UCL launch new gene therapy company
Athena Vision will focus on developing UCL research into gene therapies for eye disease.
University College London have announced the formation of a new gene therapy company designed to take UCL research into the marketplace. Established by UCL Business PLC, the College’s technology transfer arm, Athena Vision Limited with focus on developing gene therapies to treat a range of eye disorders that ultimately lead to blindness.
The science behind Athena comes from Professor Robin Ali, Head of the Department of Genetics at the UCL Institute of Opthalmology. By partnering with established gene therapy company MeiraGTx, Athena is hoping to advance its existing pipeline of therapies through to clinical trials and commercialisation. “With MeiraGTx, we have the necessary technology and critical mass to deliver a pipeline of novel therapeutics to change patients’ lives,” said Professor Ali.
Athena’s new CEO, Stuart Naylor, added, “Athena’s leadership has expertise in developing advanced therapeutics from inception through clinical application. With MeiraGTx, we are building an integrated, global gene therapy business that brings together therapeutic and platform-based technologies along with extensive clinical, manufacturing and commercial experience.”
“We are delighted with such substantial investment to advance novel gene-based therapies. With the formation of this partnership, UK biomedical science continues to demonstrate its importance in the world sphere and, with sustained external and government support, our biomedical research leaders have true potential to bring to fruition innovations in treatment to benefit patients globally,” said Professor Philip J Luthert, Director, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.