Tenpoint Therapeutics, which spun out of UCL in 2021, has announced its launch with £57m of funding, to address degenerative eye diseases.
The biotechnology company uses pioneering cell engineering to replace damaged cells in the eye to tackle age-related or inherited sight loss. The technology could potentially restore sight to millions affected.
Tenpoint Therapeutics was supported in its spinout by UCL Business (UCLB), UCL’s commercialisation company. The company’s funding round was also supported by the UCL Technology Fund, as well as British Patient Capital, which enables long-term UK investment in highly innovative companies.
The experts at Tenpoint Therapeutics, from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Institut de la Vision in Paris and the University of Washington in the US, are the first to combine different types of cell-based therapeutics and enable treatments that are tailored to the nature of individual diseases, replacing cells in the eye that have been damaged by age-related or inherited disease.
Dr Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharm at UCLB, said: “Tenpoint shows what is possible for UCL’s outstanding research, creating a viable pathway to commercialising new life-changing therapies for age-related and inherited ocular diseases, which impact millions worldwide.
“UCLB has worked closely with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, with Professors Pete Coffey and Lyndon DaCruz, and now the team at Tenpoint throughout that journey. We are proud to have played a part in making this impressive Series A round possible.”
Co-founder Professor Pete Coffey (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) said: “We have developed a unique combination of ex vivo cell engineering, where we use stem cell technology to generate new healthy cells, and in vivo reprogramming, where we built on learning from fish and amphibians that can regenerate neural cells by reprogramming structural cells in the retina. This allows us to confidently address degenerative ocular diseases and personalise treatment to individuals.”
CEO Eddy Anglade said: “At Tenpoint, we are focused exclusively on the eye and on harnessing recent advances in regenerative biology to advance our therapies as we work to change the future for people with vision loss by addressing its underlying causes.”
The £57m in funding will allow Tenpoint Therapeutics to develop its regenerative platform to target multiple cell types related to inherited and age-related conditions.
Professor Geraint Rees (Vice-Provost, UCL Research, Innovation & Global Engagement) said: “Tenpoint Therapeutics’ story goes back several years to pioneering work by Professor Coffey with Moorfields Eye Hospital, supported by UCLB. The incredible amount of funding that the company has now secured point to the potential impact this technology can have. Behind those numbers, the stories of people helped by the technology further demonstrate our impact and why this work, and the knowledge transfer support from UCL, is so important.”
Dr Tanel Ozdemir, Investment Manager, UCL Technology Fund said: “We’re thrilled to finally announce the launch of Tenpoint Therapeutics and the closing of its £57m Series A round. This is a truly world-class academic and executive team, and UCLTF are delighted to support them in their quest to revolutionise the treatment of debilitating ocular diseases with cell-based therapies.”