Nightstar expands pipeline to target Stargardt disease

9th November 2017

Gene therapy spinout Nightstar Therapeutics signs deal with Oxford University Innovation to tackle Stargardt disease.

Nightstar Therapeutics, an Oxford University spinout developing genetic treatments for rare retinal diseases, has expanded its pipeline to include Stargardt disease with an exclusive global licence provided by Oxford University Innovation.

Stargardt is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. Affecting one in every 10,000 births, the disease usually begins to manifest during a patient’s teenage years, but can start as early as six years of age. While the prognosis for the condition varies from patient to patient, most will end up being declared legally blind during their lifetime. At present, there is no treatment for the disease.

The deal comes on the back of Nightstar’s flotation on the NASDAQ in September, where it raised $75m. The company spun out from Oxford University in 2013 and exited within four years – a rapid turnaround for a university spinout.

Dr Paul Ashley, Head of Technology Transfer (Life Sciences), Oxford University Innovation, said:

“Partnering with Nightstar on an additional Oxford gene therapy programme provides the opportunity to continue the close and productive relationship between the company and Oxford University Innovation,  enabling the technology to have the very best chance of success. It is particularly pleasing to see the continued growth of the company, now seen as a world leader in developing therapies towards real clinical benefit in patients suffering from debilitating retinal diseases.”

The full release is available on Nightstar’s website, and can be found here.

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