RetroSense Therapeutics (Michigan, USA) is developing a game-changing gene therapy to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (advanced dry-AMD). There are currently no FDA approved therapies to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions. RetroSense’s approach creates photosensitivity in retinal ganglian cells via channelrhodopsin-2 expression restoring vision irrespective of which gene defect is responsible for vision loss. The company has successfully finished Ph1 clinical trials. Allergan (NYSE: AGN) acquired RetroSense Therapeutics in 2016 for a total consideration of $555M (including milestone payments).
Bonti (California, USA) is a rapidly growing biotechnology company engaged in the development of novel botulotoxin-based treatments. Bonti was founded by world-class experts with a proven success story at Allergan, one of the Fortune 500 fastest growing pharma companies having Botox™ as part of its product pipeline. The team has extensive neurotoxin, aesthetic and pain expertise, and is well-qualified to develop new treatment paradigms based on the novel neurotoxin platform and bring them to both aesthetic and therapeutic markets. The company was acquired by Allergan (NYSE: AGN) in Q4 2018 for $195M upfront plus undisclosed milestone payments.
Image Analysis Group (UK) is a leader in the rapidly growing market for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data quantification and analysis, helping partners such as hospitals, CROs and biotech companies design and manage their clinical studies for the most effective use of resources while providing earlier, more convincing evidence of treatment effect with smaller patient cohorts. The company's solution improves the accuracy of diagnostic assessment and research decisions for companies developing treatments for inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions, neuro-inflammation, oncology, cardiac perfusion and rare diseases.
Immusoft (Seattle, USA) develops a first-in-class hybrid cell/gene therapy, which uses a clinically validated, non-viral vector for safe, reliable insertion of functional genes into B-cells. The ISP™ platform enables safe insertion of genes encoding the correct human homolog of a missing or defective protein into a patient’s immune cells using the Sleeping Beauty (SB) Transposon system – a non-viral vector. If successful, the therapy could become a breakthrough in multiple indications with lysosomal storage and protein production disorders.
AGCT (St. Petersburg, Russia) develops a gene therapy against HIV and HIV-linked cancers. The setup is a spin-out from one of the major oncology clinics in Russia and is supported by IP on genome editing from a top EU university. The therapy has the potential to bring cure to previously incurable patients with HIV and lymphomas and could also be used in a number of less severe indications.
An undisclosed investment, this clinical-stage company in the UK is developing a drug against a severe CNS disorder based on research from one of the top universities.