ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RetroSense Therapeutics (www.retro-sense.com), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has secured $6 million in a Series A financing to further investigate the use of gene therapy and optogenetics to restore vision loss. The investment syndicate includes Nerveda, Blue Water Angels, SDL Ventures, Tech Coast Angels, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The proceeds should enable completion of preclinical studies needed to support an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its lead compound, RST-001 for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a cause of vision loss and blindness.
“We believe this financing round should provide us with sufficient capital resources to support our IND filing in early 2015 for our lead product, RST-001,” said Sean Ainsworth, CEO of RetroSense Therapeutics. “We are focused on developing novel treatment options for patients with severe vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa and completion of our preclinical studies will be the next step towards filing an IND and initiating clinical trials.”
Optogenetics refers broadly to means of conferring light sensitivity to cells that were not previously, or natively light sensitive. By applying optogenetics to retinas in which rod and cone photoreceptors have degenerated, RetroSense is conferring new light sensitivity to the retina, with the expectation of improved or restored vision. RST-001 is expected to have application to all forms of retinitis pigmentosa, independent of causative gene or mutation. Recently designated with Orphan Drug Status, 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.
About Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic condition which leads to the progressive degeneration of rod and cone photoreceptors (cells found in the retina of the eye that sense light). Loss of these cells results in severe vision loss and blindness.
About RetroSense Therapeutics
RetroSense Therapeutics is a privately-held biotechnology company developing life-enhancing gene therapies designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (advanced dry-AMD). There are currently no FDA approved drugs to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions. The Company's approach to using optogenetics in vision restoration is based on pioneering, proprietary research conducted at Wayne State University and Massachusetts General Hospital. RetroSense has worldwide exclusive rights to the relevant intellectual property from both institutions. RetroSense is led by a team of seasoned veterans with deep experience in taking products from the discovery stage through to the clinic. For more information about RetroSense, visit http://www.retro-sense.com/.