November, 30 2021 • Articles

Opus Genetics announces licensing of third program for inherited retinal disease

Opus Genetics announced an agreement to license its third preclinical program focused on an inherited retinal disease from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School’s ophthalmic teaching hospital, according to a press release.

The OPGx-003 program is a gene augmentation therapy designed to prevent functional degeneration in the retina of pediatric patients with NMNAT1 mutations, which cause a type of Leber congenital amaurosis, and is based on the expertise of Eric Pierce, MD, PhD, director of the Ocular Genomics Institute, professor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School and scientific cofounder of Opus Genetics.

“I’ve seen firsthand the need for new treatments for rare inherited retinal diseases,” Pierce said in the release. “As someone who has devoted my life to research in this space, I believe strongly that Opus is an ideal company to advance this work to make a difference for patients in need.”

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Dr. Pierce, who will bring his expertise in retinal gene therapy to researching a novel treatment of NMNAT1-associated retinal degeneration,” Ash Jayagopal, PhD, chief scientific officer of Opus Genetics, said in the release. “Adding OPGx-003 to the Opus pipeline further underscores our commitment to bringing the required resources and expertise together to take promising science from the lab through the clinic and ultimately to patients who need it, and reinforces the importance of our innovative patient-focused model.”

The company expects to apply for FDA investigational new drug status for OPGx-003 in the first half of 2023, according to the release.