- Ray Therapeutics recently announced it raised $6 million in a seed round of funding. These are the details.
Ray Therapeutics — a biotech company developing optogenetic gene therapies for patients with blinding diseases — recently announced the closing of a $6 million seed funding round led by 4BIO Capital.
This funding round will be used to advance its optogenetic therapy Ray-001 into clinical trials in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). And based on the durability of treatment demonstrated in preclinical studies Ray-001 is intended to be a one-time treatment via intravitreal injection that is sustainable for a lifetime. Unlike current RP gene therapies in development — which are targeted to specific genetic mutations or individuals with remaining photoreceptors that only address a small patient population — Ray-001 is mutation-independent.
Optogenetics is known as a promising approach that has the potential to restore useful vision to visually-impaired and blind individuals. And in RP, a patient’s photoreceptors, the primary cells required for vision, are lost and cannot regenerate. But inner retinal neurons downstream to photoreceptors, especially retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), persist in significant numbers even in late-stage disease. Ray Therapeutics’ lead candidate Ray-001 uses an intravitreal approach where it diffuses from the vitreous into the retina and transduces primarily the RGCs.
“We’re excited to invest in Ray Therapeutics, which is developing a ground-breaking new approach to treat inherited retinal diseases using the power of optogenetics. Ray’s experienced management team have a successful track record in developing regenerative medicines in ophthalmology indications including optogenetic therapies. As a mutation-independent approach, Ray-001 has a significant advantage in that it can potentially treat more patients as a one-time intravitreal injection that may last for a lifetime.”
— Dmitry Kuzmin, Managing Partner, 4BIO Capital
“This seed financing round led by top-tier advanced therapies investor 4BIO Capital, enables us to advance our optogenetic gene therapy platform, pipeline and people. I’m thrilled to be leading a team to develop our optogenetic gene therapy, Ray-001, which could potentially restore vision for patients with blinding diseases, beginning with retinitis pigmentosa, an area of significant unmet medical need.”
— Paul Bresge, CEO & Co-Founder, Ray Therapeutics