Mianus to Launch New Venture Capital Fund Focusing on Innovation in Ophthalmology

NEW YORK CITY, NY – April 21, 2023 Mianus Capital (Mianus) and its strategic partner MERIT CRO, Inc. (MERIT) announced at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2023 Annual Meeting the launch of Mianus Clarity Fund. This inaugural venture capital fund of Mianus and MERIT will focus primarily on driving global innovation in ophthalmology to significantly improve people’s vision and quality of life.

Ophthalmology is a medical subspecialty with tremendous opportunities for capital investment due to a combination of the global aging population, significant unmet medical needs, promising breakthrough technologies, strong barriers to entry, and favorable exit opportunities for innovative products.

The venture capital fund works closely with MERIT, a tech-enabled service company providing clinical endpoint assessment for broad therapeutic areas with leading market share and unparalleled expertise in global ophthalmic clinical trials. Leveraging the network of MERIT and Mianus’ portfolio companies, the fund has access to a distinguished group of scientists and ophthalmologists who are Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) supporting many clinical trials in ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas like oncology and neurology. These scientific advisors will help source and vet high-quality deals, conduct due diligence, and provide assistance to the fund’s portfolio companies.

The team at Mianus Clarity Fund consists of seasoned venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, investment bankers, and sophisticated investors. The team has vast domain knowledge and an extensive network in ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas, as well as an expanding network of high-profile partners and advisors in life sciences.

The investment team includes Steve Yang, MBA, who brings over 25 years of broad experience in capital markets, technology, life sciences, and management consulting. Mr. Yang is joined by Arthur Klausner, MBA, a seasoned venture capitalist with 18 years of experience at Domain Associates and Pappas Ventures and who as an entrepreneur has been CEO and board member of Jade Therapeutics that developed polymer-based products to treat poorly-served ophthalmic indications. Yijun Huang, Ph.D., a successful entrepreneur and corporate executive, brings over 25 years of experience in life sciences and solid expertise in ophthalmology clinical research and medical imaging to the team. Philip A Gioia, MBA, Co-founder, CEO, and Director of Vinci Pharmaceuticals, which is developing innovative solutions for retina diseases. Mr. Gioia brings over three decades of experience from his previous roles as President for North America Pharmaceuticals at Bausch & Lomb and Executive in Residence at Warburg Pincus.

The advisory team includes John D. Bradley, formerly a Managing Director at Torreya, who brings more than 40 years of corporate finance experience and a vast network of relationships in life sciences as a senior executive within both pharmaceutical companies and investment banks.

“Our strategic partnership with MERIT gives us a deep understanding and a unique advantage in the ophthalmology, pharma, and biotech ecosystems. This will allow us to support transformational companies that have the highest potential to make a big impact on improving people’s vision and quality of life,” said Steve Yang.

“MERIT has had robust growth over the last ten years and has become a market leader with global brand recognition in the ophthalmology clinical trials market. We are proud to provide clinical endpoint solutions to top global pharmaceutical and biotech companies that develop drugs to treat eye diseases. MERIT can help Mianus with unparalleled domain expertise to differentiate its venture capital fund,” added Dr. Yijun Huang, CEO and Co-founder of MERIT.

“As a specialized fund backed by solid expertise and vast resources in ophthalmology, Mianus Clarity Fund has a unique and compelling value proposition to investors in today’s environment. As with previous market down-cycles, I’m confident that this period will again prove to be a great time to invest in life sciences,” said Arthur Klausner.

The fund is raising capital globally from institutional and corporate investors as well as family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

About Mianus Capital

Mianus Capital was founded in 2015 in New York City with an office in Shanghai. Since 2019, Mianus Capital specializes in healthcare and life sciences. It invested in MERIT CRO, a fast-growing, innovative service company, also known as a contract research organization or CRO, The CRO provides technology and service solutions for clinical trials conducted by pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. This affords Mianus Capital a strategic platform with a unique advantage for high-quality deal sourcing, access to vast scientific, clinical, and commercial expertise, and operational resources to support its venture capital and private equity investments in life sciences.

About MERIT CRO, Inc.

MERIT is an innovative, global clinical trial endpoint services provider working in a variety of therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology, respiratory, oncology, cardiac safety, dermatology, and neurology. MERIT partners with pharmaceutical, biotech, and CRO companies to deliver reliable endpoint services in multi-regional clinical trials. Together our work advances and accelerates the improvement of therapeutic options for patients worldwide.

MERIT’s EXCELSIOR technology platform increases accuracy and efficiency by providing a suite of advanced endpoint analysis tools designed based on our extensive collaboration with biopharma companies.

For more information, please visit www.meritcro.com