Ray Therapeutics Receives $4M in Funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
27 April 2022
LONDON & BOSTON – 4BIO Capital (“4BIO” or “the Group”), an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector, today announces that its portfolio company Ray Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing optogenetic gene therapies for patients with retinal degenerative conditions, was awarded a $4M grant by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support development of Ray-001, an optogenetic therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa and other inherited retinal diseases.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases that cause retinal degeneration leading to near or complete blindness for most patients. The severe loss of photoreceptor cells that occurs in this genetic degenerative disease leads to partial or complete blindness. At present, no effective treatment is available to restore vision once the photoreceptor cells have been lost.
Dr Dmitry Kuzmin, Managing Partner at 4BIO Capital, commented: “Ray Therapeutics being awarded a $4 million grant by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is validation of our recent investment in Ray, announced earlier this year. Ray Therapeutics is developing a ground-breaking new approach to treat inherited retinal diseases using the power of optogenetics and the potential of which has clearly been recognised by the CIRM. Ray-001’s mutation agnostic approach provides significant advantages by being able to potentially treat more patients as a one-time intravitreal injection that will last for a lifetime.”
Paul Bresge, CEO & Co-Founder at Ray Therapeutics, said: “Ray-001 has the potential to address a significant unmet need in patients who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa. The funding and strategic support from CIRM will accelerate development of our lead optogenetics candidate into clinical trials for blind and nearly-blind patients in desperate need of new therapies, without the need for supplementary eyewear or devices for additional light stimulation. The unanimous positive vote from CIRM’s independent reviewers, and obtaining the highest score in our application cohort, provides strong validation for our scientific rationale, program development and team. We look forward to advancing our candidate into clinical trials in retinitis pigmentosa.”