Novartis AG [NYSE: NVS] disclosed that it has acquired Arctos Medical. This purchase decision will add a pre-clinical optogenetics-based AAV gene therapy program and Arctos’ proprietary technology to its ophthalmology portfolio. Optogenetics is a promising therapeutic approach that is evolving nowadays and is likely to help sufferers who are legally blind regain sight.
The purchase of Arctos highlighted the Novartis commitment to exploring cures for sufferers experiencing vision loss and the capability of optogenetics as the basis of successful therapeutics. Arctos designed its technology as a possible method for curing inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) and other diseases that include photoreceptor loss, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Furthermore, NVS disclosed the reason to acquire Arctos Medical. The firm believed that the Arctos technology was designed on its belief that optogenetic gene therapies may meaningfully aid patients struggling with destructive eye diseases. Arctos’ proprietary, light-sensitive optogene is given to specific retinal cells using gene therapy, thus changing the targeted cells into replacement photoreceptor-like cells.
Additionally, IRDs have currently affected more than 2 million people all around the globe. IRDs often caused complete blindness. It can be triggered by mutations in over 100 different genes. NVS believed that if this approach will be successful then this technology could be used to cure any disease that triggers blindness due to photoreceptor death.