Nanoscope Therapeutics, a TechFW client, has closed an over-subscribed Series A funding round for its leading work on retinas, which could improve sight for the blind.
In addition, Nanoscope has named Al Guillem, Chairman of the Board. Guillem was part of TechFW success story ZS Pharma, a company he co-founded, was purchased by AstraZeneca for $2.7 billion.
Bedford-based Nanoscope Therapeutics will use the support to initiate a key clinical trial on inherited retinal disorders and other eye-related initiatives.
Guillem has nearly 40 years of leadership experience in bringing new therapies to market and readying pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities for commercial production at established and startup companies.
At Adams Respiratory Therapeutics (ARP), his team brought Mucinex to market. ARP sold to Reckitt Benckiser for $2.3 billion dollars in 2007. Most recently, he co-founded and held the role of President and CEO for ZS Pharma, a start-up company developing a product for hyperkalemia or high levels of potassium in the blood. ZS Pharma was sold to Astra Zeneca in 2015 for $2.7 billion.
“Nanoscope’s Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO) technology has the potential to impact rare diseases, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, as well as widely prevalent dry-age related macular degeneration, for which there is no approved therapy. I am excited to join Nanoscope Therapeutics’ board and look forward to guiding the company’s transition to the next stage as the leader in ocular gene therapy,” Guillem said.
MCO, optogenetic ocular gene therapy molecule, would restore and/or improve visual functions regardless of underlying gene defects. MCO can be activated at ambient-light, and robust pre-clinical studies have shown that MCO will allow restoration of light sensitivity to a retina with photoreceptor degeneration.
“We are pursuing a superior clinical and commercial path for treating multiple indications of retinal degeneration without causing deleterious effects on the retina,” said Sulagna Bhattacharya, Nanoscope’s CEO.
Samar Mohanty, President and co-founder of Nanoscope, said, “The technology is poised to make long-lasting impact on patients suffering from retinal degeneration. Combined with the track record of the highly skilled executive team and advisors, Nanoscope is going to drive the future market on ocular gene therapy.”
Founded in 2009, Nanoscope has received multiple SBIR awards, National Institutes of Health R01 grants, and patents that focus on optical stimulation, gene delivery and imaging for neural activity monitoring.