and Tethadur, two platform technologies intended to deliver drugs and biologics for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases, including wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and osteoarthritis. The Duraset technology platform delivers therapeutics for predetermined periods of time, while the Tethadur technology system uses BioSilicon to provide the sustained delivery of biologic molecules, including peptides, proteins and antibiotics.

Investor snapshot for small-cap biotech companies

As these three companies illustrate, the biotech market contains a range of investment opportunities for all sorts of investing parameters. Investors interested in either small-cap biotech companies or in companies focused specifically on ophthalmology may want to keep them in mind.

Securities Disclosure: I, Morag McGreevey, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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