Vedere Bio, Inc., a company focused on photoreceptor-protein-based optogenetic therapies to restore vision has been acquired by Novartis. Optogenetic therapy involves the use of light to modulate the activity of neurons that have been genetically modified by the introduction of a normal gene. The newly formed Vedere Bio II will develop a pipeline focusing on new therapies for the preservation and restoration of vision.
What this means for Usher syndrome: The acquisition by Novartis of Vedere Bio, Inc. demonstrates that venture philanthropy is interested in getting involved in the development of therapies to treat vision loss. It also gives hope to millions of patients living with vision loss since it will accelerate novel ocular gene therapy programs. This can mean that there are investors and companies willing to invest into research dedicated to Usher syndrome.