LambdaVision: Funding Raised To Develop Protein-Based Artificial Retina To Help Patients Regain Sight

By Amit Chowdhry • Jun 7, 2024

LambdaVision, a company that is developing a protein-based artificial retina to help patients regain sight lost to retinal degenerative diseases, announced it secured the first closing of its seed round being led by Aurelia Foundry Fund (a fund spun out of MIT).

This funding round also includes investment from Boryung, a publicly listed Korean pharmaceutical company, and E2MC Ventures. And the targeted raise will fund LambdaVision’s GMP manufacturing scale up and critical IND-enabling efficacy and toxicity studies, advancing LambdaVision closer to clinical trials initially targeted for blind patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

LambdaVision has been developing the first protein-based artificial retina to restore meaningful vision for patients who are blind or have lost significant sight due to RP and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And while the preclinical studies are being conducted on Earth, LambdaVision is optimizing assembly of its artificial retina in low-Earth orbit. Since the unique behavior of solutions and thin films that make up the layers of the artificial retina, production efficiency and product quality may be improved in microgravity.

The protein-based artificial retina has developed through a layer-by-layer production process alternating layers of the protein bacteriorhodopsin and a polymer, which is supported by a membrane of a synthetic fiber that has long been used by the medical community. And by using a protein similar to the visual pigment rhodopsin that is naturally occurring in our eyes, LambdaVision’s patent-protected artificial retina mimics the light-absorbing properties of human photoreceptors.

The company has recently received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a worldwide patent application, which includes a definition of the production process and functional features of the artificial retina technology.

LambdaVision was previously selected as an awardee of the 2023 Humans In Space Challenge, a global space healthcare challenge co-hosted by Aurelia Institute, through which the investment from Boryung was executed. So far, LambdaVision has secured over $17 million in funding and launched 9 missions to the International Space Station. And LambdaVision has previously received funds from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and commercialization awards, as well as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among others.


“This support from the Aurelia Foundry Fund and other high-profile investors underscores the potential of our approach toward treating retinal degenerative diseases and further validates our innovative space-based manufacturing approach to benefit those on Earth. We are grateful for the support of our new partners and hope to welcome additional institutions or qualified investors to fill the seed round.”

  • Nicole Wagner, Ph.D., CEO of LambdaVision

“We are proud to lead this seed round with LambdaVision and eager to support bringing a life-changing product to market. Funding their paradigm-shifting artificial retina technology aligns with our mission to invest in foundational space tech that can empower humanity and offers the space industry a scalable solution for in-space bio manufacturing that leverages microgravity.”

  • Ariel Ekblaw, GP, Aurelia Foundry Fund

“Recognizing the huge unmet need for RP patients for whom there is currently no cure, it is imperative we support the research and development of new technologies like LambdaVision’s artificial retina that will hopefully help patients regain sight.”

  • Luciano V. Del Priore, MD, PhD, Robert R. Young Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Chair of Ophthalmology at Yale School of Medicine, and Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale New Haven Hospital