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UI licensee Optherion secures $37 million in financing
Date:10/9/2007

nd the establishment of research facilities on the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park," she said. "The State of Iowa provided essential funding for the laboratories where Optherion and Professor Hageman will optimize their research and development activities, and we are very grateful to the Iowa Legislature, the Governor's Office and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for their support of this very promising project. We eagerly look forward to the day when we welcome Optherion to Iowa and our research park."

"The establishment of Optherion's new facility at the University of Iowa Research Park is a major accomplishment," said Keith Carter, M.D., professor and head of the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. "This was possible because of the innovative work of Dr. Hageman and his collaborators. The scientific discoveries which led to this venture with Optherion will help the department advance our goal of finding causes and developing treatments for this and other devastating blinding diseases."

AMD is the most frequent cause of blindness in developed countries, affecting more than 50 million people worldwide and 15 to 20 million people in the United States. People with AMD lose the central part of their vision when the macula, a part of the retina, degenerates. No treatment currently exists for early-stage AMD, and treatment for advanced-stage AMD is limited.

Optherion's initial focus is to develop disease-modifying therapies to prevent loss of vision in patients with "dry" AMD -- the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60 in the developed world -- as well as a portfolio of tests that predict, diagnose and monitor progression of the disease. A parallel area of company research is the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (MPGN II), also known as dense deposit disease. This is an end-stage renal disease with an orphan-sized market prevalence, which t
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Contact: David Pedersen
david-pedersen@uiowa.edu
319-335-8032
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

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