Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC
), a Foley Hoag LLP client, announced yesterday that it has secured $37.5 million in a Series B round of financing. Based in Alachua, Florida, AGTC is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company developing gene therapy products to treat rare retinal diseases. It focuses on the research and development of novel therapeutics for patients with unmet medical needs utilizing AGTC’s proprietary, non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus (AAV) delivery system.
The Foley Hoag team representing AGTC was led by partner Hemmie Chang with support from associates Amanda Vendig and Erica Rice. Alta Partners and S.R. One, Limited led the financing, with new investor Osage University Partners joining existing investors InterWest, Intersouth Partners and MedImmune Ventures in the round.
The funding will allow AGTC to continue development of its Phase 2 program in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) and initiate full development of potential treatments for two orphan ophthalmology indications, Achromatopsia (ACHM) and X-Linked Retinoschisis (XLRS).
ACHM is an inherited genetic condition that presents at birth with impaired visual acuity. Most patients are legally blind, lacking color discrimination and experiencing extreme light sensitivity, resulting in daytime blindness. Approximately 22,000 patients in the US and Europe suffer from this disease. XLRS, an inherited genetic condition, is a leading cause of juvenile macular degeneration in males. It is caused by mutations in the RS1 gene, which results in the layers of the central retina splitting. Patients typically begin to experience progressive vision loss between the ages of 5 and 10.