Nanoscope Awarded $1.5M Phase 2B SBIR Grant to Advance Ambient Light Activatable Opsin Gene Therapy to Restore Vision for AMD Patients

Nanoscope Awarded $1.5M Phase2B SBIR Grant to Advance Ambient Light Activatable Opsin Gene Therapy to Restore Vision for AMD Patients

BEDFORD, TX (September 14, 2021)—Nanoscope researchers were awarded a $1.5 million Phase2b Small Business Research Innovation (SBIR) grant by the National Eye Institute (NEI)of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance the company’s ambient light activatable optogenetic gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration(AMD).

“Winning the NIH grant via a highly competitive review process is a testament to the innovativeness and clinical significance of our first-in-class optogenetic therapy based on our Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO),which is a patent-protected ambient light activatable protein for restoration of vision in people with AMD,”said Sulagna Bhattacharya, CEO of Nanoscope.“Our goal is to apply our therapy to relieve the suffering of millions of people worldwide with AMD.”’

Nanoscope’s lead MCO gene therapy, MCO-010, is in a late-stage Phase 2b trial for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in the US. MCO-010 has orphan drug designations for RP and Stargardt disease from the US Food and Drug Administration. A Phase 1/2a trial of MCO-010 showed patients blinded by RP experienced clinically meaningful vision restoration.

Nanoscope’s optogenetic gene therapy uses a proprietary AAV2 vector to deliver MCO genes into bipolar retinal cells where they express MCOs engineered to be fast and polychromatic, enabling vision in different color environments. The MCOs reprogram bipolar cells to act like photoreceptor cells damaged not only by AMD, but also the full range of inherited retinal disorders (IRDs) regardless of underlying disease-causing gene mutations. The therapy involves a single intravitreal injection and can be administered in a medical office setting.

“Our preliminary data show MCO therapy can be applied in a mutation-independent manner for specific IRDs and can serve as a retinal disease-agnostic platform therapy,” said Samarendra Mohanty, PhD, Principal Investigator of the recently awarded NIHgrant and Nanoscope’s President and Chief Scientific Officer.“ With this grant we can accelerate advancement of our MCO therapy for geographic atrophies of the macula for juveniles as well as adults.”

About Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc.
Nanoscope Therapeutics is developing optogenetic therapies for giving sight to the millions of blind individuals suffering from retinal degenerative diseases, for which no cure exists. The company’s pipeline includes optogenetics based retinal regeneration therapy for patients with RP, Stargardt disease, and other IRDs as well as age-related macular degeneration.

Charles Craig
Opus Biotech 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.