Revolutionary Optogenetic Gene Therapies: Ray Therapeutics Closes Massive $100M Series A Financing Round

Ray Therapeutics, a pioneering optogenetics company, has announced an oversubscribed $100M Series A financing round backed by some of the world’s most influential investors. Novo Holdings A/S led the round, supported by Deerfield Management, Norwest Venture Partners, Platanus, and the therapeutics-focused corporate venture fund of Merck & Co., Inc., as well as existing investor 4BIO Capital. The investment will enable Ray Therapeutics to progress its promising pipeline of treatments aimed at tackling blinding diseases of the eye.

Ray Therapeutics is revolutionizing vision restoration with its optogenetic platform, which uses gene therapy to deliver a light-sensitive protein to cells in the retina. RTx-015, the company’s lead candidate, is expected to soon enter first-in-human clinical trials and could become a groundbreaking therapy for retinitis pigmentosa, other inherited retinal dystrophies, and macular degeneration. By allowing light to stimulate retinal cells, this innovative optogenetic therapy may help patients regain their sight and enjoy a better quality of life.

Ray Therapeutics is thrilled to announce a major milestone in its mission to provide vital treatments for blinding diseases: a Series A round of funding led by Novo Holdings. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our early investors, including 4BIO Capital and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as well as the new investor syndicate, which will help propel our pipeline of optogenetic gene therapies forward for patients. This funding is a major step towards providing life-changing treatments to those in need.

Ray Therapeutics is on the cutting edge of bioengineering, developing the world’s first optogenetic therapies optimized for human vision with the potential to restore sight and improved quality of life to those affected by blindness.

With its innovative technology platform and promising preclinical data, Ray Therapeutics is leading the charge in developing best-in-class vision restorative therapeutics, a cause that resonates with Novo Holdings’ purpose of improving people’s health.

4BIO Capital has been impressed by the immense potential of Ray Therapeutics’ innovative optogenetic approach since their initial seed investment in 2021. In a short period of time, the company has achieved remarkable progress with its regenerative medicines for ophthalmology indications. Their mutation-independent gene therapies have the potential to benefit more patients with a single intravitreal injection that could potentially last for life.

4BIO Capital is proud to continue supporting Ray Therapeutics’ growth and success through this financing round and beyond, excited to see the transformative impact their technology can have on patients’ lives.

Ray Therapeutics’ optogenetic gene therapies have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of retinal diseases. With RTx-015, a light-sensitive protein, pre-clinical studies have shown remarkable results in restoring vision in those suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and other forms of inherited retinal degeneration.

Dr. Jeffrey Heier, Director of the Vitreoretinal Service and Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, sees a great opportunity for this novel therapy to improve the lives of those affected by these blinding disorders. With the power of optogenetics, individuals could potentially have their vision restored.

Ray Therapeutics is proud to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors: Ray Camahort, Ph.D., Partner in the Venture Investments group at Novo Holdings; Tiba Aynechi, Ph.D., General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners; and Hannah Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Director, Platanus.

Additionally, Brian Chow, Ph.D., Principal at Deerfield, and Jason Ruth, Ph.D., Partner, MRL Ventures Fund, will join as Board Observers. This new board marks a major milestone in the company’s development and is an exciting step forward in Ray Therapeutics’ mission to make precision treatments available to patients across the world.

About Ray Therapeutics

Ray Therapeutics is on a mission to restore vision to patients with inherited retinal diseases, allowing them to see independently of their genetic mutation. Located in San Francisco, CA, the company is pioneering a novel optogenetics gene therapy known as RTx-015, which is in development for those suffering from retinitis pigmentosa – a degenerative eye disorder with a large unmet medical need. With the potential to give back sight to those who have lost it, Ray Therapeutics is truly revolutionizing treatment for blinding diseases.

About Novo Holdings

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that works to improve people’s health and sustainability of the planet through the management of the assets and wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The ultimate goal of Novo Holdings is to generate attractive and long-term returns on the Foundation’s assets in order to benefit society as a whole.

Novo Holdings, wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, is at the helm of two major corporations – Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S – as its controlling shareholder. This powerhouse of a company doesn’t just manage an impressive portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets for long-term returns, but it is also a world-leading life sciences investor. Whether you’re a tiny seedling or a big growth opportunity, Novo Holdings’ Seeds, Venture, Growth, and Principal Investments teams are here to help you reach the next level.

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