Vedere Bio II, a gene therapy start-up that launched around two years ago, has decided to shut down after preclinical studies failed to meet their targets. The announcement was made by the company's chairman, Kevin Bitterman, and CEO, Cyrus Mozayeni.
“We had a bold mission, to discover and develop products for exceptional, genotype-agnostic vision restoration through a novel optogenetics approach. We set a high bar for success, and a broad set of preclinical efficacy studies were performed to determine if we cleared that bar. Based on the results of those studies, we made the difficult decision to discontinue our efforts,” the leaders posted on the Vedere Bio II website.
Vedere II, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was established in May 2021, approximately 7 months after its predecessor, Vedere Bio, was acquired by Novartis for an upfront payment of around $150 million and up to $130 million in milestone payments. The assets Novartis obtained from the acquisition are in the preclinical development stage.
At the time of its launch, Vedere II had a team of 14 employees and focused on genetic medicines to treat various blindness disorders caused by mutations. The startup aimed to utilize adeno-associated virus capsids to target cells downstream of a malfunctioning photoreceptor and convert these cells into functional light-sensing proxies.
“The mission of vision restoration for the millions of people who suffer from both genetic and non-genetic causes of vision loss is a worthy one, and we believe the future is bright. We cheer for those of you who continue to carry the torch towards this goal and look forward to seeing your success,” Mr. Bitterman and Mr. Mozayeni stated on their website.