SEP 07, 2016
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
Allergan will pay $60 million for RetroSense Therapeutics and its early clinical drug candidate for vision restoration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
RST-001 is a first-in-class gene therapy application of optogenetics, a therapeutic approach that confers light sensitivity to cells that were not previously or natively light sensitive. It will employ the photosensitivity gene, channelrhodopsin-2, to create new photosensors in retinal ganglion cells to potentially restore vision in retinal degenerative conditions.
The drug has received Orphan Drug Designation and demonstrated safety in low doses in a Phase I/IIa trial, according to the company.
"With its deep commitment to advancing innovation across retinal conditions, Allergan was the most compelling partner and the best strategic fit to advance the development of RST-001 and maximize the potential for this technology platform," said Sean Ainsworth, former CEO of RetroSense. "The addition of RST-001 to Allergan's world-class eye care development and commercialization organization will position this potentially revolutionary technology to be used by ophthalmology professionals to improve the treatment of patients with retinal diseases around the world."