Sector trio enters R&D alliance to develop cell therapies for eye diseases

BlueRock Therapeutics, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics and Opsis Therapeutics have entered a strategic research joint venture focused on developing cell therapies for patients with ocular diseases.

The companies will combine their collective expertise to discover and develop off-the-shelf iPS cell therapies for ocular diseases. Under this agreement, BlueRock Therapeutics will have the option to exclusively license from both parties three retinal cell therapy programmes focused on dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) containing human retinal pigment epithelial cells and photoreceptor cells, currently in pre-clinical development.

“We believe deeply that authentic cells are the breakthrough approach needed to treat degenerative retinal diseases like AMD and IRDs,” stated Emile Nuwaysir, President and CEO at BlueRock Therapeutics. “This strategic alliance between BlueRock Therapeutics, Opsis Therapeutics, and FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics will allow each party to do what they do best, and when combined with our deep expertise in ophthalmology at Bayer, we are well positioned to lead in this rapidly advancing field and potentially make a meaningful difference in millions of people’s lives.”

“This alliance will leverage FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics and Opsis Therapeutics’ combined expertise in iPS cell technologies and understanding of retinal diseases, with BlueRock Therapeutics’ experience in research and development of cell therapies, to provide next-generation ocular treatments,” said Takeshi Yamamoto, Chief Executive Officer at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics. “We are excited to team with BlueRock Therapeutics to discover and develop cell therapies to reverse the progression of ocular diseases and restore vision for patients impacted by these conditions.”

“Millions of patients around the world today are suffering from permanent vision loss as a result of incurable ocular diseases,” said Nick Manusos, Chief Executive Officer, Opsis Therapeutics. “Bringing together the expertise of our partners with Opsis Therapeutics’ innovation in generating authentic iPS cell-derived human retinal cells, we have the potential to develop life-changing treatments for patients and their families.”

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