Ophthalmic optogenetics company raises $6M in funding

Biopharmaceutical company RetroSense Therapeutics (Ann Arbor, MI) has secured $6 million in Series B financing to further investigate the use of gene therapy and optogenetics to restore vision.

Related: Optogenetics tools address a growing range of applications

Earlier in 2015, the company closed $7 million in Series A financing, bringing the total Series A and Series B investment to $13 million. Total net proceeds should enable completion of the company’s recently initiated Phase I/II clinical study for its lead compound, RST-001, for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that leads to the progressive degeneration of rod and cone photoreceptors and eventually results in severe vision loss and blindness. The funding will also support the further development of a second promising gene therapy candidate.

The FDA granted Orphan Drug Designation to RST-001 in 2014 and authorized first-in-human clinical trials for the product in 2015. Recruitment for the Phase I/II clinical study (NCT02556736) is currently underway. RST-001 is expected to have application to all forms of retinitis pigmentosa, independent of an individual’s causative gene or mutation. RST-001 is being developed as a first-in-class gene therapy application of optogenetics designed to restore vision to those affected by retinal degenerative conditions.

For more information, please visit www.retro-sense.com.

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