ONL Therapeutics has closed $4.25 million in Series A funding for preclinical development of its lead therapeutic candidate, ONL1204, designed to treat retinal detachment, according to a company press release.
The funding, which came from investors including Novartis, the University of Michigan’s Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups program, Capital Community Angels, Invest Michigan, Biosciences Research & Commercialization Center and Hestia Investments, will be combined with a $1 million grant from the National Eye Institute.
ONL1204 is a small molecule Fas inhibitor designed to protect the retina from cell death, the root cause of vision loss from retinal disease and the leading cause of blindness, according to the release.
“This fundraising comes at a critical and exciting time for ONL as we are rapidly completing all preclinical development work for ONL1204, while also expanding our research efforts into other ocular indications,” John Freshley, CEO of ONL Therapeutics, said in the release. “The support of our new and existing investors is gratifying and validates the important work that our team has done in demonstrating the role of Fas signaling and the potential of Fas inhibition in a range of ocular diseases.”