DUBLIN, Ireland, 11th November, 2011 - Genable Technologies (Dublin, Ireland), today announced that is has successfully completed a new financing round for €5m led by new investors Fountain Healthcare Partners alongside existing investors Delta Partners. This funding will support the on-going development of Genable’s suppression/replacement gene therapy technology and specifically progress Genable’s lead product GT038 for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) forward into clinical evaluation in man.
Patients with rhodopsin-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa have a mutation in the rhodopsin gene, which causes a patient’s sight to worsen over time, eventually leading to blindness. There are currently no available therapies for Retinitis Pigmentosa. GT038 is a pioneering and unique therapy to treat rhodopsin-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa that utilizes AAV vectors to obtain expression of RNA interference molecules, which suppress the expression of the faulty gene, and replaces this with a gene encoding a functioning protein. This simple combination represents a new paradigm in medicine with the potential to cure this debilitating disease and not just treat the symptoms. Genable Technologies Ltd, was granted orphan drug designation for GT038 by the European Medicines Agency in December 2010.
Commenting on the new funding Dr. Ena Prosser, Partner at Fountain Healthcare Partners said, “This renowned Trinity College-based team, along with the dedication and support of Irish families who carry genes which can lead to inheritable blindness, has pioneered research into this disease over several years. We believe that GT038 offers a significant technological breakthrough to address Retinitis Pigmentosa and we look forward to working closely with the Company to accelerate the development of GT038 and other products to the market.”
Genable Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Vernon commented, “We would like to welcome Fountain Healthcare Partners as an investor with extensive industry expertise onto the Board. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Delta Partners, Fighting Blindness Ireland, Foundation Fighting Blindness-National Neurovision Research Institute (USA) and Enterprise Ireland for the support they have provided Genable to date and their on-going commitment to the Company and its development of novel therapies for serious ophthalmic diseases.”
Professor Jane Farrar of Trinity College Dublin and co-Founder of Genable Technologies Limited concluded, “We are extremely pleased to see GT038 raise the necessary finance to translate basic research performed at TCD into the clinic. It will help raise awareness of Retinitis Pigmentosa as a serious disease and ultimately help more patients receive therapy for their disease”.