Navigation Links
$37 million financing for company based on macular degeneration research

New Haven, Conn. Optherion, Inc. a company that will use groundbreaking discoveries by scientists at Yale and the University of Iowa to develop products to diagnose and treat Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and other related chronic diseases has received $37 million in start-up financing.

Discoveries in 2005 by Josephine Hoh at Yale School of Public Health and Gregory Hageman at the University of Iowa linked Complement Factor H (CFH) and Complement Factor B (CFB) two elements of the alternate complement pathway of the immune system with AMD. These factors are involved in inflammatory responses, which can cause tissue damage when improperly controlled.

AMD is caused by degeneration of the macula, the region of the retina responsible for central vision. There are two forms of AMD, dry and wet. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60 in the developed world. Dry AMD is the most common form, while wet AMD is a less prevalent and more aggressive form of the disease with growth of new blood vessels into the retina.

Optherions initial focus will be to develop disease-modifying therapies to prevent loss of vision in patients with dry AMD, as well as a portfolio of tests that predict, diagnose and monitor progression of the disease.

AMD is unusual because it is a widespread disease that is caused by common variations in only a few specific genes. Approximately 50% of patients with AMD suffer from variations in the CFH gene, and 74% of the disease can be explained by variations in the CFH and CFB genes combined. Variants in other genes, found on Chromosome 10, are also implicated in AMD, and will be a further focus for the companys development of therapeutic and diagnostic products.

In the future, the companys proprietary technologies will also be extended to the possible diagnosis and treatment of other chronic diseases related to the alternative complement system.

We are extraordinarily pleased to have these discoveries so rapidly and substantially supported as they are translated into valuable diagnostics, said John Puziss, Director of Technology Licensing for Yales Office of Cooperative Research. We also want to thank the Sackler Fund for the Arts and Sciences and Raymond and Beverly Sackler, long standing supporters of medical research and the Yale School of Medicine, for the grant that funded this landmark research and the Verto Institute founded and directed by Jonathan and Richard Sackler that continues to fund Dr. Hohs projects in ophthalmology and other diseases.

Colin J. Foster, Optherions President and CEO, said, We are embarking on a program that exploits a new and exciting area of research with breakthrough potential in areas of high unmet medical need. Foster is the former CEO of Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. and Region Head for Bayer Pharmaceuticals in North America.

Among the sources of capital for the financing are: Quaker BioVentures, Philadelphia; Domain Associates, Princeton, NJ and San Diego; Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, New Brunswick, NJ; Purdue Pharmaceutical Products L.P., Stamford, CT; Pappas Ventures, Research Triangle Park, NC; Biogen Idec New Ventures, Cambridge, MA and GE Healthcare Financial Services, Chicago, IL.

The successful completion of this Series A financing will enable the company to advance the work of Dr. Hageman, Dr. Hoh and others, and hopefully transform the diagnosis and treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, said David Scheer, Chairman of the Optherion Board of Directors.


Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
Yale University

Related medicine news :

1. Drug May Make Breathing Easier for Millions
2. Hundred million dollar gift for malaria institute
3. George Bush pledges 200 million dollars for AIDS relief
4. Hope for 11 million children facing death from illnesses
5. The forgotten epidemic killing millions
6. WHO and UNAIDS unveil plan to get 3 million AIDS patients on treatment by 2005
7. Over Six Million HIV Infected People In South Africa- Finds A Survey
8. Tanzanian Government Sanctions $20 Million For AIDS Arug
9. Grant of $7 million for Orissa Medical College from Japan
10. Merck to pay $ 253.5 million to Vioxx victim family
11. GlaxoSmithKline to Supply United States with 8 Million flu vaccine, Fluarix
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... While powdered supplements and drinks can reduce food preparation time, locating ... Va., has found an easy to keep track of the scoop. , He developed ... in a canister or other container handy and readily accessible. As such, it prevents ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... just publishing magazines and websites specializing in independent living, assisted living and all ... paramount, and Alzheimer’s awareness and research remains a top priority. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Morton Grove, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... milestone for an emerging pharmaceutical company. Because it is so important to this key ... titled “Success Factors in your IND Filing” on December 4th at 11am EST. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... of critical importance to the medical schools of the future. To reach an ... suite at the 2015 ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American Medical ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... are pleased to announce their strategic partnership at the Radiological Society of ... Service, Inc., and Winscribe, global providers of cutting-edge dictation and speech-enabled documentation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Precision Image ... services, is pleased to announce a dramatic expansion ... imaging services. Building on its ISO-9001:2008 certification for ... implemented comprehensive Core Lab protocols and procedures. This ... of research activities.  Their Core Lab services include ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Sectra (STO: SECT B) ... into a multi-year agreement to provide Breast Imaging PACS ... Breast Care to increase collaboration with sub-specialists around the ... --> Sectra (STO: SECT B) ... into a multi-year agreement to provide Breast Imaging PACS ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Nov. 29, 2015 CIVCO Medical Solutions ... at the Radiological Society of North ... Chicago November 29 – December 4, ... to offer customers unrivaled versatility, enhanced user experience ... --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: