MAY 06, 2016
ViewPoint Therapeutics has raised $4 million to develop crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia.
“Recent advances in our fundamental understanding of crystallin protein folding, coupled with our development of high-throughput screening assays for crystallin protein ligands, have enabled ViewPoint to develop a potential non-surgical, disease-modifying treatment for cataracts for the first time,” said Leah Makley, PhD, ViewPoint’s co-founder and chief scientific officer. “With this financing, we plan to build on our promising preclinical results and prepare for initial human clinical studies in patients with cataracts that are poorly addressed with conventional surgery.”
The San Francisco-based biotech company previously identified a sterol that demonstrated the potential to reverse cataracts by blocking α-crystallin aggregation. In the Nov. 6, 2015 issue of Science, Makley and colleagues showed that a single drop of their compound administered 3 times a week for 2 weeks significantly improved lens opacity by an average of one grade (LOCS III) in mouse models that had age-related or hereditary cataract.
The company is also investigating the potential of crystallin biology to treat presbyopia by softening the lens, thereby restoring accommodation.
Additionally, ViewPoint also recently received a grant from National Eye Institute to advance their anti-cataract research.