$37M for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Startup

Optherion, a two-year-old air max 270 femme company developing tests and treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), has raised $37 million in Series A financing.

The company’s initial focus will be on dry AMD, the leading cause of blindness in people over 60. Optherion is developing therapies aimed at preventing vision loss in dry-AMD patients, as well as a portfolio of tests that predict, diagnose and monitor progression of the disease.

AMD is caused by degeneration of the macula, the air max 270 femme region of the retina responsible for central vision. AMD is unique in that it is a common disease that has recently been linked to common variations in only a few specific genes, presenting opportunities to develop both diagnostic tests and disease-modifying treatments. In the U.S., there are 15-20 million people with AMD; worldwide, there are more than 50 million sufferers.

Optherion also has in the works diagnostics and therapeutics for an orphan disease called Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis Type II (MPGN-II), also known as Dense Deposit Disease. This is an end-stage renal condition that typically affects people between the ages of 5 and 25; it is often caused by the same genetic variations underlying AMD.

Optherion was founded in 2005 after scientific discoveries were published linking the role of Complement Factor H (CFH) and Complement Factor B (CFB) — both regulators of the alternative complement pathway — to AMD. It was found that approximately 50% of patients with air max 270 femme AMD suffered from variations in the CFH gene; 74% of the disease could be explained by variations in the CFH and CFB genes combined. Genetic variations on Chromosome 10 have also been implicated in AMD, another angle being pursued by Optherion.

With corporate offices and labs in New Haven, Opherion also maintains a presence on the biotechnology campus of the University of Iowa in Coralville, IA — the company’s IP portfolio is based largely on discoveries made there.

Participants in the financing include Quaker BioVentures, Domain Associates, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Purdue Pharmaceutical Products L.P., Pappas Ventures, Biogen Idec New Ventures, and GE Healthcare Financial Services.http://www.airmaxfrance2015.com/

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