CDI creates company to develop drugs to fight retinal diseases

CDI creates company to develop drugs to fight retinal diseases

By Judy Newman,

CDICellular Dynamics International, Madison, has created a company, Opsis Therapeutics, to develop treatments that could restore vision to patients with diseases of the retina.

CDI is partners in the venture with David Gamm, director of theUW-Madison’s McPherson Eye Research Institute. Gamm, a leader in transplanting stem cell-derived retinal cells, is the chief scientific officer of Opsis. He owns 49 percent of the venture while CDI owns 51 percent, CDI spokeswoman Lauren Geloso said.

Emile Nuwaysir is president of Opsis, and continues to serve as president and chief operating officer of CDI.

 Gamm said diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa affect tens of millions of people worldwide but there are no treatments to reverse the permanent vision loss those diseases can cause.

Gamm said, though some new developments could serve as a start for Opsis. “For example, over the past decade, it has become feasible to generate new photoreceptors from induced pluripotent stem cells and transplant them into the diseased retina, with additional advances anticipated in the future. Our goal is to build on this progress,” he said, in a news release. Read more …