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Ocular Pharma Company Charlesson Announces $2.35MM in New Funding
Date:10/17/2007

se, and we look forward to working with the FDA to initiate human clinical trials," said Mr. Moradi.

Charlesson also received $1,141,000 in a special request for proposals from the NIH to develop therapies to treat complications of type 1 diabetes. These funds will be used to develop Charlesson's gene therapy program to deliver DNA encoding CLT-001 to the retina. CLT-001 is a naturally occurring peptide found in the eye, and Charlesson has demonstrated that supplementation of this peptide in animal models of diabetes and AMD has profound effects on reducing neovascular and inflammatory events in the eye. In contrast to typical gene therapy where viral vectors are used to deliver the gene of interest, Charlesson's program employs biodegradable nanoparticles for gene delivery. This non-viral approach eliminates many of the safety concerns in eliciting an immune response following gene therapy. Additionally, Charlesson has demonstrated that topical delivery of nanoparticle-encapsulated CLT-001 DNA can result in gene transfer to retinal cells in the back of the eye. "Our scientists have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of CLT-001 and we are excited to advance our nanoparticle gene therapy efforts", said Mr. Moradi. "This delivery system is expected to allow topical delivery of therapeutics that produce a sustained effect in the eye, without the need for frequent dosing". Charlesson was also awarded $135,000 from OCAST to utilize this gene- delivery method for treating hereditary retinal degenerations, such as Leber's Congenital Amaurosis and Retinitis Pigmentosa. This seed money from OCAST will aid in the development of preclinical data to support future SBIR grant applications to the NIH and National Science Foundation.

"Charlesson is another in the growing list of advanced technology companies that are choosing Oklahoma as their home. The federal Small Business Innovation Research program is designed to support companies such as Charlesson. As a state,
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