Posted in | News | Medical Optics

RetroSense Licenses Worldwide Rights to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Optogenetics Intellectual Property

RetroSense Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, today announced the signing of a license agreement for exclusive, worldwide rights to Massachusetts General Hospital’s patent application entitled "Method for Augmenting Vision in Persons Suffering from Photoreceptor Cell Degeneration".

Licensing provides RetroSense with worldwide access to key intellectual property which reinforces the Company’s dominant position in optogenetics for vision restoration.

The licensed intellectual property is based on methods for restoring or improving vision using optogenetic approaches. The patent is based on research conducted by Richard Masland, Ph.D., director of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory in the MGH Department of Neurosurgery.

“Licensing of this patent application is a key component of our intellectual property development efforts, as we continue to seek ways to expand and further defend our position. Combined with our research, Dr. Masland’s pioneering work in the field of optogenetics strengthens our position as our lead compound, RST-001 moves closer to clinical trials,” stated Sean Ainsworth, CEO of RetroSense Therapeutics.

“Much of the research from our lab was conducted to investigate new options for patients suffering from retinal disease,” stated Dr. Masland. “We are encouraged by the progress made at RetroSense and recognize the importance of the orphan drug designation which should further enable development of novel treatment options for patients with severe vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa.”

Recently designated with Orphan Drug Status, RST-001 is being developed as a first-in-class gene therapy application of optogenetics designed to restore vision to those affected by retinal degenerative conditions.

Optogenetics refers broadly to means of conferring light sensitivity to cells that were not previously, or natively light sensitive. By applying optogenetics to retinas in which rod and cone photoreceptors have degenerated, RetroSense is conferring new light sensitivity to the retina, with the expectation of improved or restored vision. RST-001 is expected to have application to all forms of RP, independent of causative gene or mutation.

About Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic condition which leads to the progressive degeneration of rod and cone photoreceptors (cells found in the retina of the eye that sense light). Loss of these cells results in severe vision loss and blindness.


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