The investment supports the clinical development of two novel programs, both with the aim of being protective against vision loss.
Today, the RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) – the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness aimed at rapidly driving research toward preventions, treatments, and cures for the spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases – announces an equity investment in Perceive Biotherapeutics (Perceive Bio), a biotechnology company developing novel treatments, leading with a gene therapy candidate for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) including the advanced form, geographic atrophy (GA).
AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people 55 and older, affecting more than 150 million people worldwide and 10 million people in the US.
Perceive Bio has raised $78 million for its Series B financing led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), joining existing Series A investor Deerfield Management and new investors Braidwell LP and Catalio Capital Management, LP, in addition to the RD Fund.
The company's emerging gene therapy which relates to risk alleles for dry AMD and GA, targets regulation of the complement system, a part of the innate immune system. The treatment will be delivered by a one-time intravitreal injection and is designed to work for many years.
Perceive Bio is also developing novel therapies in neuroprotection, with applications in glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.
"We are very encouraged by Perceive Bio's innovative strategies that include a rigorous genetic basis for addressing dry AMD and geographic atrophy," says Rusty Kelley, PhD, managing director at the RD Fund. "The company's well supported hypotheses, coupled with top-tier investors, visionary leadership, and outstanding retinal disease and therapeutic development experience, create a strong investment thesis – one that we believe is well poised to return clinically and financially."
About the RD Fund
The RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) is the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and a leading investor in the retinal disease space. It was established in 2018 to serve the Foundation's mission to rapidly drive research toward preventions, treatments, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. The RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies with projects nearing clinical testing. Visit RDFund.org for more information.
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world's leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $891 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.
About Perceive Biotherapeutics
Perceive Biotherapeutics is advancing a deep and diversified pipeline of targets and treatment modalities in multiple therapeutic verticals, with lead pipeline programs in ophthalmology. Perceive was founded on compelling research elucidating two novel protective biologies for treating retinal blindness, developed from foundational collaborations in genetic science and target validation. For more information, please visit www.PerceiveBio.com.
SOURCE Foundation Fighting Blindness
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