Born from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Retinal Degeneration Fund (RD Fund) was created to help accelerate life-changing outcomes for people with retinal degenerations through direct mission related investments in therapeutic companies. The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to rapidly drive the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases – including retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. Together, these blinding conditions affect more than 200 million people throughout the world.
The RD Fund is changing how the world treats blinding retinal diseases. Click here to download the January 2021 Outcomes & Outlook Report.
Shannon Boye, PhD has spent the last 17 years working alongside her husband, Sanford Boye, MSc, researching gene therapy treatments to reverse or prevent blindness in children. Before starting their own company – Atensa Therapeutics – they were focused on developing technology and...
By all accounts, Vedere Bio is an inspiring case study of how biomedical research can benefit from RD Fund’s ability to bridge the divide between lab to bedside. Vedere’s optogenetics approach focuses on the development of virus vectors with a simple delivery route to restore vision. With Vedere’s innovation, a gene is inserted to add light sensitivity to a different cell type.The company started in 2019 and was acquired by Novartis in late 2020, becoming RD Fund’s first portfolio company to achieve an exit.
“At first optogenetics was too risky, it was difficult to find funding. We met with several dozen venture capitalist firms, sometimes two and three times,” said John Flannery, PhD, Vedere Scientific Founder, and Professor of Neurobiology, Dept. Molecular & Cell Biology, Associate Director, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley.