RD Fund Announces Ongoing Fundraising Efforts for RD Fund 2 | State / Regional


RALEIGH, North Carolina, 28 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today, DR Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) – the venture capital arm of Fight Blindness Foundation aimed at rapidly leading research towards prevention, treatment and cure for the full spectrum of degenerative retinal diseases – announcement of fundraising efforts underway for RD Fund 2, targeting at least $ 75 million new capital through large philanthropic donations.

RD Fund 2 has the ability to direct investments and the flexibility to make follow-on investments in RD Fund 1 companies. RD Fund 2 will build on the diversity of the overall portfolio, including new modality-based strategies, disease stage intervention, specific genetic and agnostic approaches to help treat as many inherited retinal diseases as possible. The main objective of the Fund is to invest in therapeutics; however, RD Fund 2 has the ability to invest in services and technologies that help advance the mission.

“The RD Fund plays an important role in the maturation of the therapeutic field of IRD, including university research projects ready to be translated”, declared Rusty kelley, PhD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Investments and Alliances of the RD Fund and Foundation Fighting Blindness. “Having the ability to design new businesses, direct their initial funding with sources of capital from a set of highly motivated investors, places us in the critical role of reducing the risk of new technologies that enable clinical returns and financial. ”

To date, RD Fund 2 has raised more than 40 $ million in committed capital, which includes key commitments made by Paul Manning and Gordon gund. Thanks in part to these commitments, Opus Genetics, a recently launched and in-house designed gene therapy development company, has raised a $ 19 million seed funding round. Opus draws on the expertise of pioneering ocular gene therapy to advance a wholly owned portfolio of underserved forms of inherited blindness with urgent patient priority.

“For the major contributors to RD Fund 2, there will be the opportunity to be more intimately involved in the financing of highly visible activities in biotechnology startups and spin-outs which aim to accelerate the progress of treatments and cures of inherited retinal diseases, “mentioned Gordon gund, co-founder of Foundation Fighting Blindness and Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation. “It is encouraging to see the RD Fund management team execute this new model of risk philanthropy. A good example is when RD Fund invested $ 3 million in Vedere Bio, which was subsequently acquired by Novartis – a large pharmaceutical company committed and competent in our field – significant return was reinvested in research projects and companies advancing the Foundation’s mission. “

About the DR Fund

The RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) is the venture capital arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and a leading investor in the field of inherited retinal diseases. It was established in 2018 to serve the Foundations mission to rapidly lead research towards prevention, treatment and cure for the entire spectrum of retinal blinding diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and Usher syndrome. RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies whose projects are close to clinical trials. Visit RDFund.org for more information.

Media contact:

Chris Adams

410-423-0585

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SOURCE Foundation Fight Blindness


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