Nanoscope® team conferred Phase II Retinal Organoid Challenge (ROC) award by National Institute of Health

Nanoscope® team conferred Phase II Retinal Organoid Challenge (ROC) award by National Institute of Health

BEDFORD, Texas, Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — To meet the advance challenge for generating a physiologically relevant three-dimensional (3D) retinal organoid, Nanoscope researchers® in collaboration with University of Colorado, and Miami University were recently awarded the top prize from the 3D-ROC challenge by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

The organoids provide a unique opportunity for evaluating novel gene therapies including Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO) gene therapy for vision restoration. This is an active therapeutic development area for Nanoscope Therapeutics to evaluate effectiveness of MCO optogenetic therapy, which has shown promise in restoring sight in blind subjects. The opsin-based (and other gene therapy) treatment requires evaluation of potency in-vitro (for release characterization of drug) and objective clinical measurements. While we are currently using fluorescence imaging for objective measurement of potency of MCO-drug, there is a need for label-free evaluation of light activated activities in opsin-sensitized neurons. This is especially important because fluorescence methods inherently perturb the light-sensitive opsin-expressing neurons.

“Nanoscope continue to develop breakthrough technologies to assess neural activities without use of excitation light (as used in fluorescence) and is currently working on implementing this approach for objective label-free detection of activities of natural photoreceptors of eye as well as opsin-sensitized cellular activities in response to light stimulation in-vivo,” said Samarendra Mohanty, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer.

For the 3D ROC challenge, Nanoscope used near-infrared light-based Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) integrated with electro and opto-physiology device to measure both structure and function of layer-specific cells in the targeted regions of retina.

This label-free activity detection technology has already attracted several Biopharmaceutical companies to evaluate their therapeutic approaches.

“We are also advancing OCT guided targeted laser microirradiation technology for creating models of degenerative eye diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD) as well as for targeted delivery of therapeutic genes,” said Sulagna Bhattacharya, CEO of Nanoscope.  


Nanoscope Therapeutics is advancing gene therapy using light-sensitive MCO-molecules for giving sight to the millions of blind individuals suffering from retinal degenerative disease, for which no cure exists. Our pipeline includes optogenetics based retinal regeneration therapy for vision restoration in patients with RP, Stargardt disease, and dry-AMD.


Sulagna Bhattacharya
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Nanoscope Therapeutics, Inc.
Trinity Towers
2777 N. Stemmons Fwy.
Dallas, TX 75207
(817) 857-1186
  • Dr. Samarendra Mohanty, PhD |  Co-Founder & President

    Samarendra Mohanty (Co-Founder/President) is an inventor & serial entrepreneur with 20+ years experience in Biomedical Sciences. He is Co-Founder of several Biotechs and Biomedical device /diagnostic companies (developed & commercialized $100K+ biomedical instruments.)

    Samar obtained M.Tech in Applied Optics from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and a PhD in (Bio)Physics from the Indian Institute of Sciences-Bangalore.

    His extensive Biomedical Technologies experience includes serving as Professor/Senior Scientist at the University of Texas;  University of California, Irvine; Center for Adv. Tech (India); Int. Mol. Biotech (Germany); Univ. Pavia (Italy); NUS (Singapore); and University of St. Andrews (UK). He has authored over 200 international patents and publications in leading journals including Nature and Nature Photonics.

    He is the Principal Investigator for major grants from the National Eye Institute including Audacious Goal Initiative and Bioengineering Research grants. He serves on the editorial board of journals and chairs an international conference on optogenetics. He is the winner of a 2019 Healthcare Heroes award (Fort Worth Business Press), Retinal Organoid Challenge Award, Audacious Goal Initiative Award (NIH), Finalist of Tech Titan, and NIH-Director’s Innovator Award.