MAR 24, 2017
ONL Therapeutics, Inc., received National Eye Institute (NEI) funding to further develop its first-in-class small molecule designed to protect key retinal cells from Fas-mediated cell death.
Currently under development for the treatment of retinal detachment, the company believes the compound has potential to treat other ocular diseases, including AMD. The U.S. FDA has already granted orphan drug designation.
The potential of the Fas pathway for retinal protection is explored further in a this January 2017 article from Eyenet.
The Commercialization Readiness Pilot grant awarded this week, combined with an additional $1 million raised from investors, including Novartis, will support the remaining preclinical development activities required for submission of an investigational new drug application with the FDA. The Ann Arbor-based biotech previously received Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grants from the NEI to support initial preclinical development.
“We are excited and grateful for this additional NEI grant funding as it allows ONL to build upon the promising preclinical work that we have conducted to date. The area of retinal cell protection represents a critical unmet medical need that we believe can have an important impact on the preservation of vision for patients with a range of ocular diseases and conditions,” said John Freshley, CEO of ONL Therapeutics. “By providing the funds that will help us advance ONL1204 to the point of IND filing, the NEI is playing a key role in research that may one day make a difference in the lives of ocular disease patients. We appreciate their support and look forward to completing the important work that this grant is making possible.”