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RetroSense Therapeutics Secures Exclusive Worldwide Rights to ReaChR Optogene from the University of California San Diego

RetroSense Therapeutics LLC
Posted on: 01 Sep 16

RetroSense Therapeutics LLC, a privately-held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the Company has signed a worldwide license with the University of California San Diego to secure exclusive rights to develop red activatable channelrhodopsin (ReaChR), a next-generation optogene developed by the late Nobel Laureate Roger Y. Tsien, Ph.D. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The ReaChR license allows us to continue building on our world-leading platform in optogenetics for vision restoration,” said Sean Ainsworth, CEO of RetroSense Therapeutics. “Because the ReaChR opsin is red-shifted, it complements our existing development programs quite nicely, expanding our spectrum.”

This important product builds on the Company’s optogenetics development programs which include pioneering, proprietary research conducted by Dr. Zhuo-Hua Pan and others at Wayne State University’s Kresge Eye Institute and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Dr. Richard Masland’s team at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

RetroSense Therapeutics is developing lead product RST-001 as a first-in-class gene therapy application of optogenetics designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. 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.

About RetroSense Therapeutics

RetroSense Therapeutics is a privately-held biotechnology company developing life-enhancing gene therapies designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. There are currently no FDA approved drugs to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions. The Company's approach to using optogenetics in vision restoration is based on pioneering, proprietary research conducted at Wayne State University and Massachusetts General Hospital. RetroSense has worldwide exclusive rights to the relevant intellectual property from both institutions. RetroSense is led by a team of seasoned veterans with deep experience in taking products from the discovery stage through to the clinic. For more information about RetroSense, visit

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Last updated on: 01/09/2016

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