With help from a socially conscious fund, San Francisco protein misfolding upstart ViewPoint Therapeutics has raised $35 million to take its eye drugs through proof-of-concept studies.
The proceeds from the Series B financing — led by The Rise Fund — will fuel early studies of VP1-001, ViewPoint’s lead product, in cataracts and presbyopia. Both eye diseases are age-related to different degrees, and current treatments all involve some form of surgery.
“Cataracts remain the world’s leading cause of blindness, and this financing will meaningfully advance our efforts to develop and commercialize a groundbreaking treatment,” said co-founder and CEO Leah Makley in a statement.
The company managed to bring in a diverse group of investors to the round, from The Rise Fund — which counts U2’s Bono and film producer Jeff Skoll among its founders — and Novo Holdings to existing investors like Biotechnology Value Fund and the University of Michigan.
Heath Lukatch, a partner at TPG Growth representing The Rise Fund, will join the board of directors alongside Novo Holdings partner Peter Moldt.
“ViewPoint’s product has the potential to disrupt the current surgical paradigm for patients with cataracts and to provide a safe and accessible alternative to patients in the developing world where surgery is not available,” Lukatch said.
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