Latest Nerveda News
Sep 7, 2016
7 September 2016 RetroSense detects $60m acquisition Allergan has acquired the Wayne State University spinout, backed by Santen Pharmaceutical and Nerveda, for an upfront payment of $60m with potential milestone payments in future. Author: Thierry Heles, editor RetroSense Therapeutics, a biotechnology spinout of Wayne State University backed by diagnostics company Nerveda, was acquired yesterday by pharmaceutical firm Allergan in an all-cash transaction of $60m. Allergan may further commit regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments for RetroSense's lead candidate, RST-001, a gene therapy targeting degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. The size of those potential investments has not been disclosed. Founded in 2009, RetroSense is working on gene therapies to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness. The company exploits an approach known as optogenetics, which creates light sensitivity in cells that did not previously have any. The spinout launched a phase 1/2a clinical trial in March 2016 and applied the treatment to patients through to last month. The technology is based on research conducted at Wayne State and Massachusetts General Hospital that was led by Zhuo-Hua Pan, professor at the university's medical school. Pan and his team also collaborated with researchers at Salus University. In November 2015, RetroSense obtained $6m in a series B round 2015 that was backed by pharmaceutical firm Santen Pharmaceutical, BlueWater Angels, RBV Capital and ExSight Capital. Nerveda, BlueWater, SDL Ventures, Tech Coast Angels, and public-private partnership Michigan Economic Development Corporation supported a $6m series A round in January 2015 . Unnamed investors provided $75,000 in seed funding in 2011, according to a securities filing. Brent Saunders, chief executive and president of Allergan, said: "The acquisition of RetroSense and its RST-001 program builds on Allergan's deep commitment to eye care, and our focus on investing in game-changing innovation for retinal conditions, including retinitis pigmentosa, where patients desperately need treatment options. "