RetiPharma, focusing on the development of products for the treatment of degenerative eye disorders based on an in vivo platform for translation from in vivo models to humans, is pleased to announce that it has secured funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s BioInnovation Institute (BII). The funding will be used to prepare its lead drug RP001 for a clinical proof-of-concept study in patients with retinal detachment as well as to in source additional compounds using RetiPharma’s unique translational platform. RP001 is a new peptide drug for intravitreal [eye] injection that already has demonstrated functional improvement of the sight as well as neuroprotection in several in vivo models.
The BII has provided EUR 1,3 million as funding in a convertible note which paid in tranches according to achievement of agreed milestones.
“RetiPharma has a skilled team with lots of passion for their exciting new concept that addresses an unmet medical need in treating degenerative eye disorders. “We are glad to have RetiPharma in our newly opened incubator,” says Thomas Nagy, Director of BII.
“We are very pleased to have secured funding which offers a perfect platform for further development of RetiPharma. We have already started the process to prepare for the next financing round to strengthen our program” says Henrik Vissing, CEO.
RetiPharma is supported by a strong scientific and clinical team lead by David Woldbye, MD and Kristian Klemp, MD Chief Physician, specialised in retinal detachment surgery at Rigshospitalet. David has been working with NPY at the University of Copenhagen for decades and RetiPharma is the second company based on his research.
“We are always very happy and proud to see our researchers start new companies and get their inventions developed into promising treatments for patients”, says Trine Winterø, Vice Dean for Innovation at the University of Copenhagen.
Assuming the positive in vivo effects of RP001 can be demonstrated in patients with retinal detachment, it will open up a potential to explore this novel target in other degenerative eye disorders, such as Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), Acute Glaucoma, Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The translational in vivo platform has been developed in parallel with the groundwork of RP001 that have already demonstrated effect on end-points that are relevant for clinical studies in man. End-points are measured by the same equipment used in the clinic adding to the comfort of seeing the effects translated in patients. RP001 could reach the market under an accelerated regulatory process as early as 2024,
“The initiative taken by the Novo Nordisk Foundation to establish the BII is an amazing contribution to the Nordic /Danish community of life science start-ups. We in RetiPharma have been very pleased with the collaboration and to see RetiPharma entering the spot light of promising companies”, says Morten Albrechtsen, Chairman.
About degenerative eye disorders
More that 250 million people world-wide are visual impaired, and the majority results from chronic eye diseases. Degenerative eye diseases, such as Retinal Detachment (RD), Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), Acute Glaucoma, Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are disorders for which neurodegeneration and neuroprotection strategies have become a focus. Current treatments do not address the underlying changes or root causes of retinal damage and patients are losing vision due to cell death of neural cells in the retina.
RetiPharma is developing products for treatment of degenerative eye disorders based on an in vivo platform for translation from in vivo models to humans. RetiPharma has an exclusive licence from University of Copenhagen to IP on a family of neuroprotective peptides. RP001 is a new peptide drug for intravitreal [eye] injection that already has demonstrated functional improvement of the sight as well as neuroprotection in several in vivo models. It is being prepared for clinical study in patients with retinal detachment as a proof-of-concept indication.
About BioInnovation Institute
BioInnovation Institute is an international initiative for research-based innovation and entrepreneurship supporting every development phase of a life science project. BII, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, offers start-ups within medtech, biotech and pharma state-of-the-art laboratories and office facilities, business acceleration programs, start-up business incubation, commercial support, unique funding opportunities and access to high-level mentoring and international networks. BII is a Novo Nordisk Foundation initiative.
About Copenhagen University
Driven by intellectual creativity and critical thinking since 1479, researchers and students at the University of Copenhagen have expanded horizons and contributed to moving the world forward. With its 5,000 researchers and 39,000 students, the University boasts an international research and study environment and is highly ranked on the leading ranking lists of the world’s best universities. The University of Copenhagen is working towards becoming one of the world’s greenest campus areas, leaving as little environmental and climate footprint as possible. The University facilitates cross-organisation collaboration, liaises with the business community and helps students find relevant programs and projects in the field of sustainability. The University also focuses on gender equality and sees diversity as a strength.