Nanoscope Therapeutics Announces First Patient Dosed in STARLIGHT Phase 2 Clinical Trial of MCO-010 Optogenetic Gene Therapy for Stargardt Disease

Nanoscope Therapeutics Announces First Patient Dosed in STARLIGHT Phase 2 Clinical Trial of MCO-010 Optogenetic Gene Therapy for Stargardt Disease


DALLASJuly 25, 2022  — Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies for retinal degenerative diseases, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 2 trial of its Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO-010) ambient-light activatable optogenetic monotherapy for Stargardt disease.

“This trial represents the second indication for our vision restoring therapy for people blinded by rare inherited retinal degenerative diseases regardless of gene mutations,” said Sulagna Bhattacharya, CEO of Nanoscope. “Our RESTORE Phase 2b trial for Retinitis Pigmentosa patients has completed enrollment and results are expected in Q1 2023. There are no approved treatments for these debilitating conditions.”

The Phase 2 STARLIGHT open-label trial (NCT05417126) currently has active clinical sites in Texas and Florida and will enroll approximately six patients to receive the same MCO-010 dose of 1.2E11gc/eye as used in the Phase 2b Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) study. Six-month safety and efficacy data are expected in Q1 2023. Stargardt disease is a progressive, inherited condition affecting children and adults. The condition results in damage to the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for central and detailed vision. Stargardt disease can be caused by several different gene mutations and is the second most common inherited retinal condition after RP.

“Existing experimental treatments for Stargardt primarily aim to slow progression of vision loss. For people who already have advanced vision loss, an optogenetics based approach, such as MCO-010, may have much greater potential to restore lost vision,” Aaron Osborne, CMO and CDO at Nanoscope added.

“MCO-010 offers new hope for individuals with Stargardt macular degeneration. Stargardt patients with severe degeneration typically lack sufficient light sensing photoreceptor neurons needed to qualify for experimental ABCA4 gene specific therapies. Optogenetic therapy may be able to treat a wider group of patients with Juvenile macular degeneration regardless of the status of their light sensing photoreceptor neurons,” said Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, Laszlo Z. Bito Professor of Ophthalmology, Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and advisor to Nanoscope Therapeutics.

Nanoscope’s MCO-010 gene therapy reprograms healthy retinal cells to make them photosensitive. It uses proprietary vector and promoter technology to deliver the MCO genes into retinal bipolar cells enabling vision in different color environments. The therapy involves a single intravitreal injection in a medical office setting.

About Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc.

Nanoscope Therapeutics is developing gene-agnostic, sight restoring optogenetic therapies for the millions of patients blinded by retinal degenerative diseases, for which no cure exists. The company’s lead asset, MCO-010, is presently in Phase 2b multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled clinical trials in the U.S. for retinitis pigmentosa (NCT04945772) with top line data expected Q1 2023. The company has also initiated a Phase 2 trial of MCO-010 therapy in Stargardt patients (NCT05417126). MCO-010 has received FDA orphan drug designations for RP and Stargardt. Preclinical assets include non-viral laser delivered MCO-020 gene therapy for geographic atrophy.

Investor Contact:
Argot Partners

Media Contact:

Dan Eramian
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.