Restore Vision Closes Seed Round Founding Total ¥600M to Accelerate Pre-Clinical Trial for Development of Treatment
Restore Vision Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo / CEO: Yusaku Katada; “Restore Vision”), a biopharmaceutical company aiming to fast-track the development of a treatment to restore vision through gene therapy, announced today that it has successfully secured a ¥300 million seed round funding (“Funding”) by issuing new shares through third party allotment to funds led by Real Tech Fund, ANRI, and Remiges Ventures, respectively. This marks the first funding Restore Vision secured from venture capital funds.
This Funding, amounting to ¥600M on top of government grants (total ¥300M through Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) received jointly with Keio University), will be used to accelerate the pharmaceutical development and pre-clinical trials of our lead pipeline drug called RV‑001, to make headway on our path to start clinical trials as early as possible.
“RV‑001 is a gene therapy product using AAV (adeno-associated virus) vectors with the unique function gene coding ‘Chimeric Rhodopsin’ which is a protein-based optical sensor. It is a treatment that can restore vision in patients blinded by photoreceptor loss. We take a simple and minimally invasive approach, intravitreal injection, to deliver our therapeutic gene that will express chimeric rhodopsins in the remaining interneurons, enabling the patient to see again,” explains Katada, who is also the chief scientist of the company. “We have yet to establish an effective prevention or treatment to many genetic retinal disorders. A good example is retinitis pigmentosa, the main target disease of RV-001, which is a designated intractable disease and the 2nd leading cause of blindness in our country. Furthermore, it afflicts millions of patients and families globally. Currently, Restore Vision is moving this program forward to pre-clinical development including formulations, to take it to clinical trials as soon as we can, as the world’s first vision restoration gene therapy, so patients can see the long awaited light at the end of their tunnel.”
“We are beyond excitement to join Yusaku, a passionate ophthalmologist seeking to create a gene therapy treatment for retinitis pigmentosa based on a simple concept and unique but solid scientific evidence, and Hikaru actively supporting him, in their endeavor to put their technology to practical use,” says Hiroyuki Takahashi and Taro Kinoshita, both growth managers from Real Tech Fund. “We have high hopes that Restore Vision’s gene therapy technology will be a breakthrough in treating retinitis pigmentosa. Real Tech Fund gives its undivided attention to support them in achieving that.”
Masahiro Samejima, general partner of ANRI, also expressed their avidness saying “we are thrilled to take part in making Restore Vision’s aspirations come true, to solve a great social challenge against genetic retinal disorders that currently cannot be effectively treated. Young and bright entrepreneurs such as Yusaku and Hikaru will certainly be role models for aspiring new biotech startups in Japan and would ultimately become the change the entire Japanese life science field needs, and we are ready to support them do just that.”
“We are very excited to be able to support and fund Restore Vision’s development of its innovative gene therapy treatment. We have confidence that the success of Restore Vision’s development of the product will be amazing news to the patients still suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, an intractable disease without established prevention or effective treatment,” commented Taka’aki Tobaru and Kazuhiko Nonomura, a partner and a principal of Remiges Ventures, respectively.
About Real Tech Fund
Real Tech Fund is a venture capital fund established jointly by Euglena, Leave a Nest, and SMBC Nikko Securities, companies which have the experience of leading technology-based startups to success. We promote the social implementation of real tech and endeavor to resolve various problems pertaining to earth and humanity by providing support to startups (Realtech startups) with innovative technology that contributes to the solution of the problems. We support Realtech startups from before their establishment to the social implementation of their technologies, offering them the expertise and knowhow that each founding company has acquired over the years.
A leading independent investment firm focused in seed/early stage, based in Tokyo, Japan. ANRI invests in a wide range of ideas and technologies in different fields such as internet technology, deep tech, and life science, to help entrepreneurs build their enterprise, under the motto “Make the Future AWESOME”.
About Remiges Ventures
Remiges Ventures is a US-Japan cross-border venture capital firm focused on therapeutics. Remiges Ventures takes a lead position for the syndication of Series A of investment rounds globally, and actively creates new companies based on unique intellectual properties from the Japanese academia.
About Restore Vision
Restore Vision Inc. is a startup company founded in November 2016, based on promising results of a joint research between Keio University School of Medicine and Nagoya Institute of Technology to develop a visual restoration gene therapy for blindness caused by genetic retinal disorders, using clinical application of optogenetics technology. Restore Vision’s mission is to deliver gene therapy at light speed to patients waiting for an effective treatment, and in doing that contribute to economy by marketing gene therapy technology rooted in academia in Japan.
Restore Vision Inc.
Yusaku Katada, CEO
Established November 14, 2016
Toranomon Hills Business Tower 15F, 1-17-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
Restore Vision Inc. / PR Hikaru Miyazaki email@example.com